If you want to see how social media marketing works, have a look at Tweet4yourtee (www.tweet4yourtee.com), set up by “a group of Twitter enthusiasts who also share a common passion for the online world, design and funky T-shirts”.
The website sells customised T-shirts for fans of Twitter, the microblogging social network that has rapidly evolved from a fad to a full-blown marketing tool.
Buyers use their Twitter account to select their garment (a T-shirt or a hoodie), choose from a range of designs, and pay $US39. Ten to 14 days later, their garment is delivered, bearing their unique Twitter address.
The viral nature of Twitter saw the idea take off very quickly from its launch last December. Twitter users liked what they saw, liked the garments, and tweeted others to check it out. A fun video on YouTube (now embedded on T4YT’s site or see tinyurl.com/2c59p7m) and some live promotional stunts, such as treasure hunts, also helped to gain followers and generate sales. “We wanted to build a company and a business and a website that used social media like Twitter and Facebook as the marketing tools,” says Tom Reidy, Tweet4yourtee’s ‘Director of Awesomeness’ and also Director of Wellington-based online media company Catalyst90.
“We wanted different ways to use Twitter’s API (application programming interface) to integrate with the site, so if you tweet us you automatically get a 15% discount.”
A line of underwear has now been added to the product range, and Reidy was planning to send 140 pairs to Twitter’s headquarters, just to keep them in the loop. Given Twitter’s notoriously protective attitude towards its brand, we did wonder whether T4YT might have feared overstepping the mark.
“We did research in terms of what they’ll allow with their brand – I don’t want to run into lawyers! At the end of the day for us it’s all about creating awareness of Twitter, so I’d be surprised if they got upset with us.” If you’re considering using Twitter for marketing purposes, Reidy says you need to think outside the box. “It’s about being involved – having a presence, not just sitting back at a counter and doing nothing.
If you’re going to get anything out of it you’ve got to get involved and be creative, and you’ve got to have fun. The other thing to remember is, it’s not just part of the marketing mix; it’s your brand, it’s your culture, it’s your style online and it’s attracting people that it’s a good product to buy, and if you don’t treat it with respect you’re not going to get the best out of it.”
Tweet4yourtee was conceived by three people and while the e-commerce process has been substantially automated, it still employs one person full-time. As for sales, Reidy will only say, “At this stage we are selling more than we did yesterday!”