Best brand presence on Twitter
Has your brand’s Twitter account revitalized and reinvigorated your brand’s image? Do consumers gain added-value by following the brand’s account? Has your brand’s account created two-way conversations with consumers?
Winner: Threadless @threadless
Overview: Threadless is a community‐focused online apparel store operated by the Chicago‐ based company skinnyCorp. The public can vote on new designs, and the best are sold online. Threadless approaches its verified Twitter account with the idea that Threadless should be like a friend you enjoy having in your stream: someone funny and interesting with cool stuff to share who likes you back and isn’t necessarily always trying to sell you something. The store organizes numerous Twitter‐based give aways and social engagements for followers. Occasionally Threadless will run #TGIFT or “Thank God I Follow Threadless” contests on Fridays, asking followers to link to a Threadless design and tag a friend they think he or she would like it. If the tweet is selected, the friend wins a t‐shirt and the tweeter wins a $20 gift code for the online retail site. Threadless also tweets about what is happening around the office and warehouse, giving followers an inside peek at the company. Threadless also uses Twitter to highlight product partnerships with brands that include Thermos, Dell, Griffin, and Sharpie. In 2009, Threadless also partnered with Twitter to makes “Twitter Tees,” t‐shirts with popular Twitter comments. Though two people on the company’s marketing team manage the Twitter feed and Facebook page, all Threadless members are encouraged to utilize social media outlets and tweet what they are up to. Public relations agency Attention PR assists Threadless with promotional efforts.
Impact: The Threadless account has more than 1,580,000 Twitter followers, has tweeted over 3,700 times, and is on more than 8,000 lists. Social Media has had a huge impact on the company’s 11 revenue stream. In 2009 alone, Threadless made $30 million in revenue. Sale days have often attracted so many shoppers that they have often shut down Threadless’ website.
Bank of America @BofA_Help
Overview: Since the introduction of the @BofA_Help Twitter account in January 2009, Bank of America has resolved customer problems, addressed concerns, and shared information with customers around the globe. This verified account enables Bank of America to communicate with customers quickly and directly. The account is a complement to the bank’s traditional servicing channels, not a substitute. In some cases, the account proactively seeks out customers who express problems on Twitter and asks, “Is there anything I can do to help?” A trained team of six service specialists runs the account, responding to questions and taking customers “offline” to provide direct service. The team has some of the bank’s most seasoned servicing employees, recruited from executive customer relations. These individuals have deep product knowledge and extensive contacts across the 286,000‐employee company.
Impact: The bank says the account has provided timely and effective customer service. Currently the account has more than 13,000 followers, and is on more than 600 lists. The customer service outlet has generated buzz online, including mentions in AOL News and Forbes.
Cisco Systems @CiscoSystems
Overview: Cisco Systems, a technology development firm based in San Jose, California, uses its verified Twitter account to engage with people who elect to receive information and updates on the company, CEO, and products. Cisco shares short form highlights of the best Cisco‐related news, including its financial information, corporate social responsibility efforts, products and executive news, whether in the form of blog posts, press releases, or third party stories. The company also uses its Twitter account to interact with students taking Cisco‐supported IT classes that are run through organizations around the world. The account often offers congratulations for passing tests and receiving certifications. The account began in 2008. While the company’s PR team originally managed the account, it is now handled by a number of employees.
Impact: Cisco has more than 51,500 Twitter followers, has more than 3,400 tweets and is on nearly 3,000 lists.
Viking Range @VikingRange
Overview: Viking Range Corporation, headquartered in Greenwood, Mississippi, sells high‐end kitchen appliances, accessories, and cutlery, such as refrigerators, stoves, and barbecues. The company uses Twitter as one of many tools in a cross‐brand effort to personalize its user experience. Twitter allows Viking Range to interact more openly with its consumers. Using Twitter name @VikingRange, the company promotes its brand, specials, contests, and consumer content. The company also uses Twitter to build relationships with bloggers, chefs, designers, and fans. Customer service through Twitter can also quickly address issues.
Impact: Viking Range’s Twitter account has close to 5,000 followers and is on more than 219 lists.