Twitter Experiment

The Twitter Test


Tweet Twins provides 99.99% high quality content when we blog and tweet about these. Recently one of the The Tweet Twins decided to create a case study to experiment what happens when you defy the Social Media rules. It is one thing to say to a client ‘don’t do this because…”from a theoretical viewpoint”. It is another thing to be able to quantify and provide allegoric evidence.

We came across a high quality e-course product produced by a team of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn experts. They were promoting a webinar that gave gems of Social Media strategy and an invitation to join their Social Media e-course. Their case studies are extremely well reputed and their business connections also of high calibre and the free webinar content was worth listening to. The course was on limited offer at a discounted rate. Although the course cost was similar our workshops, the learning opportunities were particularly good for any clients, prospects and followers. Amid a flurry of inferior online marketing information, this tested and measured strategy content stood out heads above the rest.

The Test:
The test was to identify the responses of  what happens when you tweet about paid product when your Twitter account is a ‘brand’!  Tweet Twins had never previously promoted product to their Twitter followership. We often identify excellent resources some we share and others may go into our treasure trove. We do see a lot of promo tweets of questionable quality  of which seems to be just noise.

The Action:
So the test to see what happens when you tweet about paid product when your Twitter account is a ‘brand’! Messages were scheduled to appear (via Social Oomph, formerly Tweetlater) in Twitter at well space intervals to ensure that it would be least likely to be considered spam, yet maximise the various global time zones. Shortening codes were used so that the hit rates could be measured. In order to comply with US FTC rules an earnings disclosure statement was required with the tweets (‘you buy, I earn). Not exactly our wish but that is how it goes with compliance! To keep the test pure, no other messages were sent between the product promo tweets.

The Results:
The responses were interesting.
1.      Two followers DM’ed regarding the posts. One queried whether the Twitter account had been hacked. The other was concerned  about the tainting of the Tweet Twins brand by the product promos.
2.      Response indicated ‘hype weariness’ despite the genuine, enthusiastic endorsement of the product
3.      The response rates were significantly lesser and slower in uptake than a charity promo we’d run some months prior
4.      16% of the hits looked at the free webinar offer twice
5.      3.5% of the hits registered to listen to the strategy gems in the FREE webinar
6.      No one bought the product
7.      The messages appeared hourly i.e. at a higher frequency than scheduled (human or system error?)

The learnings:
1.      Brands – be weary of how you make changes to the tone and content on your Twitter account. Followers may do notice!
2.      The findings endorsed the wisdom of all of us in Social Media circles – we preach quality Social Media practices.
3.      It is said in Social Media circles that sales messages should be at the most 1 in 5 to 10 tweets. Tolerance for sales messages is low. We are on Twitter for relationships. We are not on Twitter to be sold to and certainly not to feel spammed.
4.      The effects of seeing product promoted with such regularity could have been diminished by supplying quality information links on Social Media news, between sales tweets
5.      A following with engagement will results in prompt engagement about new account behaviours. It is not dissimilar to reactions you’d get in an offline networking environment. If you talk about your interests only, your relationship and communication  will be affected
6.      Selling products to a following requires the absolute mutual trust of the follower and brand owner
7.      A lead capture method could have been used with the promo. This could have been used to begin building a list of ‘buyers’ (i.e. qualified prospects rather than lookers aka suspects) and to maximise future mutual opportunities


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