Twitter Lessons Learned at the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

Last weekend’s Berkshire Hathaway tweeting provided us a great communications laboratory with several lessons learned.  Talk about a case study in multiplatforms and social media.  Here’s what happened:

Last summer, Leigh Fatzinger of OMV in Seattle began following Business Wire on Twitter.  Like many companies, we jumped on  Twitter, but nobody really owned the feed and updates were few.  It’s different now, but then, no one actively tweeted, so Leigh “unfollowed” us.

OUCH. That’s like saying:  “Take me off your mailing list.”

Leigh Fatziner of Seattle

Leigh Fatzinger

But it’s OK.  On Thursday, April 30 at 9:16 AM Central Daylight Time, we posted our plans to tweet live from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting.   In that blog post, we invited people to follow us on Twitter. Those who did would be entered in a random drawing to win a set of  collectable Warren Buffett posters available only at the meeting.

On Friday, May 1, at 1:58 PM, Lauren Linscheid in Business Wire’s Seattle office touted the blog post, “How Tweet It is to Attend the Berkshire Hathaway meeting,” in an email blast.

Leigh saw the email.   “I thought that was a really good headline,” said Leigh, “so I clicked on it and read all the way through to the bottom and learned about the contest.”  At 2:49 PM, Leigh began “following” us again.

On May 5, we picked Leigh’s name randomly from the 243 new followers we harvested from the contest.  We searched him online and tried to call, but the phone number we retrieved was faulty. At 11:20 AM, we followed him on Twitter and sent him the following direct message:
“Leigh, Monika Maeckle from @businesswire here.  Trying to reach u re: Warren Buffett posters u won.  Please call @ 210.527.9100. Gracias.”
I was concerned about doing this via email or Twitter because I thought Leigh might think it was dumb “You have won!” spam.  But Leigh called me within 10 minutes, we had a great conversation, and we are sending him the posters as we speak.
This is a great example of how Twitter works as one cog in the marketing wheel–which in this case utilized a press release, several blog posts, multiple emails, Twitter posts, lots of hyperlinks all around–and the good ol’ fashioned telephone.  It also illustrate other lessons.
  1. The headline is really important.  Just like a press release, what you choose to put in the ‘tweet spot’ matters–even moreso when you only have 140 characters.
  2. It PAYS to experiment.   The drumbeat of social media is: you must participate to understand.  It’s true.  We had no idea how this would turn out.   In this case, it worked.
  3. There are no silver bullets.  All these  tools, tactics and platforms work together.  This has come up repeatedly in our webinars.  People want a single, one-size-fits-all answer.  Not gonna happen.

So…Leigh.  Congratulations to you!  And thanks for helping us learn a bit more about how to use Twitter.

One Response to Twitter Lessons Learned at the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

  1. [...]  Leigh:  your posters are en route (after we find a tube to send them in).  Read more about Twitter lessons learned in a separate [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,099 other followers

%d bloggers like this: