Trend 3: Branded virtual parties
The idea of having a party without even having to pick out an outfit sounds great. And to more than 200,000 mommies, getting rewarded for being social while going to parties sounds even better.
The brand: Love it
Three hundred or more customers and prospects constantly tweeting about your brand, trending higher than a movie release on Twitter, paying someone to administrate the party, and attending in your pajamas -- sounds like a marketer's dream. The cost is minimal, and the benefit is great. The modern Tupperware party is underway, but the attendees feel less pressure to buy; they just chat.
It goes like this: An administrator (perhaps, a blogger) or even the brand notifies its customers or prospects of the upcoming Twitter party, or other social party. (There are other ways to do this off of Twitter, but it seems to have caught on there first.) Promises of female bonding, prizes, and great tips and tricks that will make the party-goers lives easier are made, and customers are told that it will only take an hour of their lives. Attendees RSVP and comment up to the big event. When it's time for the big event, the administrator kicks off a question related to the topic at hand. Attendees fire away at everything from random conversations, useful bits of information, and even begin to make friends. The hash tag is usually the brand name, so when you take all of those attendees, and their followers, you have a pretty powerful word-of-mouth campaign, all for a few thousand bucks.
Sounds like a pretty strong ROI to me, and it's good for the environment.
The agency: Leave it
This does sound like a marketer's dream. The problem: What happens when it's time to wake up and execute?
When people tweet to win stuff, it's transparent. Impressions might be made, but the folks on the other side are rolling their eyes.
And do impressions equal eyeballs on Twitter? I'd call it a good day if I saw one in every 10,000 tweets my followers blast out in a day -- and I tweet a lot.
Having a burst of social activity on Twitter sounds great and is obviously cost effective, but I don't think it's going to move the dial too far. If the name of the game is scale, Twitter parties sound more like play dates to me.