Posted by Ryan Sullivan, Associate Account Manager, Natural Search
April was a busy month for Twitter. Coming off a 151 percent increase in visitors from February to March (according to comScore), the tweeting masses surged into April poised for the next big stories. With traffic teetering on 10 million visitors per month, Twitter saw the first race to 1 million followers in CNN vs. Ashton Kutcher. Other notable stories that played out on Twitter throughout the month were the two heavy hitters: Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent and swine flu from media hype.
While not on par with swine flu, another Twitter success was slowly building up steam and eventually overtook Susan Boyle for a brief moment in Twitter history: Baskin-Robbins and the 31 Cent Scoop Night.
On April 29, from 5-10 p.m. local time, Baskin-Robbins sold each ice cream scoop for 31 cents with proceeds going toward a $100,000 donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council. In order to create buzz, Baskin-Robbins set up a Facebook event page and participated in the online buzz through its Twitter page. It responded to excited user tweets about the event, re-tweeted pictures posted on TweetPic, and answered questions for curious consumers.
As the event got closer and kicked off, tweets with keywords like “baskin robbins” or “31 cent” skyrocketed, peaking at 8 p.m. with .12 percent of all tweet volume. Later that night, as the last scoops were being served to hungry customers, the tweets started to taper off quickly, returning to pre-event volumes by midday on the 30th. (according to twist.flaptor.com)
Baskin-Robbins successfully leveraged the power of Twitter to promote and foster the viral buzz around its 31 cent scoop event. It recognized early on that conversations about its brand and event would be taking place online, and as the day drew nearer, it did all it could to promote that conversation.
Additional long-term benefits gained by using Twitter:
1. Gain followers – Baskin-Robbins has 4300+ followers (nearly 50 of which joined while I was writing this article) that will be notified of all Baskin-Robbins Twitter activity
2. Measure success – See who tweets before and after getting scoops to draw a direct line between online marketing and offline sales
3. Focus group – Ask about favorite flavors/products and get direct consumer input without spending tons of cash
4. Customer satisfaction – Have access to a wider audience to solve real consumer issues and gain insight into what it’s doing right
After successfully using Twitter to promote the 31 cent scoop event, it would have been easy to just let the account drop off and leave it for next year, but that’s not what happened at all. Baskin-Robbins has capitalized on its moment in the Twitter spotlight, and continued the conversation with its engaged customers.
It has done several things including:
1. Asking trivia questions via Twitter and sending a Baskin-Robbins gift certificate to the first person to reply with the correct answer
2. Sending out happy birthday wishes
3. Notifying its Twitter followers of additional promotions
4. Sending out new store opening information
5. Responding to customer issues and complaints
6. Tapping into its oh-so-precious free online focus group
Baskin-Robbins definitely takes the cake (yay for cliché puns) when it comes to planning and executing a successful social media marketing plan for the month of April. Great job!