2013: The #YearoftheTweet

March 11th, 2013 by Emily Kerner

Tweet-of-the-yearAlthough some consider Twitter the redheaded stepchild to the social media behemoth that is Facebook, brands are beginning to recognize and harness the “real time value” of Tweeting. No one can deny that Twitter is growing in both users and usage. The number of tweets per day has increased from 95 million in 2010 to a staggering 340 million per day in 2012, that’s 236,111 tweets per minute! Brands have started advertising on the fly, attempting to engage and interact with their audiences via #Twitter.

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but a tweet is worth 140 characters, and brands are capitalizing on spontaneous televised hiccups (such as Blackout Bowl of 2013) and classic entertainment award shows (like the Oscars). This type of instantaneous and off the cuff marketing is a new and exciting frontier in the advertising world. Many brands, such as Oreo and Tide, dedicate entire teams to audience interaction via social media and specifically Twitter. The relevance and quick wit both brands displayed during the 2013 Super Bowl black out generated thousands of retweets and responses in an organic and viral way.

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Seeing how far brand advertisements have progressed in the Twittersphere, it’s easy to forget that the first hashtagged Super Bowl spot appeared on television only three years ago. The 2013 Super Bowl saw over half of the ads display a hashtag call to action. Yet, Twitter isn’t only for the young and hip brands. Older skewed organizations, such as AARP, are also taking advantage of the social site. AARP used the State of the Union address and appropriate hashtags to lobby for retirement protection. At one point, President Obama singled out a 102-year-old retiree in the audience, Desiline Victor, and AARP immediately began Twitter promotions on Desiline’s name.

Local brands fear not! While we all saw how JCPenney had a strong Twitter presence during the Oscars,  Twitter’s real time advertising isn’t just for the big boy advertisers. Local businesses customized their hashtags in order to stay relevant within their geographic market. For example, Baton Rouge tweeters used #225Oscars during the awards ceremony, and the Baton Rouge magazine, 225, used the opportunity to promote an interview with an Oscar nominee found on the magazine’s web site.

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As a brand looking to capitalize on your tweeting demographics, it’s important to keep in mind a few key points about the platform. It’s important to tweet about relevant events or topics, and timeliness is of the upmost importance. Witty observations or comical tweets may generate the most audience interaction, and including a link to your site will generate web visits. Marketers are still analyzing whether these viral tweets deliver revenue, but the brand awareness of a well-crafted hashtag may just be priceless.