Have you heard of a Twitter party? Major CPG brands – including Campbell’s Soups and Duracell – have started to embrace this new Twitter marketing concept as a way to grow engagement and maximize their brand’s exposure on the platform.
What exactly is a Twitter party? According to the NYC-based influencer activation company Social Media Link, it is “an hour-long moderated chat on Twitter based on a specific theme, brand or product. Each party has a unique branded hashtag to unite the conversation and prizes are given away at random to party participants – helping to generate conversation, engagement and excitement around the brand.”
While many brands are still unaware of the relatively new marketing concept (popularity has been increasing over the past year), a recent Campbell’s Soup Twitter party, using #slowkettle, rivaled breaking news about the new Pope as a national trending topic on the social platform.
The Campbell’s Twitter party was scheduled for March 13th to promote the brand’s Slow Kettle® Style Soups, using #slowkettle to spark tweets from Campbell’s fans. Fans were eager to participate, with 1,000 people tweeting the hashtag and hoping to win one of numerous party prizes.
The party soon made an appearance in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter, and then remained in the top 5 trending topics for a full hour. That’s a fairly impressive statistic on its own; however, it turned out that the #slowkettle Twitter party took place at the same time as the announcement of the new Pope, accompanied by a slew of trending hashtags including #HabemusPapam, #whitesmoke and #newpope.
How was #slowkettle able to maintain its place in the top 5 trending topics despite this serious competition? The pope is, after all, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. The answer lies in Social Media Link’s 300K member influencer platform, Smiley360.com, with members across the U.S. — many of whom “are tech & mobile-savvy Midwest moms.” The effort generated 4,100 tweets, and at one point even reached the #3 trending hashtag in US Trends.
Twitter parties are set up by consulting with the brand to create a theme, prizes and party questions to guide the conversation. The questions were designed to “spark conversation” and create a “party-like” atmosphere, encouraging people to tweet with personal stories and experiences as well as feedback on the brand/product. According to Jordan Herrmann, Marketing Director at Social Media Link, “The high engagement and volume of tweets was driven by many of the party questions asked to attendees, as well as the brand loyalty to Campbell’s Soup.”
— BettyzInFlames (@BettyzInFlames) March 22, 2013
For example, participants in the #slowkettle Twitter party were asked a mix of open questions (favorite activity to warm up in the winter months?) and brand-specific questions (which ingredients were favorites in Campbell’s soups?). To further encourage engagement, prizes were given away at random to those who answered the questions.
These parties have “the potential to generate thousands of tweets with millions of impressions in a very short amount of time.” In this case, Social Media Link believes it was a combination of the enthusiasm of Campbell’s fans and “the power of the Smiley community of socially-active influencers” that led to success and the trending hashtag.
On average, Twitter parties run by Social Media Link’s influencer program generate:
- 4,740 tweets
- 440,000+ reach
- 4.5MM impressions
Other examples of this type of marketing include Duracell’s #WhatPowersYou Twitter party, which trended #1 nationwide and generated 3,800 Tweets during the party, and Pompeian’s #PompeianParty Twitter Party which generated 6,300 tweets and was the #6 trending hashtag in the US during the party.
Would a Twitter party – or social influencer platform – work for your brand? If yes, would the higher engagement be reason to shift money away from TV and display ad budgets into social media advertising?