How real-time brands adapt to the moment on Twitter

Friday, 5 October 2012

Today, more than half of Twitter users follow six or more brands. This offers businesses a unique opportunity to engage people on Twitter in real-time conversations. During our “Building a Real-Time Brand” session at #AWIX, we shared some examples of how marketers are adapting campaigns to the moment and driving powerful results.

P&G’s Tide listens for brand-relevant conversations

Earlier this year at the 2012 Daytona 500, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski (@keselowskitweeted a picture of a crash on the racetrack from his perspective inside his car. Twitter users immediately starting talking about his Tweet, asking Brad if he was really tweeting and driving. Tide (@Tide) was listening and saw an opportunity to join a timely conversation by sharing its own unique perspective.

Whenever gas spills after a crash on the Daytona 500 racetrack, Tide is part of the cleanup routine. Following this particular crash, Tide tweeted a picture of its cleanup process and invited Twitter users to come up with their best caption. The brand was able to connect directly with consumers through content that was interesting to them at the right moment and showcased its products in a positive light. 

Bonobos offers exclusive deals

According to Compete, two of the top reasons Twitter users give for following a brand are special offers (94%) and exclusive content (79%). Businesses like Bonobos (@bonobos) offer Twitter users both whenever they create a “Twixlusive.” The NYC-based men’s apparel brand often develops these 24-hour sales exclusively for Twitter users that will unlock after a certain number of Retweets.  

During one of these “Flock to Unlock” campaigns, Bonobos used Promoted Tweets to amplify the reach of the offer and drove an astounding 1,200% ROI in 24 hours. The Twitter campaign was also 13 times more cost effective (CPA) for acquiring a new customer than other marketing channels. These results illustrate the power of Retweets to drive both awareness and sales.

AMC Theatres shows personality

The best marketers on Twitter show the human side of their brands. They use personality and, when appropriate, humor to connect with followers. They respond in real time to the Tweets of their customers and even engage in playful banter with other brands. 

Last week, Oreo Cookies (@Oreo) encouraged people to bring cookies to the movies in a Tweet. AMC Theaters (@AMCTheatres) was listening and quickly responded with three words clearly referencing the ‘no outside food’ policy of most theaters: “Not cool, cookie.” Oreo playfully tweeted back, “Fair enough, AMC, don’t hate the player, hate the game,” to which AMC replied, “Game on.”

The funny and simple exchange instantly nabbed headlines and earned media in the form of thousands of Retweets (much like Tweets between Old Spice and Taco Bell did earlier this summer.)  Shane Adams (@shaneadams), the man behind AMC’s Tweets wrote a great blog post, revealing that the first response took just eight minutes to craft. No legal departments, no approvals required. His key to real-time success? A leadership team that trusts and empowers its social teams to react quickly and seize moments of opportunity. 

Pepsi connects to people’s passion for music

Twitter also gives marketers a unique ability to bring people closer to their interests. At Wednesday’s #AWIX session, PepsiCo’s Global Head of Digital Shiv Singh (@shivsingh) shared how the Live for Now partnership with Twitter engages consumers’ passion for music in innovative ways. Pepsi’s Live for Now campaign on Twitter features three elements: free music downloads, original video content based on Twitter trending topics and live stream concerts by artists like Katy Perry, Gloriana and Nicki Minaj.

Shiv said the concerts on Twitter have allowed Pepsi to transform what could’ve been just a 30-second spot into a 90-minute experience that engaged music fans around the world. “Historically, marketers have only been able to market to customers at discrete times of the day and discrete days of the week,” Shiv told the #AWIX audience. “Now with Twitter, we can talk to our customers on their terms, in real time, as they live their lives and pursue their passions.”

After the session, Shiv shared his top Twitter tips for becoming a real-time marketer:

For more best practices from brands finding real-time success on Twitter, visit