By Kelsey Blevins, PR Account Coordinator
As a pop culture fanatic, about 99.9 percent of the 900 accounts I follow on Twitter are celebrities and brands. I have come to accept the fact that even though I think I am hilarious, no one else shares the same sentiment. This means that most of the time I have to get my Twitter kicks from passively reading other people’s witty tweets, because I will never be as funny as the vast majority of the Internet. This Twitter passivity has led me to notice some brands over others.
It is very difficult for a brand to stand out and get their message across in 140 characters or less. Brands that get the most engagement and attention from other users tend to be those that humanize their brand and don’t bombard the twittersphere with pictures of the ads that we have already seen elsewhere. Brands that consciously choose to differentiate their voice on Twitter, or any social media channel for that matter, manage to stand out from the rest. In my opinion, the following brands know their customers, how to utilize Twitter and have perfected their brand voice thus leading to increased brand loyalty.
I initially followed Oreo because I heard they have a lot of giveaways on Twitter, and who doesn’t want free cookies? But I immediately fell in love with their content marketing.
Let’s go back to the 2013 Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. I was watching the game, but I can only remember three things about it- the power went out, the Ravens won and Oreo’s real time marketing. I couldn’t tell you about any of the commercials that aired, who performed at halftime or even where I watched the game, but I do remember Oreo’s tweet. During the 34-minute blackout everyone was on Twitter, and Oreo seized the perfect opportunity with this tweet:
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Other times, Oreo posts creative images of modified Oreos that correspond with popular current events or pop culture references. Aside from awesome graphics and one-liners, Oreo interacts with fans and always brings the sass. Together, this strategy leads to countless retweets and people sharing screenshots of the conversation, furthering Oreo’s reach.
Old Spice (@OldSpice):
Being a 22-year-old female, I am not exactly in Old Spice’s target market, yet their tweets never fail to make me laugh, or at least smirk awkwardly at my phone while trying to look normal in a public setting.
If you think about it, carrots are basically nature’s underground vegetable prison shank.
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) July 28, 2014
If you can’t afford a coastal vacation, simulate a gentle ocean breeze by throwing handfuls of sand and saltwater at your family.
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) July 21, 2014
Like the tweets above, most of their tweets have nothing to do with their product. But they know their audience, and this is the type of stuff they want to see. Intermixed with these funny, yet irrelevant, tweets Old Spice tweets branded messages featuring their spokespeople, ads and products. By tweeting these messages interspersed with jokes, people are more likely to tolerate them. Old Spice also keeps the same voice and tone throughout all of their content, cohesively tying everything together.
Taco Bell (@TacoBell):
Taco Bell has 1.33 million followers on Twitter, which means more people follow them than live in the state of Montana. This might not seem that impressive, but their followers are very active and Taco Bell takes every opportunity they can to engage with them. This engagement and interaction encourages their followers to actually start conversations with the brand, not the other way around. Scrolling through their feed, you see user generated content that most brands could never dream of.
@MeanGirlsQuotes God, Karen you’re so stupid.
— Taco Bell (@TacoBell) July 12, 2012
Moral of the story, if you are ever feeling lonely, just tweet Taco Bell a picture of you with a burrito and you are sure to make some friends.
Arby’s has had its funny moments on Twitter, like their tweet to Pharrell Williams during the Grammy’s. Not only did Pharrell respond, other brands like Pepsi and Hyundai praised Arby’s for their tweet.
— Arby’s (@Arbys) January 27, 2014
While they can be funny, I think Arby’s engagement is their key to Twitter success. Engaging with them can get you coupons. Which means more curly fries for everyone, therefore making the world a better place.
Delta Airlines (@Delta and @DeltaAssist):
Delta has its own hashtags, tweets at other users and can be funny.
Baby got back! We like big jets and we cannot lie, this 737 is ready to fly. pic.twitter.com/N9BaWWi3SR
— Delta (@Delta) July 30, 2013
But that hilarity is not their crowning jewel. Just because Delta doesn’t know that there are no giraffes in Ghana, doesn’t mean they don’t know customer service. Their @DeltaAssist Twitter channel gets it. Delta employs a team of 12 people for you to complain about delayed flights and lost luggage to all day to your heart’s content. Not only do they do a great job responding to customers, employees sign their tweets. This further personalizes and humanizes their online customer service that would usually seem robotic.
Clorox knows how to talk to its customers in real time and has a little sense of humor to add to the mix.
The Bleach Boys #BreakingBadBands
— Clorox (@Clorox) August 14, 2013
Clorox also does a good job at social listening and capitalizes on trending topics that wouldn’t normally coincide with the brand.
— Clorox (@Clorox) August 4, 2014
What is better than one brand being sassy and humorous on Twitter? Multiple brands bantering.
Like the time when a girl couldn’t make up her chocolate loving mind on whether she preferred Oreo or Kit Kat. Naturally, Kit Kat challenged Oreo to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe to win the girl’s affection.
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) March 13, 2013
Oreo wasn’t having it and responded with this tweet:
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) March 13, 2013
Another great example of friendly Twitter banter between brands is when Old Spice fired shots at Taco Bell over alleged false advertising.
@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?
— Taco Bell (@TacoBell) July 9, 2012
@TacoBell Depends. Do you consider volcanos, tanks and freedom to be spices?
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) July 9, 2012
This all very fun, but hilariously sassy tweets will not guarantee a brand the loyalty they are looking for. Brands need to listen to what is trending, provide some sort of value to their followers and a way for them to react to it in the appropriate ways.
The bottom line, know your audience and appeal to their interests as humans, not customers.