Twitter is many a PR pro‘s best friend, in part for its lightning speed in breaking news and its way of facilitating quick, off-the-cuff conversations with journalists and other popular social media personalities.
The platform that’s nearly a decade old also is great at driving conversation for brands.
Here are five of our favorite Twitter campaigns that garnered great media coverage and social media sharing:
1. Ben and Jerry’s “Fair Tweets” campaign
This campaign wins for its cleverness. By now everyone knows 140 characters is the Twitter limit, so the ice cream makers came up with the premise that “every day, millions of Twitter characters go unused.” The company created a way for people to “donate” their remaining characters to Ben and Jerry’s, which used them to tweet messages about fair trade in honor of Fair Trade Month in October.
What also works about this campaign: It’s an extension of the longstanding Ben & Jerry’s commitment to social causes, and the cleverness saves it from being sanctimonious.
2. LG’s #BestShotEver photo contest
The electronics giant found a natural way to promote its newest smartphone by hosting a photo contest on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #BestShotEver.
We were surprised more smartphone makers hadn’t already used this strategy to engage consumers. As brands know, the more visually stimulating their social campaigns are, the better.
3. The White House’s #GetCovered campaign
This one is a bit older, but worth mentioning.
The White House allowed users to tweet their personal stories about what getting health insurance meant to them following the start of Obamacare. It used the hashtag #GetCovered, and added a visual element via a Storify slideshow. The campaign continues in full swing today, with the administration using it to announce important dates such as open enrollment.
4. Domino’s in the United Kingdom
Across the pond, Domino’s ran a clever Twitter campaign that challenged its customers to include the hashtag #LetsDoLunch to reduce the price of a slice of pizza. For every tweet, the company dropped the price of its most popular slices by £0.01.
In the end, the price of a slice went from £15.99 to £7.74 and generated a bit of buzz in the process. Domino’s scored by targeting a specific time slot to run its campaign and by allowing consumers to do the promoting for them by providing the incentive.
5. PayPal’s anti-holiday campaign
Also from the archives, PayPal capitalized on the well-known fact that Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s favorite by sharing a fan’s tweet: “Who needs a boyfriend when you have a PayPal account?”
The tweet prompted such widespread response that PayPal used the hashtag #TreatYourself to continue driving the conversation, and even surprised some users with gifts that answered their tweets. The takeaway here: Find non-obvious, creative ways to use holidays.
Michelle Han is a senior account supervisor at Crenshaw Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on the Crenshaw Communications blog, PR Fish Bowl.