LONDON: Brands using Twitter to engage with consumers spend too much time thinking about ways to harness the unpredictable when they should really be focusing on the everyday, a leading executive has said.
Oli Newton, brand and agency advocate at the social network, told the Social Brands summit in London, reported by Marketing, that there were essentially four areas that brands could exploit, which he described as "everyday, unpredictable, live and campaign".
The "everyday" part of this set is what he said brands "should be focusing on the most". He cited as an example how Irish airline Aer Lingus had used the weather as a way of talking to its consumers by tweeting a picture from the control tower during delays to show just how bad the fog was.
By doing so, said Newton, the airline was "giving a different message to 'our flights are delayed'."
"Ultimately, it was the same message," he added, "but it was bracing [consumers] for when it comes."
He suggested that brands had a tendency to over-focus on the "unpredictable" part of this set but praised Nando's for getting it right when a young £30,000-a-week footballer took a first date for an £18 dinner there. The restaurant tweeted that the second date was on them and sent the couple vouchers.
Newton stayed with football to illustrate the final two aspects of his thesis. "'Live' is things you know are going to be happening and know you want to be supporting," he said.
He explained there had been 1.9m tweets about the recent football transfer deadline day in the UK and that brands had been ready with images when the most anticipated transfers had been announced.
Further, he said that 66% of Twitter users watched live events and 77% of those actively tweeting used event hashtags.
Turning to the campaign element, he offered a particularly relevant example, given the furore surrounding brands' involvement in the Winter Olympics and Russia's anti-gay legislation.
A couple of footballers had admitted they were gay only after they stopped playing. Bookmaker Paddy Power ran a campaign in print and out-of-home under the slogan "We don't care which team you play for" as well as getting influential Twitter users to tweet about it and start a conversation.
Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff