Innovative Marketing for Any Occupation: A Twitter Party!
Many occupations easily lend themselves to promotion and interaction via social media. As an educator, I’ve met a number high school teachers and administrators through social media channels and these connections helped me grow as a professional. Social media was also the impetus for my adoption of a vegan lifestyle as well as the creation of my digital cookbook and now serves as a simple yet powerful promotional tool. In both roles, the use of social media to expand my network was a simple, logical and obvious choice.
What if this isn’t the case for your industry?
A dentist recently approached me about his initial foray into website design and social media management. He was frustrated because the “experts” in his industry just told him to throw money at the problem by hiring a high end design firm and a social media manager. While this man earns a good living as a cosmetic surgeon, he’s not a celebrity, and who chooses their dentist based on his tweets?! This got me thinking about how professionals in industries less obviously suited to social media are leveraging various platforms.
At about the same time, I noticed the Twitter account for a lawyer who’s trying to leverage social media to make the public more aware of his practice. I’m probably as much a fan of lawyers as I am of dentists – I’m sure they’re nice people but their professions are such that I hope I need them rarely if ever. However, this guy got my attention when he started promoting a Twitter party to celebrate the opening of his new office in Pahrump, Nevada.
You read that right, Pahrump, Nevada, a town west of Las Vegas where, according to Wikipedia, the diner scene in Rain Man where Dustin Hoffman first counts cards was filmed. (See, that Twitter party raised brand awareness even before it started by prompting internet searches like mine.)
Anyone who knows me, reads this blog, or listens to the podcast knows how much I love Twitter. I’m pretty up on what’s happening on that platform, but Twitter parties are fairly new to me. Another podcaster recently hosted one for her 100th episode, and I noticed the tweets going by with the #100sheep hashtag, but I thought it was just another hashtag driven conversation. I didn’t think this type of “party” could be used as a marketing tool.
Yes, Glen Lerner’s the lawyer who made the decision to ramp up his social media presence. Since the end of June he’s added 250 followers on Twitter and in just this past month, his Klout score jumped from 48 to 54. Numbers can be misleading and even addicting – remember Faye Dunaway in Network hoping for a 30 share and a 20 rating? – but these stats prove just about every profession can benefit from a social media presence with minimal effort if they have a plan.
Lerner’s Twitter party was a great event that, based on my visit to his Facebook, LinkedIn, and G+ accounts, was seamlessly integrated into his long term social media plan. Using the hashtag #GetGlen, this event took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Friday in August. We all know just how much work gets done in an office at that time of day during that time of year, right? The perfect time to entice cube dwellers to check out his Twitter party! Lerner offered “party goers” the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (awarded to the “Top Tweeter”) and 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards (awarded to random participants). All you had to do was ask or answer a question or just comment on one of the party tweets.
I know what you’re thinking: How did I miss a easy opportunity to win a gift card? And how can a Twitter party work for my business?
Simple! Lerner’s new office wasn’t in the big city, his profession isn’t glamorous (even though those guys on Suits make it look glamorous), and he didn’t throw a lot of money at a marketing campaign. Instead, he spread the word about his small town law office with Twitter (a free platform), and spent all of $75 out of his PR budget for prizes at a virtual event that ran in tandem with the grand opening of the office in the real world. He was celebrating anyway, so why not take the party online? With his smart phone in hand, he was able to shake hands with well wishers in Pahrump while chatting with attendees online!
Here’s a quick rundown of how a Twitter party can benefit just about any type of business:
- Increase brand awareness with relatively little time, effort, and expense.
- Project a fun corporate image – who doesn’t want to party on a Friday afternoon especially if they’re stuck in the office?
- Gather feedback about your product or service in a casual, less formal manner that you can refer to later via your hashtag..
- Gain followers on social media, traffic to your website, and add points to that Klout score!
And just like in the real world, there are Twitter party planners out there to help you. Seriously, there are, but trust me, if Glen Lerner the lawyer can do this, so can you!