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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shhh, we're trying to get publicity

If you want people to talk about your business, you need to give them something to talk about. Seems pretty simple. However, some do not seem to understand this.

A recent example of this was seen on Twitter when Steve Murphy began his @Twakeup_Now campaign. On October 23 we began seeing tweets telling us to get ready to Twakeup on October 27. The tweets were coming from users around the country who were asked to help lead their community to this event. However, they were sworn to secrecy as to what the event was. Of course, this led to followers of these individuals to comment that they are tired of being spammed with Twakeup tweets.

No details and no hints as to the topic. When visiting the website only revealed a list of the people tweeting about Twakeup, called pod leaders. It may have created interest among some people, but many of the replies I saw were just of annoyance and questioning the "pod leader" what they were talking about.

Remember, spam is something unwanted by the reader. Twitter followers will always find topics they know nothing about to be spam, especially if there is no method to find out what is being talked about.

Four days later, it is revealed that Twakeup is a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Great cause, but a few fatal flaws in this campaign. The biggest, if your intent is to raise money for a charitable cause, why not just reveal that on October 23 when the Twitter account is created and website put up? Even if the infrastructure had not been created to accept donation on the website, you will get more attention if you tell people what to expect.

Most would not call a awareness to support cancer research spam, but when they do not know what @Twakeup_Now is, it is just spam.

Keeping the intent quiet for four days simply does the opposite of what is desired. Instead of getting people excited for the event and making the general public want to be a part of it, these individuals frustrated their followers and failed to capitalize on building word of mouth. People will talk about your product, if you tell them what it is. Keeping secrets from the public will not help build momentum.

By the end of the first day, they tweeted that they were almost to $1000. Four days later, the tweets revealed that bigger donations were coming in and they were up to $5000. Had Mr. Murphy been up-front to the public about the intentions of Twakeup_Now, that first day may have brought in bigger donations and they would not have had to wait for four days to get to $5000. The potential was there, but he stunted the potential to make Twakeup even more effective. Lesson here, if you want people to be aware of your product, get it out there as soon as possible. Don't keep it a secret and hope people will become interested in mystery meat.

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