Monday, June 21, 2010

Using a Twitter Contest to Raise Brand Awareness

The folks over at Wizards of the Coast, the makers of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, have teamed up with the folks over at to host a contest using the Twitter social media tool.

The contest involves consumers watching a website for a specific change in the web copy. When they see the change, they try to be the first to tweet the new copy. The first Twitter user to post wins.

This is a great way to use the tool as it forces a core group of consumers/users to monitor a company web property and then, when they see the copy change, they broadcast that copy (which is a sales message from the company) to everyone that follows them. Brilliant.

This isn't the kind of thing that will work on the B2B side, but I'm very pleased to see companies finding ways to leverage the social networks of their customers to reach out to a wider customer base. That's the way to use these tools. You have to get beyond your current client base and spread the word. It's great if you can get your customers to do it for you. Sometimes you have to offer a reward, but it's worth it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

ORC: HUD gets into the social media game

According to reporters at October Research Corp., the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be using social media to promote transparency in its operations. According to the news outlet, HUD is making the move "in an effort to better serve the American people." Well, the American people are using social media.

In the article, reporter Eileen Coleman writes, "As the new generation of information seekers primarily accesses news and other content through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, HUD deemed it essential that the department get up to speed on today's popular channels of communication. After all, 50 percent of Facebook's 400 million users log on every day, according to Facebook. Furthermore, while only 21 percent of Twitter's 19 million users are active, that's still 3,990,000 people to reach, according to, a respected social media news blog."

HUD has also reportedly created its own YouTube channel.

Now you can friend HUD on Facebook at, follow them on Twitter at or visit their wiki page at The agency did not elaborate yet on the types of information it would share via these new media websites.