One of the things companies struggle with how to build engagement with their social media accounts. The cold reality is that most people don’t engage with a company on Twitter until there’s a problem. The majority of current or potential customers aren’t following a given brand’s Twitter account on a given day.
So how do you get people to pay attention to you, when they don’t want to? One way that companies have been testing is allowing a customer or fan to have temporary access to their Twitter account. During Alabama basketball’s NCAA tournament run in March, the Tuscaloosa News turned its Twitter account over to Bama super-fan Hunter Johnson. The move was wildly popular, it drove a lot of attention to the @TideSports account, and gave @HunterLJohnson a lot more attention as well.
My name is @HunterLJohnson and the folks at The Tuscaloosa News have been foolish enough to give me access to this account tonight.
— TideSports.com (@TideSports) March 15, 2018
Last week leading up to Father’s Day, Sears applied a similar strategy:
Join our #AskDad daily Twitter Takeover this week from 12-1PM central time beginning Monday, 6/11 through 6/15. We’ll have a guest host answer your questions about #FathersDay gifting and more from our handle!
— Sears (@Sears) June 8, 2018
Sears picked five dads, and let each one have a different day, and a different topic:
Hey folks – my name is Nick Ferry & I’m a hobby woodworker/DIY’er – I’m taking over the Sears twitter account for the next hour talking everything Father’s Day – use #askdad to ask a question or add a comment – more about me & what I do in a bit – make sure to follow along -NF- pic.twitter.com/4kUddeUIjl
— Sears (@Sears) June 15, 2018
One day the topic was favorite tools, another it was travel ideas, another it was cooking. All topics relating back to fathers and ideas for Father’s Day. This is a great example of focusing on customer-centric content. Instead of promoting Father’s Day sales, Sears brings in real dads all week to discuss their fathers and fatherhood. Naturally, shopping for Father’s Day will come up, but it’s not the focus of the strategy. The focus is to bring together five dads and their communities for a vibrant discussion, that Sears hosts.
Overall, I think this is a great idea and I think you’ll see more brands doing this moving forward. Sears can now improve similar efforts moving forward. Maybe bring in cooks to discuss baking for Thanksgiving, or parents to discuss shopping for children around Christmas.
I do have a couple of suggestions for Sears. If I were helping Sears with this effort, I would have stressed the need to leverage the new exposure Sears had to the communities of these five dads that took over the Sears Twitter account. The reality is, a lot of people will check out the Sears account while the dad they are following is running the account, but after that most of them will leave when the dad does. A good way to capitalize would have been for Sears to promote a special discount code for #AskDad participants, maybe give them the code ASKDAD to get a 20% discount. This would also be a great way to track a lift in sales directly back to the #AskDad Twitter chats. I would have also encouraged Sears to promote either its newsletter, or maybe a ‘Gift Buying Guide for Dads’, or something similar.
But overall, I thought turning #AskDad over to real dads for a week was a great idea by Sears, and will be interested in seeing how the brand builds on this idea!
— Sears (@Sears) June 13, 2018