Marketing Is For The Birds

Twitter has had a great month, with rumors spreading that it may purchase Summize, the weekly market share of visits was up 500% for the week ending July 5, 2008 over last year with traffic 12x that of Plurk and 24x that of FriendFeed. Despite the outages caused by tremendous growth, users seem to be coming back.

Now in an effort to generate buzz and build loyalty through engagement with their brand, companies are starting to turn to Twitter.

Last year, according to AdWeek, in an effort to build buzz for the NBC TV show Chuck media agency Fanscape set up an account in the persona of the show’s main character, Chuck Bartowski (www.twitter.com/ChuckBartowski).

This year NBC-Universal is turning to Twitter once again to help promote a show called Eureka, which started it’s third season a few weeks ago, by setting up an account in the persona of S.A.R.A.H., the artificially intelligent, talking house that plays a central role in the TV series. (www.twitter.com/_s_a_r_a_h_). S.A.R.A.H, has been tweeting for only two weeks now and already has 1,890 followers – and growing.

Mary Duncan of Fallon, who set up the account for NBC, says the twitter account is a way for viewers of the show to build greater attachment to the characters.

“It’s a whole different type of relationship we’re building,” she said. “For a loyal viewer, this is us reaching our hand out and saying thank you and giving them a little more.” The show is also promoting the Twitter account with a graphic that periodically appears on the bottom third of the screen inviting viewers to follow S.A.R.A.H on Twitter.

The Twitter feeds range from teasers of upcoming episodes to regular ol’ Twitter banter. Prior to the season premiere, S.A.R.A.H. did a little foreshadowing of things to come mentioning key elements of the shows plot in her tweets.

How did Twitter work for Chuck? Well, while the efforts are a great way to connect with fans, they require a lot of work for a small reach, says Christy Wise over at Fanscape. And when the show gets cancelled, or the season ends, the twitter account goes inactive like Chucks – which has been dead for nine months now.

What do you think? Can Twitter build loyalty?

– Dave

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