Why Your Marketing Campaign Will Never Go Viral: Twitter Webinar

GBA WEBINAR WITH TWITTER

“Make it go viral” is the least helpful directive a manager could give a team. Virality can’t be forced into being. But there are some savvy fundamentals behind viral campaigns that can be stolen and adapted to the project currently on your desk.

In this talk, Joe Wadlington, Global Creative Lead at Twitter breaks down successful viral campaigns from the Internet Hall of Fame as well as some fresher examples you can use as inspiration for your strategy. Hear him outline immediate, actionable strategies to improve your brand’s Twitter presence and stand out on the platform.


FEATURED PANELIST

JOE WADLINGTON is the Global Creative Lead at Twitter. Joe leads a brand spanning 8 languages and touching every hemisphere. A published writer, Joe commands a compelling global brand voice and optimizes Twitter Business’s premium content, developing everything from podcasts to video shoots.


EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Andrew Whipp:

All right. Happy Wednesday, everybody. Thank you guys so much for joining us. We know that your time is super valuable, especially with the current state of things. So we appreciate everybody choosing to spend that time with us, and above all else, we hope everyone’s staying safe right now. My name is Andrew Whipp and I’m the lead creative and editor at Green Buzz Agency. And today, I’m also joined by my friend and my colleague, Tod Plotkin, who is the CEO and founder of Green Buzz Agency. How are you doing, Tod?

Tod Plotkin:

I am doing well, I’m doing well. We have a nice breeze today. The humidity is finally gone here in the DC area. So I’m just going to, after this is all over, go outside and eat some lunch and take in the cool weather.

Andrew Whipp:

There you go, there you go. I might do the same. That sounds like a good idea. Today’s the sixth webinar that we’ll be doing in this Green Buzz Agency webinar series. So today, we’re going to be covering why your marketing campaign will never go viral. So if you’re looking to break out of the box or bring some new ideas back to your teams, then you guys are all in the right place. And with that, I want to get to introduce our speaker today, Joe Wadlington. Joe, thanks for joining us.

Joe Wadlington:

It’s absolutely my pleasure. And thank you all for being patient. I’m sure no one on the call has ever had a technical difficulty. But there are these things that sometimes happen to other people. So thank you for your patience. And I’m so excited to talk about this today because this is a big passion point for me. I apologize for the negative title. It’s not that I don’t believe in each and every one of you. But when I was originally developing this topic for social media week this spring, we did research and it turns out that titles and negative people got more people in the seats and that ended up to be true. It’s very well attended. And I’ve updated this presentation with a special video research that we’ve just rolled out. So people are getting to see some stuff for the first time.

Andrew Whipp:

Oh, that’s awesome.

Joe Wadlington:

I know and this is all public. So you can take your screenshots, you can go to your boss and say, “Joe Wadlington from Twitter said this is true and that will be fine. Our legal department is down. I have the email trail to prove it.” So why your marketing campaign will never go viral. So picture it, it is 2013, the Super Bowl is happening, Beyonce is the halftime show, one team is playing another team, and all of a sudden the lights go out and it looks like this. This is actually a picture of the field at that time. And so this is a moment that a lot of people remember. And then in that time, Oreo tweeted this. And I know you’ve all seen this before, so no one hang up, no one hang up.

Joe Wadlington:

But this is a really exciting moment for marketers in the digital space because this tweet shows a time when people really started to understand why they would market or pay for ads during a specific time. At this moment, it was $3.5 million for a 32nd Super Bowl ad. And if we look at the headlines from the next day, Oreo tweeting this organic tweet, no budget behind it. This is where all of the marketing places were saying, Wall Street Journal’s like guys in NPR. Everybody was talking about Oreo. And there was this idea that they had won the Super Bowl with just one tweet. So while other companies were spending $3.5 million for their ads that they’ve been working on for I’m sure months, maybe their whole lifetimes, then Oreo seemingly just jumps ahead of everyone with this no budget tweet.

Joe Wadlington:

So I studied this, I had to be in meetings about this. I’m sure many of the audience members did. And that has been my entire career. So my degree is in creative writing and I spent my entire career working with social media teams, digital marketing teams. And every time anything happened on the internet that was slightly interesting to marketers, I had to analyze it front to back. So I jumped all the way into this one. And let’s see the next some misconceptions with their one tweet. I dug into Oreo. They were actually one of Twitter’s first premium advertisers. They were spending quite a debt on the platform at that time. And they had been developing content for a long time. This is a partnership they did, and we all know how complicated partnerships are to keep going.

Joe Wadlington:

So this is Oreo and they tweeted, “Can we play with this?” Kind of confusing, like redesigned. It’s like Oreo Xbox controller. And then Xbox responded, they replied with this tweet with their Xbox controller perilously falling into milk and appear. But they were clearly trying to get into the gaming conversation and the idea of Oreo being a snack that you would eat while you’re gaming, as opposed to just the desserts. They’re trying to move into a new area. That was really interesting. And this is the same year as the Super Bowl tweet.

Joe Wadlington:

And then next slide, I have stuff from the year before. They did 100 years of Oreo and they did 100 days of Oreo content. So each day, they would create a brand new one. And you can see in the bottom quarter of the red one they were clearly developing this manhole cover version of their logo. So they were doing one of these every single day. I really liked the Mars rover one with the red cream, you can tell they took the edges of the cookie and rolled it through. So they’re being super creative, they’re being agile. They’re putting themselves in a place where they have to… These are definitely quality as well, but we all know when we’re creating content, when you switch into really becoming like on the content farm and you’re pumping it out. And whenever you do that, you always end up, of course, learning a ton and being able to move super quickly.

Joe Wadlington:

And these were done the year before the Super Bowl tweets. So this idea that Oreo… just happened to jump in there and everything just happened and then for them and then that ended up shaping the industry where people were understanding much more. Why they would want to respond in a specific moment was actually very carefully planned over years and lots and lots of budget. So I got excited about this idea and all the other viral campaigns I’ve been pulled into meetings to talk about and think about very deeply. And I came up with basically the hot takes for why I think something will go viral.

Joe Wadlington:

So these are my ideas for the three things that are catalysts for virality. Obviously, lots of things with virality we cannot control. That’s why it makes it so sweet and elusive. But I realized with each campaign that I dug really deeply into, these were things that were absolutely a part of it, refine your voice, learn from the good tweets, and surprise your followers. So I’m going to go into each one. I’m going to have specific examples I’ve seen from Twitter for each one. Don’t worry. We’re done talking about Oreo. All the others come from other companies across different verticals because I always learn best when I can see an example of someone doing it well. So if you don’t like my examples, if you have other ideas, if you have more questions, that is the perfect time to save those up. I love talking about these in depth.

Joe Wadlington:

So let’s jump into the first one, refine your voice. That’s a very common idea. You want to refine your voice, you want to have your personas, you want to sound like yourself. But we are at this new evolution or a new level of clarity with social media and digital marketing where every platform has become more differentiated than it’s ever been. And so we’re at a place where you would not… Let’s think of traditional marketing examples. You would not take the copy that you put on a billboard and copy and paste it and put it in newspaper ad. You wouldn’t use the same script that you did for a radio spot and have it be a video on the nightly news as someone could actually see the person speaking. So we’re very used to in these traditional marketing platforms changing the way we talk and the way we present ourselves and what we present based on each platform.

Joe Wadlington:

And now, social media has gotten to a level of maturity where we need to do that with each platform as well. I believe I have the bad example too. This is what you don’t want to sound like. I love this one. Cancela Lansbury is also very good follow. And this is obviously in response to COVID and I was seeing a lot of COVID marketing and working in marketing through all this. It’s been rough. I think we can all look at other companies who maybe had a few splats and say, “Yeah, I understand that it was shaky ground.” But we definitely don’t want to sound like this, companies to be like, “Now more than ever, we will let you buy our product.” So this is what happens when you’re tone-deaf. And you can become tone-deaf by missing the point, by not reading for room, but also by speaking in a way on a specific platform that those folks just don’t talk like that there.

Joe Wadlington:

So I’m going to go through a few examples and I’m going to show you different companies that do it well. And I’m going to show you how they look on different platforms. So this is Pop-Tarts. Pop-Tarts quote tweet says, “Public service announcement. Pop-Tarts are not ravioli, Pop-Tarts are not sandwiches. There will never be a Tide Pod flavored Pop-Tarts have a nice day.” It’s so sassy. It’s like, “Wow, who hurt you Pop-Tarts?” They clearly have a lot of questions about Tide Pod flavored Pop-Tarts. There is a lot of innocent Twitter banter about if is a hot dog, a sandwich, or people argue, thinks are sandwiches or thinks are ravioli. So they’re jumping in with that. You see with their header photo, it says, “We fixed the pretzel,” which is similarly just silly. There’s no conversation around people saying, “Oh, pretzels, so broken, so upsetting.” But they’re jumping in with this whole idea.

Joe Wadlington:

So let’s look at Pop-Tarts Facebook. And then their bio on Facebook says… And they’re using the same like, “We fixed the pretzel,” across platforms, which is a great tactic that we’re seeing. Clearly, this is their consistent brand push at the time, but their buyer is different. Their buyer says, “The Pop-Tarts Facebook page is meant to be a fun environment for our fans to discuss Pop-Tarts products and promotions. The community is intended to be a lighthearted.” The screen cuts it off, but it goes on for several paragraphs explaining about abuse on their platform and say you need to play nice. And so they’re having a very different approach to their Facebook audiences and what they think is important on Facebook. And they’re saying like, this is lighthearted, we want to talk about products, as opposed to Twitter, where they’re just being lighthearted and talking about the product.

Joe Wadlington:

Royal Ontario Museum, they’re in Canada, they’re really incredible on social. This is their Facebook. And I use this idea because both of these examples are picking up a specific moment, which people really like to do on Twitter. You find a moment that’s in your lane. And then they did this funny Facebook post where it says, “Everyone crowding at malls looking for Boxing Day deals.” They’ve got some going emojis, and we’re seeing these massive penguins, you, an intellectual. More than 5,000 emperor penguins working together to keep themselves and their eggs alive. Oh, wow. It’s so emotional. So beautiful photography. Ad then of course, that link leads to their website.

Joe Wadlington:

So I actually picked the post from, I believe, the same day or the same week to see how they’re jumping into specific events Twitter. A24, which is their production company that produced Uncut Gems just tweeted this screenshot from their movie and then… Oh, no, wait, wait, wait, I’m getting it wrong. It’s even better than that. So Royal Ontario Museum… This is the quote tweet. Royal Ontario Museum tweeted this picture, “Our gems uncut.” And this came out… Yeah, so it’s the same week as the penguin post. And at that time Uncut Gems, the movie produced by eight A24, was getting a lot of Twitter traction. Twitter is the discussion, the conversation layer of the internet. People love Twitter to discuss any culture that they’re consuming. So they tweeted this hilarious photo of an Uncut Gem and then A24 actually saw it and quote tweeted them with the picture of Adam Sandler, the star of the movie, looking longingly at Royal Ontario Museum’s Uncut Gem. So same week, same museum, different platform, different approaches of jumping into specific moments.

Joe Wadlington:

Hinge. Hinge’s advertising is really wonderful. They just updated all of their ads for both Black Lives Matters and for Pride. So you will no longer see this bio on their stuff, but their brand color they’ve changed it to black. It was purple before this month. And then their bio says, “It’s designed to be deleted. Please do your part to keep everyone safe and date from home.” So, again, it’s a really wonderful way to stay in your lane, talk about the current environment. They’re referencing COVID and then Hinge actually, their dating app. And they did some product update pretty good actually from the chat, messaging someone on the dating app, schedule a video date in the app. And you can move into video date. So they’re encouraging people to be safe and to stay home while still finding love.

Joe Wadlington:

And they kept this tagline across all platforms. So you can see their Twitter. This is their Instagram. Oh, and their Facebook, “Designed to be deleted. Please do your part to keep everyone safe and date from home.” We see the same brand colors and then their Twitter. All right, this is a Facebook post. So the content that they’re doing on Facebook, for every video of a person taking a shot with the hashtag #shotchallenge, we’ll donate another dollar up to $25,000 total. So they’re doing a money raising initiative here. And what was interesting is that I didn’t see them tweet at all. They kept it just on Facebook, whereas on Twitter, they have things that are more timely. So this is the same time. “Shout out to all the people who give great advice, but never take their own. By the way, this is to everyone, including me, author of this tweet.”

Joe Wadlington:

And then again, jumping into… We see with the third tweet a specific moment, but staying in your lane. “This is not a drill. Please take a break from baking bread and vote for us in the Webbys. It will only take 20 seconds, we promise.” And it was their link to their Webbys voting page, which they got an honorable mention, I believe, on the Webbys. So congratulations to Hinge. Though I have been tweeting it then asking why I keep getting ghosted and they have not been responding, even though I’ve done several presentations about them. So if you’re tweeting about this presentation, feel welcome at Hinge and ask them to either put me on their podcast or respond to I keep getting ghosted during quarantine via Hinge.

Joe Wadlington:

So as you can see, Hinge is using a different… It feels like the same company across all of those, which is really wonderful and a similar voice. But with each platform they’re choosing something different so that they sound like themselves. Let’s skip MoonPie. Well, no, no, no, let’s all do MoonPie. It’s really funny. Sorry, so this is MoonPie on Facebook. I’m sure MoonPie have been everyone’s presentations. So this is MoonPie on Facebook which blew my mind. If you follow MoonPie on Twitter, then this will shock you. You see a lot of the snack companies they do pushes around big gaming events, both video games on Esports and then also non-electronics.

Joe Wadlington:

So MoonPie was trying to break into the tailgating conversation and present themselves as a tailgating food. So you can see this in like football kickoff. So, again, they picked a timely moment. And the caption, it’s just like beautifully, like editorial MoonPies that have gently been rolled into cashews and it says, “Football season is upon us, folks. If you don’t want to be known as the tailgate with bad snacks, we advise you to try this one out.” And it goes to a place where they’re doing moonpie.com/recipes. This is sweet and salty MoonPie. So it’s really wonderful. And then if you look at the comments, we’ve got Jan Cook and weighing in on the recipe. Jane Cook says, “Love MoonPies. You need to make micro mini ones in a refillable package. My grandsons are very messy, but they love MoonPies. And MoonPie responds and says, “We will let the team know, Jan!” It’s so kind. It’s so sweet and not what MoonPie is like on Twitter at all, at all.

Joe Wadlington:

So let’s look at MoonPie on Twitter. This is some quote tweeting, someone added MoonPie on the left saying, “What are you playing at MoonPie? Who eats a third of a MoonPie?” Rightfully calling them out I think that apparently on their nutrition facts, the serving size is a third of a MoonPie, which is ridiculous. I eat a lot of MoonPies. I grew up in Tennessee. The road trip snack is a MoonPie and a Coke at every gas station. So I’ve had a lot of MoonPies into my body and at no point was only a third sufficient. So, Brian J. Ball is calling them out. He’s cracked. And then MoonPie quote tweet and says, “Look, Brian, I just write the tweets.”

Joe Wadlington:

So I use this one because it’s another customer service instance, where a customer who clearly is a fan… If you’ve eaten a MoonPies is the fact that you’re actually looking for nutrition facts, like MoonPies are wonderful. They’re not a nutritional moment. That’s not the thing. So Brian’s clearly a fan just as much as Jane Cook is. Instead of praising Brian and lifting Brian up, they decided to dunk on Brian. And then on the right, we have another quote tweet where’s it’s a brands to brands talk and Safe Auto. I did obsessive deep dive on Safe Auto’s Twitter at this time. And they were clearly going through an entire rebrand because they did lots of… They were like clouds scoping, if that makes sense, like adding other people. I’m interested to see what Safe Auto does next.

Joe Wadlington:

But they said, “Hey, MoonPie, how come you never returned my calls?” So they’re adding another brand that’s really popular on Twitter just to see. And then MoonPie just quote tweets and says, “Because you are car insurance,” which is so funny and definitely a little mean. But Safe Auto got exactly what they want. And this is such a good technique because in terms of brand recognition, Safe Auto, car insurance, like 100 or 1,500 retweets, 22.9 thousand likes on the idea that Safe Auto and car insurance are associated. That’s great branding mission. This is really good for Safe Auto, again, showing how MoonPie is just spreading around the sexiness in order to get people… And clearly, people really like it or Safe Auto, they would not raise their hands to be dragged by MoonPie.

Joe Wadlington:

So even Twitter does this. So this is Twitter’s Twitter. And we’ve since updated it as well for Black Lives Matter. So Twitter, of course, is the conversation layer of the internet. We’re a neutral platform. I’m standing by the idea that to think that black people are important and valid is of course an entirely neutral nonpolitical thing. So we’ve changed all of our branding with that, but this is what we had before. And this is a company wide side eyes that we even have an installation in headquarters in San Francisco with these side eyes. It’s corrugated. So when you walk down the hall, it follows you, like it moves. Definitely, the idea was cute. The implication is creepy. This is our Twitter.

Joe Wadlington:

See other platforms, this is our Facebook. And then they did this. Our Facebook posts are very much like really large to brand pushes, like when your business says a hero video or something every year or every branding season. That’s what they put on Facebook. And then our Instagram… Oh, this is LinkedIn. Apparently, everybody laughs at Twitter all the time. I think this is a good version. This side eyes is gone, which makes sense for a more professional concept. And also to think if you’re coming to LinkedIn, you’re probably interested in applying for a job at Twitter and the sassiness is probably best left for after you’re already hired, maybe not like the resume stage.

Joe Wadlington:

So for our LinkedIn, we’re just like everyone smiles at Twitter all the time. And then our Instagram, there’s this joke within Twitter that you see the bio is just says, “Twitter, screenshots of tweets.” And the joke at Twitter is that Instagram is just screenshots of tweets. And so our Instagram is just screenshots of funny tweets, which I really like. And I don’t think that necessarily carries externally. It works for us. But then when I was doing research for this presentation, I did go to Hinge’s Instagram to see a difference. And the next one I looked at theirs and it’s a screenshot of a tweet. So it does carry through, it is legitimate.

Joe Wadlington:

So the reason you want to sound different on every platform and to have a differentiated strategy for each platform is to use the platforms’ superpowers. So let’s look at the things that I think Twitter does the best. When do you take your brand to Twitter? You’ve got a giant marketing, you’ve got all these brilliant plans. I’m sure they’re all going to go extremely well. And we know that not every single one of them is going to go to Twitter and we would much prefer, and I promise you, your metrics would prefer as well if you save the ones for Twitter that are going to do exceptionally well. Everything that you’re marketing at a specific time needs to be done on your primary platform.

Joe Wadlington:

So here’s the things that I think are best for Twitter. Come to Twitter when you want to connect, when you want to launch, and when you want to play. This is a very good screenshot of all screen. When I do the presentation live, people are taking pictures of that. And so what do I mean by those three terms? When I say connect, what does that mean? Come to Twitter, bring your brand here when there’s something that you want to… Thank you, I say for screenshotting this. Be conversational. So when you want to create conversation, and so that’s the back and forth.

Joe Wadlington:

So when you want to ask questions of your audience, if there’s something you want to weigh in, very often we’ll have people asking, “What should I do on Twitter? What should I do on Twitter?” And we’ll say, “Ask.” Just tweet, “Hey, team, what do you want to see us do?” Or run a poll where it will say, “What type of content would you appreciate the most? Do you want best practices? Do you want FAQ? Do you want behind the scenes photos?” They will tell you. People love weighing in on Twitter. Connect in the moment thing, so if you have anything about your marketing strategy or something you want to say about your business specifically in the moment.

Joe Wadlington:

This does not have to be a big cultural moment. Right now with COVID, with police brutality conversations, we are seeing a lot of brands not to do a great job and often it’s because they’re not staying in their lane. So your moment it could be something around Black Lives Matter, but it could also be something around mornings, about it being Monday morning, about it being Friday afternoon, about it being June, about work from home, about being proactive about your health, about connecting to friends remotely, dating remotely, connecting to family over phone and FaceTime and so on.

Joe Wadlington:

There’s never just one moment going on. There’s so many that are happening and you can pick and choose which one makes the most sense for you to be a part of. You can double down on one and make it central to your main campaign, and others you can just release a statement. Twitter is the perfect place to go to release a statement from your company. If a journalist is going to cover your company, I guarantee the first thing they’re going to do is go to your Twitter. So if you want to comment on something and to control the conversation, being on Twitter is the place to do that.

Joe Wadlington:

Launching. So the idea of launching on Twitter it can be a bit intimidating to people because launching can seem like something we only do every five years, every two years because it’s something really massive. But what I want to color here is the idea of stuff being new. So in the style guide that I’ve created for my team, I only let us use the word new for six months and then we can’t use it anymore in reference to a material, a product thing, news, whatever, because it is so powerful. The click through rate is really wonderful with both subject clients and then on our website as well. People on Twitter love new stuff. The number one reason people come to Twitter is to discover something new.

Joe Wadlington:

So we have a very curious audience. And anything that is new, it doesn’t have to be a big launch, but your new tagline, a product in a different color, a webinar you’re rolling out, a new blog article. You updated the design on your website. You have a new video. Anything that is breaking, is fresh, that is forthcoming, Twitter is a great place to tease stuff that you know it’s happening down the road. If you’re unveiling a product, you want to crop it so people can just see a corner here, one piece of it there, find out what the color is. Tweet, threads, and moments are a great way to just very quickly aggregate several tweets around a teaser or a run-up for your advertising campaign. But if you have something new, if you have something timely, bring it to Twitter because people are really going to respond.

Joe Wadlington:

And then lastly, come to Twitter when you want to play. And we have a lot of clients who are health insurance, medical device companies, law firms, they don’t know how to play or being sassy or being risking a joke that could somehow be unclear, could actually be legally detrimental to them. We’re not saying that every brand needs to be sassy, we’re not saying every brand needs to be mean or funny to be successful on Twitter, rather think of the most human conversational talk like a person version of your brand and that’s the one you want to bring to Twitter. So it doesn’t have to be outright and super bold. People on Twitter love boldness, they really appreciate it. But think of your peers and what’s in your industry.

Joe Wadlington:

And if you’re a B2B company and everything is pretty straightforward and can maybe sometimes feel a little bit boring than you just being human or a bit more conversational than your peers, and then the corner of Twitter they’re in just takes off like wildfire. People really respond to brands that tweet like they talk or sound conversational and warm and human. If you can add a little sassiness to that, that’s generally appreciated. But absolutely not our requirement to be successful on Twitter.

Joe Wadlington:

So those are the three things that I say are the superpowers of Twitter. Obviously, you can take any of your marketing to Twitter and it’s always evolving, nothing is faster than Twitter. So there will be something in a month that will be successful, that will be brand new to even us, that these are the things that are tried and true about Twitter that you can look at your giant marketing campaign and hack off the bits that fall under these three categories. And those are the things you should take to Twitter first because they are going to do well.

Joe Wadlington:

Learn from the good tweets. Okay, in the way that you are good in conversation, that you speak well in meetings, that you are someone who’s interesting to talk, the way that you become that spot is by listening more than you talk. You’re getting life tips today as well as Twitter tips. And so the way that we do that implication for Twitter or that application for Twitter is to learn from the good tweets. Seeing you need to normalize on your marketing team the idea of bringing up the tweet and just talking about it and trying to figure out why it’s funny? Why it’s interesting? What went well about it? And here are some great tips.

Joe Wadlington:

Did you all know that KFC is a gaming company. KFC launched a Colonel Sanders dating simulator. You can still look at hashtag, “I love you, Colonel Sanders.” That was the name of the game. And if you don’t believe me, I would understand. I would understand why this would seem to sleep. And what I’m talking about right now is social listening and how to learn from the good tweets and do it in a very sneaky way. KFC is sneaky as hell because let’s look at these different tweets that they have about their game. KFC the gaming company has about all of Colonel Sanders.

Joe Wadlington:

We have a tweet from the WWE, we have a tweet from PC gamer the KFC retweeted. And if you look, they did not even add KFC. They didn’t even use the hashtag. And then on the other side, we have a popular eGamer in streamer, who’s also tweeting about it. So how did KFC find these? How did the find the WWE? How did they find the PC gamer tweets? Because the next slide if we look at KFC’s account, they’re only following 11 people. And who are those 11 people? The five Spice Girls and six guys named Herb. So it’s 11 herbs and spices which KFC original recipe chicken, they have their secret recipe. It’s 11 herbs and spices go into the branding. It’s very clever, but not a best practice. Yeah, should you be following people that you can learn from their tweets and you can see those?

Joe Wadlington:

So what are they doing to be able to… In their stream, they’re finding tweets from the WWE, they’re finding tweets from streamers, they’re finding tweets from PC gamer, which are not in their industry, which are not even tagging them. And they only follow the Spice Girls and five dudes named Herb. So, clearly, they are doing stuff on the backend. This is using Twitter like Twitter, TweetDeck, Sprout Social. We have so many official partners that can help you find the good tweets and to set up lists and columns where you can look at your peers.

Joe Wadlington:

This is MailChimp and this is me showing you all behind the scenes how my team aggregates the good tweets. So at this time, I was talking with the Twitter Business team about how to do some really cool product flybuys. We didn’t really know how to think about it because we were just like, “Gosh, we just want to show people where these two buttons are. It’s not so in depth as a tutorial, but we just want to show a few quick things.” And so then this ad for MailChimp came across my timeline and I just thought it was really cool because they’re showing you the backend. So this is basically saying this is a website for how or an advertisement for how MailChimp can plug into Twitter and then plug into… You can basically get signups.

Joe Wadlington:

So they’re showing you the ad goes into an email and then the email goes into your email builder. So super clever because you’re just getting a little bit of a tutorial. It’s also just very eye-catching. I mean, MailChimp’s branding is really beautiful. It’s weird. There’s a leg holding a phone, which I don’t know anyone at home, but that’s just not how I hold my phone. And so I thought it was really eye-catching and I just DMed it to Lindsay Crider, who manages their Twitter Business and to our boss saying, “What should I say?” Very clever execution of splashy ad that is low key a tutorial. And again, we’re trying to figure out how to do this for our own team.

Joe Wadlington:

And then Marissa responds, and she says, “I saw this ad from them, too. They’re running a super solid video campaign right now.” And she sends the MailChimp ad she got that same day. And if you were able to click through, it’s a completely different ad. And then Lindsay, Bruce, now Crider, weighed in as well. And she was also getting served a completely different ad for MailChimp that she also liked. So if I had walked into that conference room that morning and said, “I really love what MailChimp is doing,” both Lindsay and Marissa would have nodded and said, “Yes, absolutely. We should do something like them.” And we would have been talking about three completely different ads.

Joe Wadlington:

And the three of us are on the same team. Our desks are beside each other. We follow a lot of the same people on Twitter. We have a lot of similar interests. And even with that, MailChimp has us in three completely different targeting buckets. So sending these to your team and then talking them through is really incredible for normalizing this thing. So you can pick stuff apart and find out what you like because this is behind the scenes. This is how Twitter Business does it. So this is our TweetDeck. Lindsay Crider runs this. And you all should be glad that the screen is cutting it off on the right because if it did not, it would wrap around your entire room and apartment building and block. This is a wide document.

Joe Wadlington:

And one thing that you can do that’s really incredible with TweetDeck that’s just very easy is lists. You can do private lists that no one knows that you have. And I recommend today if you do not already have it, make a list of every business that you consider up here. And that way you can just watch what everybody in your industry is doing. Make another list that is just businesses you think are doing a really good job on Twitter. It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in. It can even be just some people. There are a lot of great people who are just promoting their own things that they promote like a business or even better than some top agencies. And so make another list that’s just weird, creative, interesting account that will fill yourself with examples.

Joe Wadlington:

And just watching if you do that, just having those two lists, I guarantee you, by the end of a week, a month, if you take a few coffee breaks and watch those, you will be filled with so many more interesting ideas for ways that you can bring your brand to Twitter and exciting ways to break into the conversation and use those three superpowers for Twitter that we talked about before of launch, play, and connect. That’s learning from the good tweets. It’s also a very fun thing to do if you can.

Joe Wadlington:

And also right now, I think we’re all trying to find interesting and creative ways to connect with our co-workers and feel some human connection with the people that we worked at as well. And so something that I would recommend is having your team, if it’s a Friday meeting, just have everybody bring a tweet and present a tweet that they thought was funny and this can either just be something that you thought was funny as hell or really good brand example and spend the top 10 minutes of your meeting just talking through tweets that you think are funny. And that can be a great way to normalize the idea of bringing other companies’ marketing into the conversation and then just dissecting it. You don’t know the answer for why you think something is effective. It’s just so inspirational and sparks a lot of brain synapses to show cool examples.

Joe Wadlington:

So the last thing I want to talk about by the last topic is surprise your followers. There are 1 million tiny Twitters inside of big Twitter. There’s Skincare Twitter and Outdoor Twitter and there’s Black Twitter and Gay Twitter, there’s Feminist Twitter, there is Plants Twitter. You name an interest or an identity and there is a robust corner of Twitter that is a part of it. So I want to talk about how to surprise your followers by going into a slightly surprising corner of Twitter, but still gracefully staying in your lane and not talking about something that doesn’t make sense for your brand to be talking about. You can’t.

Joe Wadlington:

Hey, let me explain myself. So Shutterstock, we’re all familiar. Back when you used to do illegal marketing practices and you would just Google an image and grab that stock photo and put it in your ad, but none of you do that anymore. Shutterstock would be the watermark that you had to somehow get rid of. So we all know Shutterstock does stock photography, but what they wanted to push at this time was… So what was the conversation that’s happening on Twitter right now was the Fyre Festival. Of course, this huge scam that was really hilarious to many people because the most of the people who were scammed were people who have quite a bit of money. So we didn’t really shed too many tears watching them lose some of it.

Joe Wadlington:

And then there were two different documentaries that happened around the Fyre Festival, one produced by Netflix and one produced by Hulu. And this happens quite a bit where there’s some interesting cultural moment that happens not on Twitter, the Hulu documentary, the Netflix documentary. So Twitter does not produce movies, but it’s the conversation layer of the internet. Whenever there’s a feud on Instagram, something weird on YouTube, or something like this where there’s feuding documentaries, people come to Twitter to discuss it. So the Fyre Festival conversation on Twitter was hilarious because Twitter already loves scammers. It went right into Theranos conversations, Rothenberg ventures conversations, just all sorts of those. And so Scammers Twitter is another corner.

Joe Wadlington:

So Shutterstock jumped in. And the Fyre Festival is something where is a music festival that the promoters made it appear as if they had a lot of things nailed down, but basically making models and Instagram influencers show these beautiful pictures of the festival that promised to be incredible and it turned out they had none of the infrastructure that was promised. So they are jumping straight into these scammer conversation and showing you that they actually do stock video. Video is extremely important, video is the most exciting and robust thing on Twitter right now, it is going wild. So of course, they had launched this campaign on Twitter and showed off that they had something, a product offering that we did not know that they had in a really incredible way.

Joe Wadlington:

And this is them jumping into scammer conversations, jumping into the Fyre Festival conversations, which we know that no other shutter… Getty Images is not jumping into the Fyre Festival conversation. So they got to do a Blue Ocean Strategy, get away from their competitors and really make a splash. And they actually won… They rolled out some of those things because they did thought leadership with this as well. So Fyre Festival lessons to influence your next viral video. I believe this was by their CEO, their chief marketing officer. And then they actually got a Webby for this campaign because it did so well. And so them pairing it… They used the Twitter conversation to snag people and then pull them back to the Shutterstock blog. If you hit the button, we’ll get to see they’re ready. Yay, I got a Webby.

Joe Wadlington:

Should I incorporate video into my campaigns? Absolutely. So every time we do Twitter research on how well video is doing on Twitter, we normally have to do it again because it just performs so well on Twitter and it’s growing as well. So at the top of the discussion today, I said that I was going to be showing you all some new stuff. So we have two brand new video pages that went live this month. And I’ve not had these in a presentation before. So let’s gaze upon some data. This is another great screenshot of all page. So we have more than two billion video views on Twitter a day, a day. And that number is only going up. We’re at a 72% year-over-year increase in watch time on Twitter. So that’s not an increase in video views, that’s watch time.

Joe Wadlington:

So not only are there more video views because people are watching them for longer, which is incredible to me and a 62% year-over-year increase in daily video views on Twitter. So that’s the daily video views of the people who are coming back and viewing videos on Twitter again and again. So similar to what we see with most audience data on Twitter, the Twitter audience is very interested, very passionate, and very sticky. People at Twitter are loyal and they will come there every day and they really digest because their timeline is so customizable with following their interests, as opposed to someone they went to high school with, or a heavy algorithm or something else. They are very sticky on their timeline and have a high consumption rate.

Joe Wadlington:

So these are just two fresh examples that I wanted to show on the left. Very cool. Tello is cool. And I’ll just riff on both of these. So these are just two that we included in a blog lately. And there’s so many great ways to go after a video. One wonderful best practice that Tello is doing here is their last frame and also shows on the right is you can see the brands in both of them. So we recommend having stretchy caramel. Could you play that one just again? Thank you.

Joe Wadlington:

So with Tello Mobile, what they’re doing really well is this bold text where it comes through. So when you’re doing video on Twitter, you want to remember that Twitter is a really noisy and a really active place. So we want things to stand out. And I like these two on the same page because they’re actually in juxtaposition at each other. On left, Tello Mobile is trying to get above the noise by being louder than it. This is a high contrast image with just the text and the image we’re seeing right here, which is great. It stands out and the visuals feel super modern and cool. And then it ends with their logo.

Joe Wadlington:

So after that very short video played, it would just basically turn to a static image. And then OCHO is doing the opposite where they’re giving you a quiet timelines in space. I love the drooling face emoji. And then throughout the entire time the short video is playing, you can see that OCHO caramel right there. And then of course, they’re going into the food porn visual pleaser of the satisfying direction. We’re getting to see that caramel stretch. So, yeah, two completely different examples. And on the left, we have a much more highly produced. And on there, I would not be surprised if the social media manager made that on their desk and that is a white sheet of computer paper and a ring light and they probably just stretched out about 20 different caramels before they got the perfect one. And so I wanted to show high five and low five as well.

Joe Wadlington:

So catalysts for virality, these are the things that I am telling you every single viral moment, huge campaigns that really just stole the internet for days or weeks. You dig into them and you are going to find these three essences. If you refine your voice so that you sound different on every platform and you’re using the platforms for what they are best at, you’re looking at all the things you want to do in marketing with your Q3 and your Q4 and you’re really picking the things that you know that those places are going to do extremely well and holding those precious and taking them to the platform. For Twitter, of course, that is connecting to the moment, launching anything new, and then being human and irreverent or sassy if you can.

Joe Wadlington:

Learning from the good tweets. There’s so many creative and incredible examples of marketing out there coming from all corners of Twitter. So don’t limit yourself to who’s in your neighborhood. Make lists that are private, no one knows you’re following those people. And normalized sharing really great tweets with your team. Doing that, then you’ll have so many good ideas and you’ll see where so many other brands are clearly doing that and learning and moving forward. And then surprise your followers. Move into a place a little new, a little fresh, stray into a different corner of Twitter where none of your peers are and you will absolutely grab some new customers and some new loyalists. I am so confident that if you add these three ingredients into your marketing campaigns, you will be fully set up for that lightning bolt of virality arrives and then you will go off. And win all the awards. And then in my next presentation, you will be an example. Thank you.

Andrew Whipp:

Thank you.

Joe Wadlington:

Thank you for your time and attention. And how much more time do we have for questions?

Andrew Whipp:

It looks like we have about eight minutes. So I would just suggest to anybody who is in the attendees panel, feel free to throw a Q&A question at the bottom, just to jump right into it. And by the way, phenomenal presentation, Joe, I feel like I learned a ton. And every time I was going to write down a question about something you said, you would immediately answer it. So frustrating, but in a great way.

Joe Wadlington:

And I know we don’t have much time because I spent so much of my presentation making you all replay that caramel GIF. Twitter is the conversation platform. So when people come up with questions later in their day the next time they take a shower in a week or whatever, I’m not going to judge you. Take those conversations to Green Buzz Agency on Twitter and to @TwitterBusiness on Twitter and keep the conversation going. We were more than happy to keep asking them. But do you have any questions for me?

Andrew Whipp:

I love it. Yes, I do. So you showed some shorter video examples I believe from your blog, from Tello and OCHO just a second ago. And I noticed they were pretty short, pretty tight, pretty to the point. Is that like a best practice that you have found for video on Twitter or do you see content that’s longer doing just as good?

Joe Wadlington:

It is absolutely a best practice, 6 to 15 seconds, 6 to 15 seconds. And if anyone tweets at us, we can absolutely give you the URL for the new video resources. I’m very excited to say you can Google Twitter Business video resources, and it should show up, or video best practices. And we’ve gotten great SEO with those pages. That’s really wonderful. But 6 to 15 seconds is the best place for Twitter video. But I will say if you are doing something that happens to be longer, you can still use that as a strategy to just front load your video and have a complete narrative arc happen in the 6 to 15 seconds where you’ve made your point. And then if people don’t finish it, but they still got what you were trying to get and they scroll on, that’s absolutely a win. And I would say definitely for those 6 to 15 seconds, keep your logo visible the whole time.

Tod Plotkin:

Awesome. And Hey, Joe, this is Tod. And I know we didn’t get a chance to chat before the presentation, but to reiterate what Andrew said, phenomenal job, really, really good, really enjoyed it myself. I was curious, kind of taking the conversation to COVID-19, how has consumption of content on Twitter changed, if at all, over the last few months during the pandemic.

Joe Wadlington:

It’s gone so up, Tod. We are up on daily active users, 25%.

Tod Plotkin:

Wow.

Joe Wadlington:

That’s daily active users. So that’s people who are opening it every single day. So Twitter has actually had an extreme amount of growth, which makes sense. Twitter is where so many people get their news and nothing moves faster than Twitter. So for us to be in a news cycle with COVID where there is new information every day, especially when we were going into quarantine, new information every day and every week. So people really want something that moves very quickly. And with COVID, that was definitely a conversation where people want second opinions and multiple opinions. And Twitter’s really fantastic for that because when I say I was home, my parents are like, “Well, you don’t watch the news.” I go, “Well, no, but I read Twitter and I follow six different news outlets there.”

Joe Wadlington:

And so I get to see them beside each other. And it’s really you learn a lot by watching news organizations, even how they will phrase a tweet when they’re putting out new information. So Twitter is up, social media consumption is up, and with that, our video is up as well. And I think people have found Twitter to be kind of a haven in this time where they’re feeling very disconnected from each other. It’s a great place to go and to have that water cooler chat and hallway conversations that you’re missing.

Tod Plotkin:

Awesome, awesome. And the other side of the equation, we just talked about how consumption has changed over the last few months. On the content creation side, on the brand side, these brands creating content specifically for Twitter, which you did an amazing job of outlining all kinds of really fun and interesting case studies. Are there any trends that you’re seeing there from the brands in terms of the types of content that they’re creating?

Joe Wadlington:

Yeah, absolutely. The tweet that I had for was the thing not to do, where it said brands are like, “Now more than ever, you can buy our product.” I’m seeing a lot of brands… And this is where it’s the beginning of quarantine within saying things like, “In these trying times, now more than ever, we’re in this together,” and these soft nonspecific phrases. And another thing that’s great with Twitter is you get to see the marketing and people reacting to the marketing. So you get to see how people respond to it. If you think a tweet is great, then you just look at the replies and you see the people it was targeted at think it was great. But I know that people are really fatigued with that unclear, indefinite, vague, soft language. It feels like all the brands lowered their voice and tried to be soothing.

Joe Wadlington:

And with Twitter Business, we lowered our voice. We went through and we took all the exclamation points out of our copy. A sense of urgency is the best practice on Twitter. So normally saying things like try now, sign up today, limited time. Those things work really well on Twitter because Twitter moves so quickly. We took all of those out because we were aware we’re just not the most important thing going on right now. And people already feel a sense of anxiety and stress. So we’re going to take the feeling of urgency out. And so there’s a lot that you can do with your marketing and tone adjustment just by subtracting things. That is really incredible.

Joe Wadlington:

And I think now we’re getting a bit more savvy to this specific time and brands are realizing maybe they shouldn’t speak up unless they have something that can actually help. So if you’ve decided to do like ClassPass doing video classes, or a bookstore in San Francisco did free intercity delivery… This is when Amazon was not delivering books. The library was closed and they did free delivery around the entire city. That’s a great marketing campaign.

Andrew Whipp:

All right, awesome. And then the last question that we might have time for is from Cameron. And the question was, on the COVID conversation, do you see any new or unexpected specific spikes at certain times of day?

Joe Wadlington:

Time of day, no. I would say with COVID, it would actually bring out people really changing their habits because all of our routines have changed. And so all the times when you may have checked Twitter before, I know for Twitter Business specifically as a B2B handle the morning, is really great for us. Noon is good. And then mid-afternoon, Lindsay Crider describes that as a dream crusher in terms of tweets. So one thing Twitter is great for data nerds and you can schedule tweets. My team just made a video on how to that I’m actually the voice-over of. But if you haven’t, you can do an ads Twitter account, ads.twitter.com. You have to put in a credit card, but you don’t have to spend any money. You don’t have to spend any money. Scheduling tweets is free. You can also do that for TweetDeck. And I would recommend scheduling a few tweets for different times of day. And you can see how many people responded to them and see who your specific audience does.

Andrew Whipp:

So, Joe, you’re telling me you’re the global creative lead at Twitter and you do VO?

Joe Wadlington:

And I do the what?

Andrew Whipp:

And you do VO, voice-over that’s on the link.

Joe Wadlington:

Yes, I do voice-over. Yes, if you were soothed by my voice at any time during this presentation, there is a microphone in a rehashed room divider now covered in styrofoam that is my recording studio.

Andrew Whipp:

I love it. I’m sure it sounds great. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it.

Joe Wadlington:

And Nina, I see your question and I have an answer to it. Tweet your question at me at Joe Wadlington, I have an answer for you.

Andrew Whipp:

Awesome. Well, I think that is all the time that we have for today. But everybody who joined us, thanks for popping in. We hope you guys had fun and learned a couple things along the way. I know that our team always leaves this with ton of ideas and best practices that we can go back and use at our own shops. So excited to do that. And then finally, of course, an enormous thank you to Joe for sharing all of your time and insights with us today. Be on the lookout for our next webinar, which will feature thought leaders from Universal Music Group and Getty Images. They’ll be talking about creative ways to build a virtual community experience. It’s going to be an awesome time and a lot more fun facts and insights that you can glean along the way. So we hope to see you there. Thanks so much again, Joe.

Joe Wadlington:

Thank you so much for having me. Follow @GreenBuzzAgency on Twitter, follow @TwitterBusiness on Twitter for more things just like I shared today. And then follow me @JoeWadlington on Twitter for things that are completely unrelated to anything I talked about.

Andrew Whipp:

Awesome. Thanks so much.

Joe Wadlington:

Thank you. Have a great day you all.


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