A lot of brands have decided to use Twitter parties as a way to engage their online following. These parties usually take about an hour and will consist of some sort of questions, and participants will be rewarded with a prize (gift cards, branded shwag, etc). It’s debatable whether these Twitter parties are a benefit to the brands online following, or if they are just a cheap gimmick to round-up a bunch of new followers.
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, a lot of people will actively seek out Twitter giveaways, I call them “giveaway poachers” or in this case, “party crashers.” These are the people who interact online simply to win prizes, nothing more. A brand gains nothing from this kind of follower, and is ultimately losing something by giving them a prize.
It’s interesting to see how Twitter parties can fuel the overall interaction for a brand over the course of a month. It’s great to get a lot of mentions, but maintaining mentions with regular interaction is much more important. Of course, users are more apt to engage a brand when incentivized to do so, but are these parties worth the trouble?
One group that has picked up on the Twitter party fun are the “mommy bloggers” or “mommy tweeters.” This group is constantly attending Twitter parties, and contributing a lot of mentions for the brand. I wouldn’t categorize them as “giveaway poachers,” because they always seem very interested in the topic behind the party (new product launch, holiday, website launch). The mommy bloggers seem to have started the Twitter party revolution and hold them on a regular basis, but again, I would love to see numbers on how the brand ultimately benefits (if that’s truly the purpose of the party).
It’s one thing to reward loyal fans with free stuff, but it’s another thing to hold regular giveaways to simply build a following. So are Twitter parties cheap gimmicks, or do they have lasting benefit to the success of the brand within the Twittersphere?