Twitter is many a PR pro‘s best friend, in part for its lightning speed in breaking news and its way of facilitating quick, off-the-cuff conversations with journalists and other influencers. But the longstanding social media platform — Twitter will celebrate its 10th birthday in March! — is also a great way to drive PR buzz for companies and brands.
Here are some of our favorite Twitter campaigns that figured out how to drive great earned media and social sharing.
Ben and Jerry’s Fair Tweets campaign. This campaign wins for its cleverness. By now everyone knows 140 characters is the Twitter limit, so the ice cream makers came up with the premise that “every day, millions of Twitter characters go unused” and created a way for people to “donate” their remaining characters to Ben and Jerry’s, who would use them to tweet messages about fair trade. All in time for October, which was Fair Trade Month. What also works about this campaign: it’s an extension of Ben & Jerry’s longstanding commitment to social causes, while the cleverness saves it from being sanctimonious.
LG’s #bestshotever photo contest. The electronics giant found a natural way to promote its newest smartphone by hosting a photo contest on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag, #bestshotever. We were surprised more smartphone makers hadn’t already used this strategy to engage consumers. As brands know, the more visually stimulating their social campaigns are, the better.
The White House’s #getcovered campaign. This one’s a bit older, but worth mentioning. The White House allowed users to tweet their personal stories about what getting health insurance meant to them following the start of Obamacare. It used the hashtag #getcovered, and added a visual element via a Storify slideshow. The campaign continues in full swing today, with the administration using it to announce important dates, like open enrollment starting next week.
Domino’s in the UK. Across the pond, Domino’s ran a clever Twitter campaign that challenged its customers to include the hashtag #letsdolunch to reduce the price of a pizza. For every tweet, the company dropped the price of its most popular pie by £0.01. In the end, the price went from £15.99 to £7.74 and generated a bit of buzz in the process. Domino’s scored by targeting a specific time slot to run its campaign, and by allowing consumers to do the promoting for them by providing the incentive.
PayPal’s anti-holiday campaign. Also from the archives, PayPal capitalized on the well-known fact that Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s favorite by sharing a fan’s tweet: “Who needs a boyfriend when you have a PayPal account?” The tweet prompted such widespread response that PayPal used the hashtag #treatyourself to continue driving the conversation, and even surprised some users with gifts that answered their tweets. The takeaway here: find non-obvious, creative ways to use holidays.