Trending With The Pope
Twitter parties are a rapidly growing engagement for brands to spark thousands of tweets from their advocates and maximize their brand’s exposure on one of the most-used social networking sites. Although the popularity has increased quickly in the past year, many brands are still unaware of the process. What exactly is a Twitter party? Is it right for your brand?
In short, a Twitter party is an hour-long moderated chat on Twitter based on a specific theme, brand or product. Each party has a unique branded hashtag to unite the conversation and prizes are given away at random to party participants – helping to generate conversation, engagement and excitement around the brand.
Anyone browsing Twitter at 2PM EST on Wednesday, March 13, would have seen a stream of tweets about the latest breaking news: Habemus Papam. There is white smoke over the Vatican. We have a new Pope. Take a look at the top trending topics in the United States and you see pope-related keywords almost completely across the board: #HabemusPapam, #whitesmoke, #newpope (along with the more humorous hashtag #ReplaceMovieTitlesWithPope.) However, one of these is not like the other. What is #SlowKettle?
#SlowKettle refers to Campbell’s® Slow Kettle® Style Soups, a brand currently working with Social Media Link‘s influencer platform, Smiley360.com. As a component of the Smiley360 “mission”, a Twitter party was scheduled for March 13, 2013. No one anticipated that this would become such a significant date in world history.
The party kicked off with almost 1,000 excited people participating, tweeting about Campbell’s Slow Kettle and aiming to win one of the numerous party prizes. During the party, the Smiley Community Management team monitored the current trending topics, and excitement filled our control room at the appearance of the #SlowKettle hashtag in the top-10 list!
But something else was going on. For two days, the eyes of millions had been following the 2013 papal conclave in the Vatican. At 7PM local time, the news broke. White smoke had just appeared above St. Peter’s Square, meaning that a new pope has just been chosen. The news spread rapidly, in large part due to online social networks like Twitter. A tweet even came from the Pope himself.
It was exciting news for all those who follow it and we thought surely this global news event would eclipse our party. But no, #SlowKettle persisted in the top-five Twitter trends for an entire hour, proving the power of the Smiley community of socially-active influencers, and the enthusiasm people have for the Campbell’s brand. The pope is the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. Our party measured up quite well.
Social Media Link hosts Twitter parties for clients as an engagement component during influencer programs. Our Community Management team works together with our brand sponsors to create a theme, prizes and party questions to guide the conversation. Questions are based on the party theme and engage people to tweet with their stories and personal experiences as well as opinions, habits and feedback on the brand or product. Sometimes we’ll even have a guest appearance like Ty Pennington from our #SearsCheer and Sandra Lee at our #DecorateItForward party.
Parties are fast, interactive, fun and informative for all involved. Twitter parties are a great way to ignite a conversation with consumers on a particular topic or brand. They provide the opportunity for brands to generate conversation, engagement, and have the potential to generate thousands of tweets with millions of impressions in a very short amount of time. And if you’re lucky, the party just might trend nationwide.