Sure, the #moonfruit promotion, in which anyone who tweeted #moonfruit got entered to win a Mac a day for 10 days, got plenty of play. And according to Marketing Vox, they claim their sales spiked. That’s fantastic, and I’m sure because of that, a lot of people will disagree with me. But, how many of the people who tweeted #moonfruit even know what it is? Much less anything specific about why it’s good, better, different? How much more might their sales have gone up in the short term or the long term if their promotion or content was actually…gasp…RELEVANT? What would the reported ROI look like if something had been shared regarding what the brand stands for, or at least what the product IS and some interesting feature of it? Something that I, the would-be consumer, would actually care to hear about?
Same goes for this new @MarriottHawaii “Tweet Yourself To Hawaii” promotion. You can enter to win a trip to Hawaii, or, if you send in a video, you might win a Hawaii tweetup for you and 11 friends. Yeah, yeah, I know we’re talking about it, so in their mind, or their agency’s mind, it’s probably a raging success right now. And general response to it from the Twitter community seems to be mostly positive. But in my opinion as a strategist, it’s a big “SO WHAT?” What do we know or feel about this brand that we didn’t know a few days ago? Absolutely nothing. Just that it exists.
Is it enough that people talk about you if all they are saying is that you EXIST? Really? Is “we exist…pass it on” a strategy? Mmm…NO. OK, it IS, but most of the time, I say we can do more. Isn’t there an intersection between branding and social media communication in which you can tell a story about your brand and still promote it – move the needle – at the same time? I believe there is.
Now, I’ve only been on Twitter for about nine months. But in that amount of time (during which I have been spending waaaay too much time on Twitter, mind you) I have encountered so little strategically relevant content that I am frankly a bit stunned. It seems awfully hard to brands to figure out what to do with this tool. The most notable exception is the Ford Fiesta Movement. I’m not saying that every strategic execution needs to be that elaborate, either. Just tell me something, anything, about what the heck you want me to take away about you.
Tom Martin proved in his experiment “How One Man, an iPhone and Twitter Changed Consumer Perception of Mardi Gras.” that twitter can be used to effectively reposition a brand. So I asked him to weigh in on this discussion. Tom, am I just a brand strategy geek that doesn’t get this, or what? Do you think this type of “tweet-to-win” promotion is a strategic, effective use of this tool? (I will post a link to Tom’s post here when he responds.)
How about the rest of you? What do you think? Is “we exist…pass it on” enough? Or is it time for brands do better? If you have seen other strategic exceptions, please share them; I actually hope to be proven wrong on this one. Maybe I am just missing all the good stuff.