Funny & Creative ways to Utilize Twitter for Your Business

Funny & Creative ways to Utilize Twitter for Your Business

So I’ve been following a couple of creative people on Twitter who are using it first for entertainment, second for business. With that said, I think they are on to something. Instead of pushing out boring content that consumers, by-and-large expect and ignore from businesses (i.e. special discounts, coupons, or other material incentive deals), some companies have created online characters for their brands. It could be risky, but it could also be great fun!

Consider one of the first companies that did this, Best Buy. Before Twitter was nearly as popular as it is now, they created an account that would serve the sole purpose of helping other people out through twitter with their technology problems. The account is named @TwelpForce, and you can still find them on Twitter working away. Guess how many followers? 26,048.

Some other companies have taken this idea even further, and they are really the types of accounts that I suggest you check out. Here is a short list:

  • @Askjeevesdotcom – Jeeves from Ask.Com
  • @NatHistoryWhale – Whale at the Natural History Museum
  • @DMThinker – The Thinking Rabbit in the Des Moines Pappajohn Sculpture Park
  • @DMNomade – The Man Sculpture next to the Thinking Rabbit in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park (they frequently talk back-and-forth)
  • @PaulLessing – The Founder of Lessing-Flynn in Des Moines (actually, it was Josh Fleming who got me thinking on this topic, @admavericks)

It just seems that for some specific types of businesses- this may be a winning idea. Perhaps not having a brand character is the way you want to go- what about adapting whatever your product does for twitter? For instance, there is @8ball_, a bot that will reply to you when you tweet it with a yes/no or random answer- much like the original Magic 8 Ball. This bot was not designed by the company who now makes Magic 8 Balls (I think Mattel), talk about a lost opportunity- this dummy account has managed to pickup a following of 3,227 people! What if Ohio Art (the makers of the classic Etch-a-Sketch game) created a twitter account that made ascii art with the 140 characters? I think that would get some attention…

Look at what some creative fans of the Fox TV Series “Bones” have done with the lead character- @DrTBrennan. Again, another missed opportunity to engage with consumers in an innovative way. I say all of this, yet I haven’t quite figured out if this other Fox character is an excited fan or someone working at Fox (I suppose that may be the point) @HomerSimpson – leaning toward fan what do you think?

Anyway, hopefully this gets your creative juices going- please post your ideas. Also, post any fun characters you have come across while playing on twitter! While not totally appropriate for this particular blog posting, I do find @DrunkHulk to be pretty funny. I’m not sure it would go well if some company like Smirnoff decided to create a @SallySmirnoff account or something, not that it hasn’t been done by others: @Captn_Morgan.  If you do decide to create a brand character- make sure it has a real personality, don’t try to force it like @MichelinManUSA.

Rob Williams is a Business Analyst for the University of Northern Iowa

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