Twitter has always been a marketer’s firm favourite since its inception back in 2006. It shook up social media marketing as we knew it, insisting all messages were condensed into a neat 140 character package.
Now we’ve got double that to play with, but running a successful Twitter feed is both an art and a science. So how do you do it? Here are four companies who are doing it right.
Combining quick customer service, updates to rail schedules and a large dose of sassy gifs, the Virgin Trains Twitter feed is a great example of a huge company doing it right (most of the time, at least).
It’s not-so-biggest-secret lies in the sheer number of staff they have manning the accounts, which means any customer service queries can be dealt with in a timely manner. They most famously helped out a passenger who had an unfortunate bathroom incident on board one of their trains.
However their huge staff numbers can lead to issues – earlier this year, they came under fire when one of their number, in response to a complaint of being called ‘honey’ by station staff asked, ‘Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer “pet” or “love” next time?’ Owch.
If you’re thinking ‘Puffin Books has got to be wholesome and lovely,’ then you’d be absolutely right. While the current Twitter trend appears to be self-aware irony and internet memes, Puffin Books keeps it real by sticking to the good, old-fashioned stuff (if last year’s internet trends can be called ‘old-fashioned’, that is.)
It’s ‘salesy’, naturally, but without being obvious. Through interaction, clever marketing at both teachers and parents, and plenty of competitions, the Puffin Books timeline is an absolute joy to read, even if you haven’t got kids!
Back in April of this year, the quaint-sounding Museum of English Rural Life in Reading had an equally quaint and modest Twitter presence, with around 10,000 followers. They posted mostly about museum-y things, exhibitions and events.
This all changed with one timely tweet about a very large ram. Jumping on a popular internet meme, The MERL posted a photo from their archives of a sizeable sheep with the caption ‘look at this absolute unit’.
The tweet went viral, their followers jumped to 16,000 in just one day, and from then on, followers were treated to deadpan jokes and memes about tractors, corn and, of course, plentiful photos of oversized livestock.
Now they have over 40,000 followers and a cult status amongst museum fans. What an absolute unit.
The Yorkshire Tea Twitter feed taps into the nation’s hearts by talking at length about tea, biscuits and cricket (amongst other things!).
With English (and Yorkshire, naturally) tradition at its core, it cleverly crafts content that is funny, entirely relatable and importantly, relevant. Right now they’re capitalising on the popularity of the Great British Bake Off, using the #GBBO hashtag on the evenings it’s being shown on TV.
They’re also great at producing their own original videos – a 5000 biscuit domino rally is a particular delight.
While most small businesses can’t come close to matching the marketing budget of these Twitter heroes, we can certainly take some pointers. And naturally they all boil down to the old marketing classic: Persuade, inform or entertain. How you do that is down to you!
Follow us on Twitter! We don’t post photos of huge farmyard animals, but we do have original content, interesting news stories and highlights of what we’re getting up to in and out of the office.