Twitter Vs Facebook – Experiential Marketing 2.0
Even before Facebook rolled out ‘Like’ pages in April 2010 Mark Zuckerberg’s juggernaut dominated the brand marketing space across social media. Diageo is just one of many companies to have signed multi-million pound deals with the site in recent years, to bring unique brand experiences for its Smirnoff and Guinness products to Facebook’s young, media-savvy digital audience. Despite this, however, many have been slow to jump on the Twitter bandwagon – but that is starting to change.
Twitter’s new age-checking tool, currently being tested by several big brands including Coors Light, is just one example, which is spearheading the shift. With a single click confirming their age, Twitter users will soon be able to follow any alcohol brand they so choose. As a result more and more alcoholic brands such as Beam and Heineken are flocking to the site to create new marketing initiatives and experiences for their customers.
Facebook may offer brands huge potential to create an engaging immersive experience for consumers, through games, quizzes, surveys and special offers, but brands are witnessing that increasingly more conversations about them are taking place on Twitter than they are on Facebook. Facebook may have a larger user base but Twitter’s conversations are open and public. Twitter users are also more used to seeing messages from brands and companies on their feed, whereas the typical Facebook user isn’t and therefore doesn’t want to be disturbed or distracted by marketing materials when they are trying to talk to their friends.
These Twitter conversations are therefore incredibly powerful tools which brands can use to not only track their customers’ live reactions and responses to their activity; but gather valuable insight into their behaviours and habits on a much larger, visible and more accessible scale than Facebook. As a result, brands can not only respond to their customers in an instant and targeted manner, but adjust their messaging, output and positioning by packaging and producing content for them, which they know will create an immersive and engaging experience, capture their interest and translate into positive brand engagement.
In essence, it’s a new form of experiential. Your experiential campaign doesn’t have to be built around a live event; you can establish a great brand experience through how and what you communicate with your customers. Volkswagen, Ben and Jerry’s and Nestle are just some of the big name brands already capitalising on this space running everything from scavenger hunts to driving user-generated content to host on a specially created micro-site.
So, the first step to creating an immersive Twitter experience is – establish and grow an online community around your brand. The next step is to create a brand destination space through which to drive it. Clear, fast and constant communication, which is relevant and targeted, may help you to communicate with your customers but they won’t want to come and interact with you if you don’t add value and establish a destination portal to drive continual engagement. Twitter’s launch of brand pages, at the end of last year, has played a big part in making this possible. For the first time, it has provided a platform for brands to identify a wealth of opportunities to create new, exciting experiences on social media.
Traditionally, for social media campaigns to truly cut through people have always needed something in return. Otherwise where is the incentive for them to ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ you? But, now, in a world full of media fighting for people’s attention, a unique idea, thought or piece of creative is simply not enough. Consumers are more demanding than ever. Twitter may not provide all the answers, but what it does enable you to build a central focal point through which to drive a plethora of different creative ideas and then measure their effectiveness in real time. Key to this is rich content. Rich content is essential to creating a sustainable and valuable brand experience – and Twitter’s brand pages provide the perfect platform for showcasing and presenting this.
Pepsi, Twitter’s biggest brand partnership to date, is just one of the big name brands on board, who have created an enhanced profile with a clear focus on sharing entertaining content for followers. The page, which includes an entertainment hub, featuring free song downloads and live video streaming for concerts is just one example of the possibilities available to brands looking to interact with users through social media. Memorable live experiences are still a fundamental component to experiential marketing, but in the digital age, brands have to make sure they are engaging with the Connected Generation i.e. those under 34 – who make up nearly half of Twitter’s UK audience. Brands need to look at how they can drive campaigns solely through social media and how their activity on it, is crucial to lasting brand engagement.
Videos, photos and live conversations all help to cement your community but also establish a united experience amongst everyone in that space. Users can watch a live concert with people around the world together, tweet their comments and share their highlights with other followers, all whilst engaging in your brand. Content is instantly visible and available to them, and there is a clear focal point or brand destination to house all the content, which can spearhead people to bespoke landing pages to capitalise on leads, as well as providing a rounded overall customer experience and journey. These shared experiences should not be undervalued. Twitter is now no longer a tool to support and bolster the impact of an event experience, it can provide the launch pad for a whole new kind of experiential marketing, which not only creates the opportunity to magnify your brand digitally, but build strong relationships with your customers and sustain them through constant communication.
Dom Robertson, Managing Director RPM.