Social media has not only revolutionized the way the average American communicates with one another, but also how the PR industry communicates with its publics. An increasing number of organizations are turning to Twitter to launch PR campaigns. By using Twitter, an organization can strengthen its connection with its publics, follow industry trends, generate traffic and interest and increase satisfaction among its publics. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, and Twitter is a platform prime to host a successful communications campaign.
Here are three tips to help an organization accomplish a successful Twitter campaign:
1. Embrace the Hash Tag
One of Twitter’s most notable features is the hashtag. Hashtags are a way to create “groupings” on Twitter and allows a user to easily search for specific topics. Some of the best Twitter campaigns have a unique hashtag specifically created for that campaign. American Airlines ran a Twitter campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its AAdvantage loyalty program and created a contest that required users to follow the @AAdvantage Twitter account and tweet using the hashtag #Deal30 for a chance to win 30,000 AAdvantage miles. Having a unique hashtag for the campaign gave American Airlines the ability to track entries and campaign success with ease. Over 27,000 people entered the contest and the @AAdvantage account experienced a 70% increase in followers within a week of beginning the campaign.
2. Embrace the “Live Tweet”
One of the advantages of Twitter is that it keeps your followers in the loop in real time. Twitter allows any user to provide up to date coverage of any event or groundbreaking news in real time. Fashion insiders are now increasingly providing Fashion Week coverage via Twitter. With tickets for fashion week being nearly impossible to get a hold of, Twitter users are able to gain front-row access to the season’s latest fashions at anytime throughout Fashion Week. Instead of waiting hours or even days for media outlets to post photos and reviews of fashion shows, fashionistas everywhere can access this information instantaneously through the many journalists, fashion brands, bloggers and buyers who post coverage to these shows on Twitter.
3. Embrace the Power of Two-Way Communication
One of the biggest ways that social media has revolutionized communication is that organizations can receive and reply to feedback much easier. Instead of waiting for snail mail or filtering through countless phone calls to receive feedback from publics, organizations can monitor feedback swiftly when people tweet at them directly or by searching for specific hashtags that relate to the organization. UPS created a special customer service Twitter account, @UPSHelp, wich is dedicated to handle customer’s questions about delivery dates, tracking numbers, lost packages and more. UPS even created a special email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, that consumers can use when asking questions that require sending out personal information they would not want to post on Twitter.
However, for every successful Twitter campaign, it seems that a Twitter disaster is not far behind. When strategizing a Twitter plan, it is always best to have a “plan B.” Carefully monitor any Twitter campaigns and take quick action if the campaign begins to go in a negative direction. Even though McDonald’s #McDStories campaign was considered a huge failure after many angry customers tweeted about negative McDonalds experiences with the hashtag, McDonalds pulled the hashtag after being up only two hours and minimized the effects of the failed campaign.
Twitter is becoming a key platform in launching successful PR campaigns. More organizations need to consider launching carefully strategized Twitter campaigns in order to communicate with their publics more effectively.