Any brand can tell a story on Twitter. But to truly stand out in an over-saturated media environment, brands need to empower their audience to become part of the telling.
When customers help a brand to tell a story, it makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves—which builds loyalty, word of mouth and positive relationships.
Some companies have taken this form of collaboration to inspiring levels on Twitter. Here are few examples to get your own creative juices flowing.
During the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Visa, a long-time sponsor, launched two significant Twitter campaigns: the Twitter Mirror and live Q&A sessions with the casts of selected films.
According to Visa, the Twitter Mirror had already become a fan favorite before TIFF began. Cardholders who had access to the Visa Infinite Lounge were invited to pose in front of a branded wall for red-carpet-style photos. The company would post them to their campaign’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #InfiniteTIFF, giving their clients a bit of their own celebrity treatment.
For online audiences, Visa hosted Q&A sessions with actors in the Visa Screening Room. Twitter users were invited to submit questions using the hashtag #InfiniteTIFF, with selected tweets being passed on for the actors to answer. Their responses were shared on social media in real time, giving online audiences an incentive to “tune in” while the event was underway.
The luxury auto brand used Twitter to identify a small group of key influencers at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). They connected via the social media platform, discussing the conference and using popular event hashtags to build a following online. Then BMW used the influencers’ tweets to determine their location—and surprised them by showing up with the new hybrid BMW i8 and inviting them to take a test drive. Overall, the campaign reached nearly 33 million people, and also received enthusiastic coverage in Business Insider.
L’Oréal’s Golden Globes campaign helped consumers recreate red carpet looks in real time. As celebrities arrived in the latest styles, the cosmetics company used a 360-degree camera to shoot how-to videos to help audiences recreate the looks on their own. The videos were turned into GIFs, which were then posted to L’Oréal’s social media profiles. Promoted tweets and Facebook ads helped to drive social media users to the content, which also included a link to an e-commerce site. Style influencers like Melisa Michelle and Sam Cannon tweeted during the red carpet and the awards show, helping to create a sense of community around the event.
Ben and Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s travels from coast to coast, giving out free samples of ice cream while raising awareness of climate change. In partnership with Avaaz, an online activist network, Ben and Jerry’s is encouraging people to get involved in their mission to move the world over to clean energy by the year 2050. The free samples are delivered in a converted Tesla, which runs entirely on electric power, while their scoop truck operates on B100 biodeisel. The ice cream company tells their Twitter followers which city they’re going to be in, then calls on them to tweet locations where they can give out scoops and spread the word about their “Save Our Swirled” campaign.
The popular camera and software company encourages their community to generate content by giving out prizes for the best photos and videos. Users are invited to enter online via Twitter or the GoPro website: winners of the Photo and Video of the Day contests get 50% off two items from their catalogue, while the winner of the Creator’s Challenge receives a cash prize.
Photos and Videos of the Day are posted to GoPro’s Twitter feed, showcasing the winners’ work to the world. Meanwhile, the hashtag #GoProChat gives users a chance to talk about their equipment and share their images with other enthusiasts.
Connecting with the community
By engaging with audiences on Twitter, these companies are giving people access to sought-after information, products and experiences, while also creating opportunities for them to connect with the brand and feel like part of a community. The experiences that they share help to forge ties that will—when properly maintained—generate loyalty from customers, clients and consumers.