We came across (via Sphinn) this interesting analysis of Toyota’s usage of Promoted Tweets and how they indeed have done a bang up job of utilizing the platform to create engagement and generate buzz. Check out the original post for the details of the execution by Toyota, but let me elaborate on why I like this.
- Toyota thought creatively about how to engage users on Social Media. Had they said “Hey! We’re TOYOTA, come on ya’ll! We’ve got more than one Prius, buy now!”, not only would that have been really poor grammar, but it would have been overtly advertisement-y and that is a sure way to immediately disengage folks on social media. My example is extreme, obviously, but the point is that marketers have to figure out how to address users of social media in the context of what they are doing at that moment.
- Toyota has proven that social media advertising doesn’t have to be boring/annoying/overtly irrelevant, etc. Based on this campaign, it’s clear that a good deal of effort went in to this (and helps that Toyota’s global branding agency was at the helm). But the principals could be applied to anyone seeking to try social media advertising – instead of thinking of about it in terms of driving a sale, think about it in terms of sparking a conversation. If you start a conversation, ultimately that will involve more than just the original person who saw the ad so your impact is then multiplied. Think about the timing of when you should spark such conversations. Toyota, for example, knows that it takes 6 months on average from inception to purchase for a car buyer. Their new line of Priuses will be in showrooms this summer, so they’re doing well to spark their conversation now. Hey, we’re talking about it, aren’t we? I also happen to be in the market for a new car so it’s possible that I’m exactly who they were hoping would engage in this conversation. Well played, Toyota. Well played.
So the lesson here is that there’s no reason not to try social media advertising – but there is every reason to approach it differently than every other type of advertising you may use.