So I was heading to Digital Mall a week ago and this caught my attention:
The guy was dressed in working attire, complete with a tie, in a pair of orange boots sitting by the pavement by a busy road. I moved on since I initially thought it was some flyer distribution gimmick but there were similar guys situated all around the area. They were pretty difficult to miss and I was totally intrigued with what’s the entire concept all about. I spotted the Twitter handle @The_OfficeGuy and decided to look him up.
So, the Twitter profile and the timeline did not say much about him. I dropped him a @mention and he introduced himself the same as in his profile. That made me wonder – if this is supposedly a promotional campaign (and I was pretty sure it is), why isn’t he promoting a single bit on the product / service? After observing the timeline for about a week now, @The_OfficeGuy is all about running contests and replying @mentions.
At this stage, I was determined to uncover this ‘mystery’ of @The_OfficeGuy. After several searches I found that it is actually a campaign by Microsoft – promoting their cloud solutions (that’s why the cloud is there) such as Office 365.
3 Things We Can Learn from This Campaign
#1: Curiosity drives conversations
It is a good idea to use social media platforms to drive conversations for your offline promotional campaigns. The reason is simple: you get people talking – especially if the campaign actually DO drive conversations! Why not bring the conversations online in which you too, can respond to them?
#2: You put a face to your campaign
Microsoft managed to put a ‘face’ and a real-life scenario to its cloud solutions. This way, the promotion takes a more human and conversational approach without being in-your-face. Consumers had it enough when it comes to blatant advertising.
#3: Provide a reason to follow you
Here’s where I think @The_OfficeGuy should have done better. The campaign created curiosity and people (with Twitter) naturally began engaging with them but it would seem that not many decided to follow him. Why? I came up with 3 reasons:
1. People somewhat know that this IS a campaign. So why follow an advertisement channel?
2. All it does is to talk, talk and talk. What can I get out of listening to his conversations with others?
3. (Referring to the Twitter profile) What value can I get out of the misadventures of someone?
I can’t argue it’s capabilities in drawing curiosity and responses but if you can’t keep the consumers, you’re merely a shopfront display. It may be more effective if there is a balance between the tweets – engagement vs providing value. You do not need to sell your product, but cleverly picking out its benefits and usage in an educational tone will do better.
Bonus: This works great with local businesses
There’s no need for expensive print advertisements. If your business has a targeted audience in a specific geographical area or even with limited budget, you may want to consider narrowing your promotional focus such as Microsoft. Concentrate on one location to build visibility and utilize social media platforms for engagement to take place. Your business may be the next talk of the town!