User Generated Content with Twitter

by | Mar 15, 2011 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing, Social Media | 2 comments

This article came across my feed today: 5 Smart Social PR Campaigns to Learn From. For my clients looking for ways to crowd source and market their brands, I thought number 5 on this list was a cool model.

5. KFC: The Power of a Single Tweet

With 2.5 million college scholarships awarded every year in the U.S., KFC knew it had to cook up something innovative to stir buzz around the brand’s 75-scholarship Colonel’s Scholars program. That’s why KFC and Weber-Shandwick decided to do away with the tired old college scholarship essay and award a $20,000 scholarship based solely on a single tweet. Students had just 140 characters (including the hashtag #KFCScholar) to convince KFC execs why they deserved a scholarship.

Announced via a USA Today story, the scholarship tweet campaign generated more than 1,000 media placements and tens of millions of media impressions, including two AP Wire stories, multiple stories on CNN Headline News, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and NBC national news. The program also captivated the online world, generating more than nine million social media impressions as a result of tweets during the brief entry period. In all, more than 2,800 applicants tweeted for their chance at $20,000, and the KFC Twitter handle saw a 20% jump in followers in just two weeks.

One of those followers was 17-year-old Amanda Russell, whose tweet, “Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!” scored her the $20,000 college scholarship.


Heck with a contest, your judging criteria could even highlight the messages you want your visitors to get across through their tweets.  Who better to encode your messages than your target market themselves?

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