A Twitter competition done right

I woke up this morning in bad mood. A really bad mood. One of those “look at me the wrong way and I’ll bite your head off” moods. So it was a very nice surprise to open up my twitter and find that I had won something.
“How and What?!” I hear you shouting eagerly. Well, a couple of days ago I noticed an influx of tweets on my feed with the hash tag: #2020tweets. Intrigued, I clicked the tag (as you do) and found that it’s for a campaign Orange are running from their @OrangeTheFeed account. The premise is simple, tweet something that you’d like to be tweeting in the year 2020, and Orange will choose a few of the best to win something as a “kick-start towards making their future-dreams come true”.

Never one to shy away from a trending hashtag, I went ahead and added my own ‘future dream’, and as you can see below Orange thought it was inspired enough to win a little something:

Now I know the idea of a twitter competition isn’t something new, but I think this stands as a firm example of it done right. It doesn’t have a long list of complicated rules, and they’re not asking people to spam their followers with endless links or try and get x amount of retweets. Quite simply, they’re asking people to talk about themselves, and a handy by-product of that chatter just so happens to be those same people talking about and promoting Orange.
When Orange contacted me to let me know I had won, not only did I retweet that to my followers, I also took it over to my facebook to share it with my friends and non-tweeters there, and here I am writing up a blog about them too. Word of mouth in action.
And don’t forget that a positive impression isn’t limited to a social media platform, it transcends into the real world too, and for me personally comes at a time when I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with my current provider and its uninventive top-up surprises.

Update (18/03/11)
I DM’d Orange (thats a direct message for you non-tweeters) yesterday and asked them if they wouldn’t mind giving me a few moments of their time and few words about the idea behind the competition.

Martin from Poke (the creative agency that run The Feed for Orange) said:
“Twitter is usually all about what you’re doing right now. But, we reckoned, what about using it to talk about what you want to be doing? We thought #2020Tweets would be a nice way to invite people to think about their aspirations for the not-so-far-off future, and to give them a bit of a nudge towards making it happen.”

And when I asked Emily (also at Poke) why they chose to go with a hashtag as opposed to a RT she answered:
“We always use hastags on our weekly posts. One of Orange’s main objectives is to create conversations, so hashtags are a nice natural way helping to start those.”

Clever people with a real and authentic approach to social media. Well done Orange, and well done Poke! I am now officially a convert, and will be bringing my custom to Orange as soon as I can find find a contract (and new smartphone) that suits me. That’s not a hint, honest 😉

Facebook: Sarah is in a relationship

Yesterday i changed my facebook profile to ‘in a relationship‘ and it reminded me of a Blog i read last week about the whole facebook relationship etiquette. It’s a sure sign that we’re in the age of dating 2.0 when we need to worry about it being too soon to change a status to ‘in a relationship’ or compete with the ex to be the first to update to ‘single’!

My friends have known about my relationship for a good few months already and they were well aware that it was going somewhere, but it still took setting it in facebook stone to make it official. That’s a little hard to accept even for a live-and-breathe social media girl like myself! Anyway, lesson learnt. Future note to self; must announce future engagement, marriage, pregnancy etc on facebook or it didn’t happen!

Image credit: Mashable

Foursquare – whats the big idea?

I’ve been reading alot about Foursquare recently and whilst its not something that has appealed to me on a personal basis yet (sadly i do not own an iphone, for shame) it is something that interests me in terms of business use.

“As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare “Specials,” which are discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue. Don’t forget to show extra love to your venue’s Mayor! Additionally, if you offer foursquare Specials to your customers, you will be able to track how your venue is performing over time thanks to our robust set of venue analytics — for free!”
Source: Foursquare Business.

Sounds great, but is it really that easy? Carry on reading and you’ll find one of those magical things called a list, explaining how a business can use Foursquare.

  1. Foursquare for Word of Mouth
    We should all be aware by now just how important positive word of mouth is. People don’t trust adverts anymore, they trust their friends and colleagues.
    When a user ‘checks in’ on Foursquare they’re telling their friends that they’re at your business, and if enabled will also update their Twitter and Facebook pages too. Thats a positive mention for your business at every check in! Encourage your customers to check in more often by offering incentives with ‘Specials’ and ‘To-Do lists’.
    Example: 10% off on 3rd check in, freebie for this weeks mayor, reward upon completing a ‘to-do’ task.
  2. Making Consumers feel valued
    When a user checks in to your location they can leave a ‘Tip’, something that can essentially be used to leave feedback or even a mini-review. ‘Superusers’ also have the ability to edit your company and location information. Don’t be afraid of these things, embrace them! Allowing the consumer to feel like they’re a part of your business is vitally important for increasing customer loyalty, and you can ensure the user knows that you’re taking notice of them by responding personally.
    Keep track of whats being said about your business using the free tools Foursquare provides, then take the time to write to the user via Twitter and thank them. If you do it right you might even start a real conversation, and that is what social media is all about!
    Example: @loyaluser Thanks for leaving the 4SQ tip about our tasty organic muffins! What flavour will you try next time? 🙂
  3. Using Foursquare to do good
    Everyone loves a brand that gives to charity, especially when done on behalf of the customer. Do like Pepsi did and donate an amount to charity everytime a user checks in. Not only will it encourage people to check in more often (increasing your WOM), you’ll also create a really positive company reputation for giving something back.
    And don’t think that this kind of ‘Special’ is only open to big brands … small businesses can make the most of this by choosing a local charity and setting the special for one day a week or during the weekends.
    Example: “we’re donating 50p to Great Ormond Street hospital for everyone that checks in at our shop this weekend!”
  4. Foursquare is not just for retail!
    Use Foursquare in any business to give customers a real and authentic insight into how you work, and encourage employee’s to use it too. Set up a general account for your business and use it to let people track where you are what what you’re doing. Giving a talk at an event? Check in on Foursquare (and connect to Twitter) and let people know. Invite them to come and talk to you. Openness and transparency is essential in creating a business that people trust.

These are just a few ways to use Foursquare for business, and as it continues to develop and grow, so too will the posibilities. Just bear in mind when creating your Foursquare strategy that it is a social networking tool, not a platform for advertising. Bombard user’s with too many offer’s and you risk them ignoring you all together. Something Starbucks should take into account.

Image credit: Foursquare