As an internet marketer with a strong background in traditional public relations I’m constantly asked about the value of social media when it comes to generating news coverage – and leads – for companies. A recent post on Fast Company’s Brand U blog provides a powerful example of how just one tweet can unleash a flood of media coverage.
The post, From obscurity to Twittereity in one little tweet, summarizes how a tweet by San Antonio-based Pear Analytics helped the company generate worldwide media coverage:
Around 10 a.m. CDT on Aug. 12, Ryan Kelly, the founder and CEO of market insights and analysis firm Pear Analytics of San Antonio, posted the following on Twitter: "The Twitter Study we mentioned at #bmprsa is now available: http://bit.ly/17htXE interesting results..." BMPRSA is a San Antonio PR and social media group that Kelly had addressed a few weeks before, mentioning the upcoming study.
Almost immediately after he posted the tweet, a friend from sales and marketing company Sales by 5 sent him a Twitter direct message: "Please let me know when you release it, and I'll send it to Mashable."
By 5 p.m. that day, Pear's study was featured on the front page of Mashable, one of the largest blogs discussing social media and technology. By 6 p.m., the study was the top two trending topics on Twitter. Later that evening, Kelly was interviewed by Robert Scoble, formerly of Fast Company and now an evangelist for Rackspace. And from there it went viral.
Do a Google search on Pear Analytics today, and you'll see some 500 articles from everyone from the BBC to CNET to NBC.com to outlets worldwide writing about its study. It's the sort of publicity a company would pay a big chunk of change to get.
Perhaps the best part of the entire story is the fact the study in question reported that 40 per cent of Twitter messages are what Pear Analytics called “pointless babble”.
Ironically Kelly’s tweet certainly wasn’t babble and garnered widespread exposure on the Internet and mainstream media for his company.