Twitter has struggled to monetize despite its incredible popularity. While Twitter ads have proven thus far less effective then their counterparts on Google and Facebook, several brands have experimented with other tactics to make money in 140 characters or last. Coca-Cola thinks they have hit upon a strategy that will drive conversions, and engage their fans.
So… would you use to Twitter to Tweet-a-Coke?
Recently, brands like Coca-Cola have experimented with allowing users to send coupons for gifts to users. So, you can literally buy and send a friend a Coke via Twitter. Coca-Cola specifically allows you to purchase a Coke using your authenticated Twitter account, then send a link with a coupon code to a friend via Twitter. Your friend can use that code at a participating Regal Cinemas to buy a Coke.
Coke is not the first rider in the Twitter purchase rodeo. Last year, Starbucks let users do something very similar with coffee.
Between programs like this, and Facebook’s “Buy” button, social networks are clearly trying to address one of the biggest criticisms that brands have of them: they simply do not drive conversions. By letting you make purchases directly on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, the popular sites hope to attract more investments and prove to brands that along with engagement, and awareness, social media can also drive direct sales.
Compared to Facebook’s “Buy” button, Tweeting a Coke has the added benefit of also driving awareness and engagement. After all, you need to send info from the brand to a friend in order to utilize the promotion.
How will this all play out?
In the long run, it will be interesting to see if this campaign is successful for Coca-Cola and if other brands end up adopting similar social tactics. If it is successful, it would go a long way towards Twitter proving itself an essential part of social campaigns.