5 Brands on Twitter Who Take Risks (And Why it Works)

Cringeworthy Tweets, chancy Twitter takeovers, questionable campaigns… the Twittersphere is full of brands exhibiting risky behavior.

There’s a fine line between risky Tweets that work and those that don’t. We dive into five examples that could’ve gone very wrong, but ended up bringing glory and success to the brands and influencers involved. What made these risky Tweets work and what can other brands learn from the outcome?

1. Smart Car USA talks back to customers

Smart Cars aren’t known for their size, so when Smart Car USA became the butt of yet another small car joke, the social team decided to respond in kind:

The brand took a joke made at the product’s expense and turned it around in good fun.

This worked because they proved that they’re not only paying attention, but also quick and clever. It was also a great chance for the car company to show just how strong its tridion safety cell is. Fans loved this brand burn, retweeting the message 587 times and liking it 448 times. It even landed the brand in several prominent publications for its clever marketing.

What can other brands learn from Smart Car USA?

Show your fans and followers that you’re listening and quick to the draw, but be sensitive should you decide to take aim at customers. This fun response gave us a glimpse of the brand’s cheekier side, but also gave the team a chance to defend their product’s durability.

2. MTV News hands over the reigns

Darcie Wilder is an employee of MTV News and a Twitter influencer with over 20,500 followers. She’s funny, sassy, honest, and unpredictable—and that’s why people love her.

When MTV News handed over the keys to their official Twitter handle—which has 4.54 million followers—they were taking a huge risk. Wilder was free to Tweet as herself, posting whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

As soon as Wilder took the helm, MTV News fans thought that account had been hacked.

But something else changed. Overnight, MTV News’ Twitter presence seemed younger, edgier, sassier, and more engaging.

Since Wilder’s takeover in April 2016, the brand’s taken on a quirkier, less corporate tone. The account has suddenly perked up, with new fans and more engagement.

What can other brands learn from MTV News?

This potentially risky move helped refresh MTV News’ tone and voice and got people re-engaged with the brand. Keep your channels fresh by swapping out who has publishing access. Don’t let your social team fall into a posting pattern with the same old Tweets. This just goes to show that a little personality can go a long way on social.

3. LA Kings partners with an unexpected influencer

Like gambling, there’s a high risk and high reward when brands partner with unexpected influencers.

5 Brands on Twitter Who Take Risks (And Why it Works) | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Lenny Letter.

Take Retta (@unfoRETTAble), for example. Also known as Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation, Retta is a comedian, actor, and mega influencer with more than 766,000 dedicated Twitter fans. She has the power to sway decisions and start trends. When the LA Kings’ social media manager publicly asked her to live-tweet an upcoming game, the brand took a gamble. At the time, Retta knew absolutely nothing about hockey.

“I decided to go, and took my friend Ted with me to the game, because I didn’t know s*&% about hockey,” Retta writes in a recent Lenny Letter. For the LA Kings, this could’ve turned into a disaster if she tweeted something controversial. But it paid off, and LA Kings fans and Retta followers alike loved the idea and engaged with her Tweets throughout that first game (and many more to come).

She got hooked on hockey, following the Kings through to their Stanley Cup win that season against the New York Rangers. The players even thought she might be a good omen. Years later, Retta is still known for her hilarious live-tweeting at LA Kings games.

What can other brands learn from the LA Kings?

If you want to reach new audiences, keep your followers guessing, and refresh your tone of voice, consider taking a risk on an unexpected influencer. Not all great marketing has to come from conventional sources. But make sure to vet your influencers and consider all potential risks before taking the chance.

4. Taco Bell does the exact opposite of what we’d expect

Denny’s, Old Spice, Charmin, Wendy’s, Taco Bell… some brands act more like your silly friends on Twitter than a corporation. These guys behave exactly how you would expect a brand not to behave. Since they first started out on Twitter, they’ve taken risks and pushed their audience to the limit with every Tweet.

Take Taco Bell, for example. Huffington Post once said that “whoever runs Taco Bell’s Twitter account deserves a raise.” They’re that good. Taco Bell’s social media team is so on-trend that you often have to Google references and hashtags just to keep up. They joke around with celebrities, discuss weird food cravings and pairings, and join in on brand burns.

What can other brands learn from Taco Bell?

Taco Bell has 1.72 million Twitter followers—and it’s not because of its tacos. People want to follow the brand because the team shares funny Tweets, takes risks, and is the opposite of most corporations on social. They constantly surprise people and that’s what matters.

5. J.C. Penney gets ‘hacked’ (or drunk)

J.C. Penney infamously stole the show during the 2014 Super Bowl with only three Tweets that garnered 46,951 retweets and 21,357 favorites.

Within seconds, thousands of fans, followers, and notable brands started wondering if J.C. Penny had been hacked or if their social media manager was drunk.

“We didn’t even think of the drunk thing!,” said Steve Babcock, executive creative director at EVB who led campaign for J.C. Penney. “I don’t drink and I’ve never sent a drunk tweet, so it was definitely an oversight on my part—call us naive.” After probably the most stressful hour of the social media team’s career thus far, J.C. Penney finally revealed that they had been tweeting with Team USA mittens on.

What can other brands learn from J.C. Penney?

While the campaign went sideways and garnered questionable press for the brand, they were quick to adapt and stuck behind their campaign. J.C. Penney, and its #tweetingwithmittens hashtag, ended up being one of a handful of brands to stand out during the biggest advertising moment of the year—and all without running an actual Super Bowl ad.

Twitter is a crowded place these days. Taking a risk (while still protecting your brand) is sometimes necessary to stand out. All of these Twitter moves could have gone seriously wrong for the brands and influencers involved, but there was always an element that made them work.

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The post 5 Brands on Twitter Who Take Risks (And Why it Works) appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management https://blog.hootsuite.com/5-brands-twitter-take-risks-works/


Author: Dewey D. Guinn

Internet marketing for small businesses is not a job for the faint hearted. It requires much effort as well as adapting to newer tips and tricks to keep everything on place. The constant need to be on the on the know is a must. Nevertheless the need to keep your tools sharp, ready and be able to adapt on the ever changing ways of the trade. Though hard as it may seem to be, the success that you acquire in the end is truly rewarding.

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