Social networking platform Twitter has been an avenue for online natives to spark a conversation on initiatives and events taking place around the globe.
From politics to sports, whatever interests end users have, there are always people “tweeting” about it. Internationally, US President Donald Trump is one of the few politicians who actively engage with other users on topics regarding fake news and even his day-to-day experiences.
In the Southeast Asian region alone, the Philippines is one of the fastest growing audience markets. The latest data shows that 57% of the Filipino user base are active daily users.
Thus, brands are also jumping on the boat to be able to reach their audience and introduce their newest offerings or services. .
Although strategies on getting their consumers on-board vary, the leading tactics they employ are crowd-sourcing tweets like polls to spark interest from the majority, or creating tweets that reflect a more conversational, human side. Since users view corporations as emotionless behemoths, tweets from these brands that relate to ordinary people makes them amicable and memorable.
For instance, global fast food chain Wendy’s was able to increase its relevance by simply “tweeting back” to followers and making snarky remarks about their closest competitor, McDonald’s.
The Twitter roasts were widely shared in the American micro-blogging platform including tweets like “@McDonald’s so you’ll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend.” after the food chain announced that their Quarter Pounder burgers are cooked with fresh beef.
In a statement, Twitter managing director for Southeast Asia Arvinder Gujral pointed out that cultural relevance is factor that affects consumers’ decisions while the quality and price are not the sole aspects that they take into consideration. He explained that when it comes to supporting the brand, users consider how the brand reflects their vision, interests, and values.
“Public discourse has become more open than ever. Millions of people jump into discussion of various topics on Twitter where they have the power to shape the conversation,” said Gujral.
He also noted that the brands’ relevance does not simply increase by joining discussions, but by also initiating conversations on the latest cultural happenings and social issues.
That is why, based on an official announcement from Twitter last November 11, a new feature is geared specifically for following conversations that are relevant to a particular user.
The “Topics” feature is set to be rolled out in the following months which enables users to follow a specific topic from the platform and they will be able to view tweets from experts, fellow fans, and every mention of their interest.
In the local topics, Gujral shared three examples that each represent a key point that contribute to an engaging campaign on the platform. When it comes to making content relatable, one successful use case was how Closeup Philippines launched the #FreeToLove campaign that promotes real-life love stories from Filipino couples, since love is a universal and easily recognized topic. The campaign was able to double positive sentiment towards the brand’s official Twitter account and made bigger waves in their reputation within the Filipino communities.
Another way is to present a fresh idea, or an old product employing a fresh approach. In the case of McDonald’s, promoting an old as time product like French fries with a renewed vigor led by the National French Fry Day every July put a whole new light to their fries, which is now something to be celebrated once a year.
The third way is to ignite a debate by crowd sourcing opinions in relevant discussions, much like the #MeToo movement that became a globally supported movement against sexual harassment and abuse.
With the hyper-connected state of social media, it is now seldom for users to not find communities that do not share their sentiments. This connection and access to consumers who share values and opinions about topics that do not just include social issues but product support as well, is already a resource being tapped by brands and could still offer more potential with the upcoming update like Topics. But when it comes to increasing relevance to their targeted end-users and demographic, honesty and genuine empathy still speak volumes.