5 Hottest Twitter Innovations From Brands

Find a bar by tweeting Heineken, and others

Big name marketers are testing just about any type of interaction on Twitter these days to stand out.

While some marketers are bulking up their tweets with buttons to drive sales, some of the most interesting uses aren’t about social media at all. Instead, brands like Heineken and Evian enlist Twitter in conjunction with traditional tactics such as on-the-street or video marketing.

Here are five of the most interesting Twitter campaigns from brands in the past few months.

Marketers Link Tweets to Sales

Earlier this month, Twitter rolled out a shopping button that brands can employ to drive conversions straight from tweets. Clicking on the "buy" button in tweets triggers a landing page to pop up, where shoppers can type in shipping and payment information.

Home Depot, Burberry and a handful of nonprofits and musicians are among those testing the feature.

The buy button is Twitter’s latest attempt to court more direct response advertisers that use performance-driven metrics like conversion and lead generations.

Direct Response Branding

When Mountain Dew decided to bring back its Baja Blast drink in July, (after fans sent 30,000 tweets asking for it to come back) the company decided to run a sweepstakes on Twitter asking fans to call a phone number and leave a voicemail for the chance to win a case of the drink.

A call button embedded in tweets within Twitter’s app automatically called a 1-800 number featuring professional skater Paul Rodriguez. A total of 3,500 calls were placed, and 78 percent of the voicemails left lasted longer than 30 seconds.

The tweet (which also included a paid media push) received 600 retweets and more than 1,300 favorites after the contest ended.

In terms of direct response-heavy marketing, Mountain Dew may not be one of the first brands that comes to mind. But the soda giant’s effort could signal a bigger trend, with more brands trying lead generations to drive brand awareness via Twitter.

Racking Up Video Views 

Since launching Twitter Amplify last year, video has become key in the social platform’s revenue strategy.

Specialized Biking Components tested out Twitter’s video ad product during the Tour de France this year with a campaign that doubled engagement rates. The bike brand’s tweets that included videos generated a 6.5 engagement rate, which the company claims is double the level of engagement from last year.

The video product has since become available as a beta product for marketers and could help the company gain a bigger foothold in digital video, which eMarketer predicts will bring in $6 million in ad dollars this year.

Across all social media platforms, Specialized generated about 500,000 engaged users and six million impressions during the bike tournament, an increase from 350,000 last year.

Taking Real-Time Marketing to the Street

Evian recently used Twitter to distribute product samples in real life. The water brand’s recent #Evianbottleservice campaign turned tweets from thirsty users into an on-delivery service to dole out free products.

From Aug. 19 to Aug. 21, a team consisting of Evian’s community managers, social media agency Team Epiphany and public relations firm Edelman homed in on social chatter in neighborhoods around city parks to respond to tweets.

Then, consumers in these areas who tweeted the hashtag #Evianbottleservice were met at their location with a bottle of water delivered by a brand ambassador within five to seven minutes.

The stunt generated 147 new Twitter followers per day and is also being tested internationally.

Real-World Recommendations

Alcohol brands have a limited number of opportunities on Twitter in terms of driving products off shelves.

So, Heineken set up a Twitter handle as part of its “Cities of the World” campaign in July. In exchange for sending a geo-tagged tweet, Heineken’s social tool scouts out trending restaurants, bars and clubs that, of course, sell Heineken.

Unlike other social and mobile tools, Heineken’s use of Twitter is interesting because it ties social media chatter to an actual real-world action.