Influencer Q&A with Chevy: how the brand seized the moment with #TechnologyAndStuff

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Last month, Chevy’s social media team used a clever Tweet to help convert conversation about a manager’s nationally televised gaffe into millions of dollars’ worth of positive buzz.

When GM employee Rikk Wilde stumbled over his words while awarding a Chevy Colorado to World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, viewers immediately took note on Twitter. Their critical reaction transformed into amusement and a desire to learn more about the new mid-size truck when @ChevyTrucks quoted Wilde in this lighthearted Tweet:


According to Chevrolet, the Tweet, which the brand promoted to reach a wider audience, helped generate seven times the amount of web traffic normally seen on the Colorado overview page and enabled the Colorado to achieve a 70% share of voice of social media conversations about trucks the day after the World Series ceremony.

To find out how the epic Tweet came about, we spoke with the person who sent it: Jamie Barbour (@jamerslb), manager of digital, site and social advertising at Chevrolet.

@TwitterAds: Why do you think users responded so well to the #TechnologyAndStuff Tweet?

@jamerslb: The Tweet was timely, humorous and authentic. People responded because we joined the conversation in a natural way. We then successfully changed the direction of the conversation to put the focus on the Chevrolet Colorado and all the #TechnologyAndStuff it has.

@TwitterAds: What was necessary to make the Tweet possible?

@jamerslb: Whenever there is an event Chevrolet might play a part in, no matter how big or small, we have a team ready to react. In this case, members of our social agency and I were prepared to post and participate in conversations surrounding the World Series.

After the televised MVP presentation, the social team called me immediately to ask if we should enter the conversation and how. As with most real-time marketing opportunities, we needed to be quick and react appropriately.

@TwitterAds: Why is Tweeting in real time like this valuable for brands?

Real-time Tweets give brands the opportunity to share information, enhance brand loyalty or even change consumer opinion at the moment it matters most.

— Jamie Barbour@jamerslbManager of Digital, Site and Social Advertising, Chevrolet

Thanks to our Tweet, people who might not have known that Chevrolet had an all-new mid-size truck were suddenly talking about the Colorado. Twitter allowed us to leverage the moment to show that the truck really does have a lot of technology and stuff.

Our initial Tweet from @ChevyTrucks didn’t even have to go into detail to be successful, because it drove people to our website to learn more.

@TwitterAds: Once it was clear your #TechnologyAndStuff Tweet was effective, how did you continue the momentum?

@jamerslb: To continue the conversation, we highlighted the hashtag on our Colorado overview page. The next day, while conversation was still going strong, we used Twitter to release our “You Know You Want a Truck” series of videos featuring the Colorado.

Our marketing team also added the “technology and stuff” tagline to TV commercials and featured it in multiple full-page national newspaper ads.

@TwitterAds: What advice would you give to other brands interested in creating real-time moments like this?

@jamerslb: It starts with listening. You have to have a team monitoring all the time to be able to decide when a real-time moment is happening, and whether it is appropriate to enter the conversation.

Beyond that, you need to empower your team to make those decisions based on logic, strategy and expertise. These real-time opportunities don’t usually allow for a formal approval process, but with the right team in place, you can embrace them and create memorable moments.