August 19, 2011 |
A reference to an Advertising Age article about the “top 10 promoted tweets” recently caught my eye and got me thinking about how financial services providers can more effectively use Twitter as a valuable tool in the social media toolbox. Twitter offers its Promoted Tweet service on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis, meaning that an organization pays when a follower replies to, clicks on, retweets (e.g.; sends the tweet to the user’s followers on Twitter) or favorites (e.g. lists a tweet as a “favorite”) a promoted tweet. Twitter has said publicly that the average portion of followers that engage on promoted tweets is 3% to 5%, but some tweets have much higher visibility (greater than 50%).
The top draw noted in the Advertising Age article, and using Twitter-generated data, was Volkswagen, which gained 52% engagement from its followers. This tweet was linked to a Super Bowl ad and provided a visual, “The 21st Century #VWBeetle was just revealed. Check out the revolutionary new take on the iconic design at [link].” Surely the combination of marketing arenas helped drive the engagement with this Twitter feed, but the visual was not provided in the Super Bowl advertisement, so the tweet generated additional interest and was well-targeted to a specific population. Google follows VW with 38% engagement on a tweet aimed at driving interest in a new technology solution; financial services providers could do the same to generate interest in a new solution or technology. “Search: now faster than the speed of type. Introducing Google Instant: [link].” I also thought the Pappa John’s tweet, “Happy Valentine’s Day!! Show some love for your Valentine with a #HeartShapedPizza. Order at [link},” which drew 34% engagement, was a great way to leverage a holiday into something fun and unique for potential customers. Financial service providers could do something similar – specials on prepaid cards for back to school, gift cards at the holidays, a uniquely targeted credit card reward for St. Patrick’s Day, etc….
Twitter’s site contains some good basics for any business thinking of using promotional tweets or “Promoted Trends,” which are tweets essentially linked to a top trends subject line that appears on users’ Twitter home page. Their example includes an American Express tweet that connected to a trend oriented toward small businesses. In addition, Twitter provides metrics to help businesses gage the success of their tweets. Three dashboards provide real-time data on factors like Twitter retweets, clicks, replies, and follows (accounts that are promoted by a company or individual and are suggested to users based on a user’s public follow profile). Twitter also offers a few case studies which highlight some good ideas. These include one about JetBlue, which found tweets great for sharing information to keep customers informed on flight issues and as a way to receive feedback to improve their service. Best Buy is also featured as using tweets to provide customer service access to Geek Squad. Techies tweet, so it’s a logical connection.
Overall, few banks and financial services firms are currently participating on Twitter, but that is changing. Financial service providers considering entry into the Twitter-sphere should:
- Develop a targeted base of followers; or if your organization already has followers, segment them for targeted approaches
- Create messages and/or value-propositions specifically designed for populations that use social media; this is an ideal environment for attracting Gen Y
- Use Twitter to engage customers – consider special offers or links to photos or video targeted for the intended follower audience
- Consider incorporating a popular hashtag (# sign followed by an identifier, such as #technology) to gain additional search positioning in the Twitter arena
- Watch tweets associated with your organization to help control the value of the message. As an example, one financial service provider I follow has lots of what I consider to be low value tweets. These are generated by employees who use their business address as part of their user name. It really doesn’t teach me anything to know that employee X is glad it’s a sunny day and employee Y can’t wait for the weekend!
- Respond regularly to comments to your Twitter feed. Make your customers feel engaged by being interactive.
- Think outside the traditional financial services box. New media requires new approaches!