Social Media

Analysis: Do Twitter-only marketing campaigns work?


By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

January 12, 2011 | 3 min read

Twitter has rapidly become one of the most popular social media platforms around the world, but its users are notoriously wary of commercial use of tie platform. With that in mind, The Drum investigates whether it can be used as a single platform for marketing campaigns.

Some marketers are now approaching Twitter with sole campaigns in mind, such as Hilton Worldwide's current Any Weekend Anywhere competition, which rewards users promoting the prize to their own networks through the #HiltonWorldwide hashtag.

The huge viral potential of ReTweeted messages has not gone unnoticed to online marketers. But can Twitter campaigns succeed alone, or do they only function as a supportive device alongside traditional on and offline marketing techniques?

Digital marketing blogger Jeremy Dent said that for niche already-engaged areas, Twitter could stand alone, but organisations in more general markets would need to use other tools to back up a campaign. He said: “It is rare not to have at least a website alongside Twitter to provide landing pages. The area Twitter is most successful in is meeting customers on their territory, where they want to meet and engage.”

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Nicola Peate, social media manager at McCann Erikson in Manchester said that campaigns can be productive for organisations on a budget, but warned the day to day management of Twitter-only campaigns could stretch resources.

She commented: “Twitter allows you to reach audiences, join conversations and build a community, but it can be very time consuming.” Peate suggested that although Facebook boasts a considerably larger user base, marketers are using Twitter's open conversations to find the right people for their brands. She said: “Brands have to remember that its not unnatural for the average Twitter user to see product mentions and follows, but Facebook users are more used to talking to friends, not products.”

As Twitter's user numbers grow, so do expectations. Darcie Tanner, senior social media account manager at Big Mouth Media said: “For social media campaigns to be successful, people need something in return - previously a unique thought, idea or creation was enough, but now people want more”.

The conclusion? Sole Twitter marketing campaigns work - but they have to fit your brand, budget and time resources.

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