Why it really is better to give than to receive

The other week we won a CMA award for a Twitter thing we wrote (woohoo!). Here are Michelle and I accepting the little round statue (next to a very bored looking Russell Kane):

The thing was a choose your own adventure story where you’d click hashtags to follow one of many possible plots.

The Twitterverse went mad for it. It got ‘unprecedented’ levels of engagement according to Bruce Daisley, Twitter’s sales director in the UK, who named it as one of his favourite creative uses of Twitter.

And it all started from – boo, hiss – a promoted tweet.

In case you’re not on Twitter, a promoted tweet is a tweet that drops onto your page completely uninvited and (usually) tries to get you to buy something.

It doesn’t work. It can’t work.

Think of any good TV ad. Probably the John Lewis snowman springs to mind. Maybe these Old Spice ads. Or these ads for the iPod.

They all give us something in return for our attention: an emotion, a laugh, a song.

Our Twitter thing gave people a story. So by the time they got to the actual sales pitch they were feeling pretty good about the company behind all this.

So there’s the moral. Think not what your customer base can do for you, but what you can do for your customer base.

(And most of all, never, ever use the phrase ‘customer base’.)

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