July 19, 2013 - Comments Off on Top Twitter Trends: How to extend the value and life cycle of an #ask celebrity Q&A

Top Twitter Trends: How to extend the value and life cycle of an #ask celebrity Q&A

Ashes fever is currently gripping the UK, with England squaring up to Australia again today in the 2nd Test at Lords.  Eight years ago, when England broke a twenty year Ashes drought, the best chance a fan had of getting close to the players was to wait patiently on the boundary or outside the training ground.  Today, fans get the chance to talk directly to their favourite players through social media at any time they choose.

Everyday there’s at least one celebrity hashtag Q&A trending on Twitter -from an unsigned boy band in Scotland, to a gold medal winning Olympic Athlete, to a drop out finalist on Britain’s Got Talent. Accounts with a few thousand followers can very quickly get a live chat trending to increase their followers and actively engage with their fan base.

On Monday, 24 hours after England had secured victory in the first Ashes test at Trent Bridge, Kevin Pietersen – the man described by the Guardian as “England’s greatest modern batsman” – showed just how powerful a well-run Twitter Q&A session can be. In the space of 30 minutes, Pietersen increased the following of his Nena and Pasadena clothing brand by a pretty impressive 8% – not bad for a single re-tweet during his Q&A session.

Good Twitter Q&A sessions are immensely valuable in promoting outreach and engagement.  The trick is how to spot the trends in a conversation and learn how to ride the wave effectively to increase brand visibility, without hammering a pushy sales mechanic – even if that means manipulating the hashtag theme into a more creative outcome.

The key for brands and celebrities running Q&A sessions is to also to expect the unexpected. During a recent Q&A session with Irish band The Script, the conversation took a completely unexpected turn when it was hijacked by random questions which prompted some trade publications to question the value of Twitter Q&As. However, the research we’ve produced using our earned media planning tool, Whisper, tells a slightly different story. Although The Script might be slightly reticent to run another Q&A session in the near future, the hijacking actually only added 28 minutes to the natural lifetime of the conversation – it had an impact, but it was only short-lived and didn’t do huge amounts of damage to The Script’s brand. In fact, the hijacking actually helped extend the conversation to new audiences as well as earning PR column inches. Not bad for a 45 minute burst of tweets on a Tuesday afternoon in late June.

The full research report using insight by Whisper goes into lots more detail about how long conversations can live for and how long a brand has to engage before the conversation is over. To read the full report and learn more about how and when to kick start an online conversation, click here.