Ingenious Way to get Twitter Followers and Advertise Your Business
- 44 Comments
- January 11th, 2009
Upon checking into my hotel room at the Rio in Las Vegas, where I am attending the Affiliate Summit for a few days, I received what appeared to be a typical hotel room key — plastic, about the size of a credit card.
When I arrived at my door, I examined the key more closely so that I could see which end to insert in the door lock. It was then I noticed something different.
It turns out, it was a key branded with the logo of one of the sponsors of the Affiliate Summit event, which is being held in the Rio’s convention center. But I’ve actually seen that before. So while I was impressed with the sponsor’s marketing savvy, I wasn’t exactly surprised.
No, what REALLY surprised me was that the sponsor’s Twitter address was also printed on the key. I was so taken with this, that I actually snapped a photograph:
In the photograph, you see both the front side of the room key, and the back side. (I received 2 keycards, so I was able to show front and back in one photo.) At the bottom you see where it says “Follow us on Twitter.com/ShareASale.”
Now any of you wondering what all the hubbub is about with Twitter, need to recognize this for the watershed moment it is.
Here you have a sponsor — ShareASale — paying considerable money, I’m sure, for the branding rights to the hotel room key. A room key is something that attendees will look at and use dozens of times over the course of a 3- or 4- day stay. So ShareaSale should get lots of visibility from it.
But what’s most interesting to me is how wisely they’ve used the space on the key. There’s room to print stuff on it, such as the vendor’s logo, Web address and booth number at the show. Of course, ShareASale took advantage of that opportunity and printed all of those on the key.
But they also printed their Twitter address (@shareasale) on the card, recognizing perhaps that building a community on Twitter is not only a way to build buzz at the event, but a way to extend interest following the event. Get people who are using Twitter to follow you and you now have a way to communicate with them ongoing.
I’d go so far as to say that Twitter is on its way to becoming the latest type of permission marketing. Just like with an email list, a person on Twitter must first voluntarily sign up (follow) and agree to receive communications from you. Just like with email, where a person can withdraw permission by unsubscribing, so the person on Twitter can choose to “unfollow” at any time.
Like with email, Twitter can be updated quickly. In fact, Twitter can be updated more quickly than just about any vehicle out there — blog, podcast or email message included. So it doesn’t take a lot of time to execute.
I have 4 take-aways from this for vendors that exhibit at or sponsor events:
(1) Get on Twitter — like yesterday — if you are not already on it. Don’t underestimate the value of Twitter. It’s where many of the online conversations are taking place today. The fast uptake is unprecedented. I’ve seen nothing adopted so quickly!
(2) Make sure you have a Twitter strategy for any events you sponsor or exhibit at. You can widen visibility and extend your visibility past the event by getting people to sign up for your Twitter feed. That means you’ll need to publicize your Twitter address on event collateral and swag.
(3) If you advertise a Twitter address, then be sure to use your Twitter account to full advantage. For all its savvy in sponsoring with the room key, I am surprised that Sharesale is not using its Twitter account to full advantage. For instance, I see the last tweet was from several weeks ago. Sharesale could have been tweeting about upcoming preparations for Affiliate Summit and generating excitement and anticipation to visit them at their booth. Even more importantly, ShareASale doesn’t even have a link to its website on its Twitter page (as I write this)! Opportunities missed.
(4) Get used to using “hash tags” if you are exhibiting, sponsoring or attending events. Hash tags are a method whereby you place a designated code beginning with a hash tag (#) on Twitter messages. Others searching to see who else is writing about the event can locate the other messages. The hash tag for Affiliate Summit West is #ASW09. Affiliate Summit is even importing Twitter messages that use that code onto its event home page.
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Affiliate Summit is the big convention for the affiliate marketing industry, bringing together companies that sell online through affiliate websites, and the proprietors of those affiliate websites.
Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry and attracts a lot of small businesses and Internet entrepreneurs who become affiliates, which is why I follow the industry. Many vendors who sell through online affiliate channels rely heavily on the small businesses that become affiliates and promote the vendor’s products and services on their websites.