Jose Palomino

Tools are not a strategy!

June 19, 2012

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3 Examples of Twitter Strategies That Work

If you missed my latest Quick Take about how a Japanese startup company is turning tweets into comic strips, you can read about the “Feel On!” app here. But it caught my attention because it’s just one of many recent Twitter apps that are either truly innovative, or maybe just truly superfluous.

Other Twitter innovations that have caught my eye recently include Tori’s Eye, The Longest Poem in the World, and (a little more useful, in my opinion) Twellow. Each one takes a little bit of explanation, so I’d recommend clicking the links and simply seeing them for yourself.

But here’s what I want to know: Do they work? Better stated, Is there a need/desire for these applications? It’s a little hard to say, and I honestly don’t think I can make sweeping verdicts on any of them. Although I don’t really see how “Feel On!” will fit into my business tweeting strategy, I can’t say that it won’t work for someone else’s.

What overwhelmed me while looking at this increasingly cluttered landscape of ideas, widgets, and wadgets was this thought: Tools are NOT a strategy. So, let’s look at a few noteworthy strategies that actually employ Twitter.

Company: Intel
Strategy: Consistency & Connection

Intel has been in the social-media-game for eight years, and it’s greatly matured its strategy. The brand has remained consciously consistent across all forms of social media,from blogs to podcasts to tweets. In fact, Intel is so serious about keeping things consistent that they have an entire department devoted to it, called “Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence,” as The Content Strategist reports.

With regards to interacting on social media, the company’s social media strategist, Ekaterina Walter, says it’s all about connection: “Social media is P2P (person-to-person) not B2B or B2C. It’s about connecting with people, not just working with them for six weeks then parting ways.” Walter points out that it’s not all about how many fans or followers you have, but rather, it’s about how you are engaging them.

Company: Pay With a Tweet
Strategy: Social Commerce

Basically, the idea is this: instead of paying for your product with money, the customer tweets about it. Your product/company gets marketed to all their followers, and more people come to your site and pay for your products with a tweet.

But I can’t explain it better than this video from their website:


I love the way they describe it, “the world’s first social currency.” And say what you will, but just take a look at these numbers: Innovative Thunder developed Pay With a Tweet in order to sell their book. They sold 13,000+ copies within 72 hours, and the book became, as the video explains, “the third most trending topic on Twitter worldwide,” and this was during the World Cup! Within six months, 10,000+ PWaT buttons have been created, and 400,000+ things have been paid for with a tweet.

Who uses PWaT? Besides grassroots businesses, Greenpeace and Microsoft have installed buttons on their pages. And it’s very user-friendly to set up a button on your page (think: instead of a “Pay With Paypal” button, you have a “Pay With a Tweet” button – very clean, coherent, and to-the-point).

Company: Tasti D-Lite
Strategy: Tweeting for (Actual) Currency

If Pay With a Tweet has come up with the world’s first social currency, then Tasti D-Lite has developed “the world’s first tweeting cash-register,” as reported by Inc Magazine.

Tasti D-Lite has been no stranger to word-of-mouth promotions, from celebrities and pedestrians alike, but CEO Jim Amos wanted to bring their Twitter presence to the next level. In order to gain cash points, a customer submits their Twitter username and password. When they make a purchase and swipe their card, Tasti D-Lite signs into their account and shoots a tweet for their followers. It might be a bit risky for most companies (and customers), but it’s working for Tasti D-Lite, and it’s probably going to become more and more ubiquitous.

So this means…
There are a variety of ways to utilize Twitter, and countless blog posts (including my own) about effective Twitter strategies, but each company must find their own unique way to reach their audience with meaningful (in context) communication. If that means turning a tweet into a comic, or simply replying in good form to a customer’s question, make sure your actions (and tool selection) support your strategy.

  • What other unique Twitter strategies do you see companies using?
  • What is your Twitter strategy?

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