Twitter Strategy: Hosts #Twakeover Contest Twitter TwakeoverWhat happens your brand cedes control of its Twitter account to an outsider? According to, it’s a “Twakeover.”  In a bold new Twitter strategy, the nonprofit, which provides clean water for people in developing countries, will be handing over the ‘keys’ to its @Water account to one “ardent” Twitter contest winner for a full week in September.

As The Chronicle of Philanthropy writes in an article covering this campaign, “organizations can’t control their message.” is recognizing this – in a big way – and hoping that the winner will have “strong ties” to the organization and its cause, according to Mike McCamon,’s chief community officer.

The goals behind this innovative Twitter strategy:

  • to create buzz and support for the organization through the “Twakeover” Twitter contest
  • to give a big platform to a follower without celebrity name recognition
  • to allow followers to “have a voice on Twitter” and speak for the organization, and “allows the audience to self-select its ambassadors,” according to McCamon
  •  to lead to bigger conversations about the nature of open communication online Twitter Contest_Winner Will Tweet for @Water

How the “Twakeover” works:

  • the contest is open to any person/organization in the United States with a Twitter account, and runs through August 31 with the hashtag #twakeover
  • the winner will be chosen via a vote by the charity’s Twitter followers (on
  • the winner will tweet from the @water Twitter account (which has more than 433,000 followers) from September 5-11

However, in order to “protect the brand” and avoid having a “Weiner moment,” McCamon will check over the tweets before they are posted (for profanity, etc).  He remains confident that editing won’t be needed, “as long as the guest stays on the water topic.”  Mashable refers to this trust in the organization’s Twitter followers as “a show of digital bravery.”

This campaign is running while Levi’s Facebook page is also promoting (covered in a separate blog post), which will only help draw greater numbers into the contest.  Between the promotion with Levi’s Facebook marketing campaign and the nonprofit’s existing star power (actor Matt Damon is a co-founder), is definitely making waves via social media.

According to McCamon, “no one has done this before.”  Will’s bold (and somewhat risky) Twitter strategy build buzz and gain attention for the cause?  How will it affect their significant Twitter following?

And will one fan be able to sustain interesting and engaging content for a full week’s worth of tweets, without going too far off topic or damaging the brand? The premise is great, yet I couldn’t help but wonder, wouldn’t having the winner tweet for just a 24 hour period have been enough of an incentive?