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Friday, June 4, 2010

Twitter Success Stores From MarketingProfs Digital Mixer 2009

MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer 09There's something about Twitter Success Stories that makes my practical soul dance a jig. Even more so when the success stories address real business needs, come moderated by the likes of Paul Chaney, Social Media Handyman, take place at a MarketingProfs event - this one the 2009 Digital Marketing Mixer - and offer a firsthand opportunity to learn from brilliant marketers!

Imagine hearing from Marla Erwin from Whole Foods, David Deal from RazorFish, Ramon DeLeon from Domino's and Allan Schoenberg from CME Group. Cool!

Marla Erwin, Interactive Art Director, Whole Foods Market

Follow her on Twitter @MarlaErwin.

Whole Foods has embraced Twitter. The @WholeFoods HQ Twitter account is primarily a retail account. As of 6/3/10, it has 1,764,325 followers and has published 8,720 tweets. Definitely visit the account and you'll observe how active it is - issuing 'fresh organic tweets from HQ in Austin, TX' - and how much interaction takes place between Whole Foods and its followers.

What I love is that Whole Foods Market has created a landing page for all of its Twitter accounts. Not only is there the HQ account, and accounts for major metropolitan areas, and individual Whole Foods stores, but you will also find topical resources such as....
As Marla explained, approximately half of Whole Foods stores are online [as of October 2009], but the list is growing fast. The Twitter accounts are promoted everywhere - via print and digital assets, including recipes which include links.

I found interesting that in addition to Twitter accounts that epitomize social, Whole Foods has chosen to automatically feed recipes on one account. Not too dissimilar from a news account automatically feeding headlines with links to articles.

Here are Marla's recommendations on what to do to be successful on Twitter:

DO offer value. It can be customer service value [e.g., incentives] as well as content [news, soft content, film reviews].
DO create community.
DO interact: answer questions [95% of @wholefoods interaction is in response to questions], ask questions, monitor mentions
DO stay tuned in [otherwise, you might experience a 'Google Bomb' such as #amazonfail].
DO banish PR and legal.
DO use Twitter features [for example: @ # RT, please]
DO experiment.

Marla considers the following sure-fire ways to fail with Twitter:

If you do nothing but self promote.
Don't use bots. Autoresponders are conversation killers.
Don't outsource! Your tweeting should come from the heart with understanding and knowledge [i.e., an authentic belief and understanding of your brand].

She encouraged the audience to think in terms of creating a hub around common issues and concerns. For example, Newell Rubbermaid has created:

+ With Graco Baby a hub around parenthood
+ With Rubbermaid Adventures in Organization, a hub around getting organized
+ With Sharpie Uncapped, a hub around creativity

David Deal, VP Marketing, RazorFish

Follow him on Twitter @davidjdeal.

David explained that Twitter supports the Razorfish brand and business. All employees are encouraged to participate in Twitter [the company provides guidelines]. After all, employees represent the brand and the company wants to practice what it preaches.

The @RazorFish Twitter account has 25,394 followers and has posted 2,276 updates. You'll notice that David and 3 associates primarily manage the account and it is rich in content, updates and ideas relating to creating engaging digital experiences.

As David explained, success for Razorfish on Twitter is a function of talking about what the company is passionate about: how to be a better marketer and breakthroughs in design because that relates to digital. He considers it critical to be personal and practical. Notice that the tweets are signed so readers know who they are interacting with [it also combats the feeling of being 'stalked'!]. Twitter also helps enhance events and make events more engaging.

Ramon DeLeon

Ramon DeLeon, Operating Partner, Domino's Pizza

Follow him on Twitter @Ramon_DeLeon. As of 6/4/10, Ramon has 5,227 followers and has published 10,852 tweets single-handedly all relating to Domino's, pizza and his customers. Pretty cool.

If you haven't heard of, read or met Ramon DeLeon, you are missing someone who truly 'gets' what communicating with customers is all about. Plus, he is salt of the earth and practical to boot!

Ramon's suggestions for success: he says that it's critical to give people something to talk about. You definitely need a plan. Make sure to interact in real life [note in the articles below examples of those interactions including with Foursquare participants!]. Search for events to be involved in. Be ready to share and everything is content worthy.

A few links you will find interesting that bring Ramon's approach to life:
+ Chicago's Ramon DeLeon live on CNN for Gravity Summit Social Media Conference
+ How Local Pizza Franchise Owner Ramon DeLeon Is Rocking It Using Social Media: SMSS10 Day 2
+ Tweeting Pizzas
+ Case Study: Ramon De Leon Turns Passion and Social Media into Success
+ Andy’s Answers: How Ramon De Leon of Domino’s engages in nonstop brand conversations

Allan Schoenberg, Director, Corporate Communications, CME Group

Follow him on Twitter @AllanSchoenberg. He has 5,388 followers and has issued [yikes!] 14,908 tweets as of 6/4/10. However, check out the CME Group Twitter account with 755,984 followers and 7,285 updates.

CME Group is not your typical social media company. Per the website, CME Group builds "on the heritage of CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX, [and]... serves the risk management needs of customers around the globe. We provide the widest range of benchmark futures and options products available on any exchange, covering all major asset classes, including interest rates, equities, FX, commodities, and alternative investments such as weather and real estate. CME Group's vision is one of ongoing global growth, innovative product development, continually enhanced technology and the highest level of service available on any exchange."

In other words, CME Group operates in the highly regulated financial industry and yet has found a way to engage via social media.

As Allan explained, Twitter is a beacon, increasing awareness and drawing interested parties to private groups on LinkedIn [more specifically, Equity Index Products, Careers in the Futures Industry, Journalist and bloggers, Interest Rates, and CME Group Forex Products] or its Facebook fan page.

What's critical is demonstrating brand enthusiasm, loyalty and advocacy. Simply read through CMEGroup's tweets and you'll get a feel for it!

Allan says that Stock twits and bookmarking are a big deal. You'll notice on the left sidebar of CMEGroup's Twitter page icons for Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious - all bookmarking resources.

His words of advice: know your limits and focus on your audience.

Twitter is not a silver bullet, but it is effective when integrated with your overall strategy!

Paul, thanks for putting together such a dynamic panel with such relevant Twitter Success Stories to Share!

Do you have Twitter Success Stories to share? I'd love to hear about them.

Added 6/5/10: Reach Customers in 140 Characters, All of Them Free

Photo Credits:
Both from Britopian: MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer, 2009 and Ramon De Leon w/Dominos - MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer, 2009


  1. Great post with some super guidelines to help us all as we try to use and understand this powerful new media! Thanks for the list of DO's and Don'ts!

  2. Bill, I really appreciate your feedback. I wish you could have sat in on the session; it was chock full of practical advice.



Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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