Monday, November 30, 2009

Social Media Society’s Twitter 101 Session

The Social Media Society's first Twitter 101 course took place on Thursday, November 19th, and presented a wealth of information about Twitter, the ever-popular social microblogging platform. The course’s attendees ranged from small business owners to Newsweek employees. The workshop included the basics of Twitter, but focused mainly on the how Twitter can help businesses to connect with their customers and advertise their products. Below are a few case studies that were analyzed during the session:

  • In March of 2009, Skittles changed its homepage into a live Twitter feed of tweets containing the word “Skittles.” This brave experiment created a lot of publicity for Skittles. However, after two days the site became flooded with negative tweets and had to be taken down. What Skittles lacked, however, was an effort to reach out and engage their customers. You can still see a modified Skittles Twitter feed here
  • The Ford Fiesta Brand Ambassador Program is another example of Twitter being used by a business. Instead of using cliché auto commercials, Ford has chosen 100 Brand Ambassadors to promote their new car, the Fiesta, through Twitter. The Brand Ambassador’s job is to highlight their experiences with the Fiesta by posting pictures and videos on Twitter and adding in their own perspective as they complete “missions” given by the website. It’s a neat idea where you aren’t being sold a product through traditional advertising. Instead you’re engaging with it socially.
  • Best Buy is utilizing Twitter as a customer service outlet. Their main twitter page @bestbuy tweets about news while @twelpforce displays many different employees directly addressing customers who are seeking help in real time. This is definitely an effective way to demonstrate a company’s commitment to customer service.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that there is no proven way to use Twitter to market a brand. Twitter is still in a growth stage and brands are experimenting with Twitter to find what works best for them. With that said, the workshop provided us with a lot of tools to measure the traffic of your Twitter. Here’s a few:

Search.twitter.com offers a standard search API to allow you to search key words, also with advanced options.
Tweetbeep.com will search and notify you whenever anyone tweets a specific keyword
Twitalyzer.com is a tool that measures and analyzes your brand’s impact on twitter

Special thanks to Persia Tatar, Founder, Social Media Society and Benjamin Weisman, Vice President, Creative Director, MRM Worldwide – Princeton for leading the course and inviting us.

Written by Jeremiah Malina

Edited by Sara Saldi

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