Twitter: jumping on the bandwagon

We’re starting to come round to the idea of Twitter. Much as we love our “no fads, no bandwagons” policy here at Write My Site, we’ve got to admit that Twitter has been paying dividends for us recently. After several weeks of posting about chocolate, last night’s TV and anything else that seemed like a suitable distraction from work we finally got our collective act together and started posting links to this copywriting blog, as well as engaging in dialogue with other business users. And guess what? We made some money! And then we made some more money. And now Twitter’s generating a steady stream of revenue for us – not bad for a free service.

But many businesses are quite understandably suspicious of Twitter, and are reluctant to use it as a marketing tool. Not only is the web-based version still pretty embryonic structurally, Twitter etiquette is still in its infancy too. There’s no established code of conduct in terms of the appropriate way(s) to promote your service using the tool and there’s no telling what which Twitter-based campaign will work, and which will go horribly, horribly wrong.

Even Wendy Tan-White, whose web hosting company Moonfruit recently enjoyed a huge publicity coup via the site, admits that she was unsure whether her strategy would work. The company gave away 10 Macbook Pro laptops for the most creative tweets using the hashtag #moonfruit, and the campaign shot to the top of Twitter’s trending lists, with people drawing pictures, making videos, and even singing songs about the brand.

“I really love the medium and it felt like it could work” says Tan-White, “But it could have gone the other way – we could have been vilified for spamming.” This is exactly what happened when UK furniture retailer Habitat hijacked popular hashtag topics to gain attention, and merely succeeded in winding up users, creating a huge backlash when an “overenthusiastic intern” linked the brand to the post-election protests in Iran.

Habitat probably won’t be Tweeting again for a while, but Twitter still holds massive potential for creative and innovative digital marketing campaigns, and I can certainly say that Write My Site can’t wait to see what happens next!