Twit­ter – is it an engage­ment and brand­ing chan­nel or a direct response vehi­cle? Arguably, it’s both. And that’s what “Flock to Unlock” cam­paigns are all about. The basic premise involves dri­ving cur­rent account fol­low­ers or tar­get audi­ences to “re-tweet” your mes­sage in order to unlock an exclu­sive deal from a brand.  When done cor­rectly these pro­mo­tions can:

  • Drive engage­ment with cur­rent followers
  • Elicit inter­ac­tion with tar­get audiences
  • Deliver excep­tional direct response results


It sounds sim­ple, but a poorly planned and exe­cuted Twit­ter pro­mo­tion can quickly become a PR and cus­tomer ser­vice night­mare, result­ing in angry tweets belit­tling your mar­ket­ing skills and brand mes­sage. Let’s make sure that doesn’t hap­pen because pro­tect­ing brand integrity while also encour­ag­ing authen­tic cus­tomer dia­logue and reach­ing new audi­ences via Twit­ter and paid adver­tis­ing is crucial.

Con­sider these five key points in your paid pro­mo­tional Twit­ter cam­paign strategy:


1) Plan: Con­sider this your “pre-release” phase

  • Fire off some teaser tweets a few days before the pro­mo­tion is going live to build aware­ness and excite­ment lead­ing up to the event
  • Deter­mine the pro­mo­tion and make sure its exclu­sive to Twit­ter because exclu­siv­ity is the “sticky” fac­tor Twit­ter fol­low­ers expect
  • Cre­ate a pub­lish­ing cal­en­dar for the ini­tial tim­ing for each tweet and the audi­ence being tar­geted to ensure you don’t miss an opportunity
  • Ensure that each tweet builds upon the last for con­nec­tion and momentum;
  • Uti­lize a sin­gle organic tweet so all retweets are eas­ily tracked and test­ing has shown that engage­ments beget more engagements
  • Min­i­mize the num­ber of pos­si­ble dis­trac­tions (AKA no URLs)  to reduce com­plex­ity, sim­plic­ity is best
  • Ensure you have sep­a­rate mobile and desk­top cam­paigns to best take advan­tage of opti­miza­tion capabilities
  • Pick a retweet goal that is attain­able such as 150.  This helps ensure you meet the goal and sets a bench­mark for future adjustment
  • Make sure your pro­mo­tion is ready and ful­fill­ment is set
  • Set a pro­mo­tion expiration

2) Launch: It’s Go Time, in Real Time

  • Plan, based on your pub­lish­ing cal­en­dar, your set of Tweets and pre­pare your­self for management
  • Be sure to track and enable rel­e­vant hash­tags to ensure involve­ment and respond to inter­ested inquiries
  • Keep track – using man­ual or tech­nol­ogy solu­tions – of your engage­ment and response

3) Amplify: Make Paid Extend Your Promotion

  • Pay to extend the mes­sage to tar­geted seg­ments. Our own Adobe Media Opti­mizer allows you to do this in bulk and relate to other social adver­tis­ing cam­paigns through Face­book or even LinkedIn – as well as search and dis­play. But, there are other ways, through Twit­ter directly, to also pay to pro­mote tweets.
  • Make sure you account for bid amount adjust­ments to account for the changes in cam­paign activ­ity. Adobe Media Opti­mizer has For­mu­laic Bid changes to assist with this process which can be quite tedious if man­aged fully manually.
  • Opti­mize your reach strat­egy with large inter­est groups like Music or Movies, but also account for the fact that fol­low­ers may leave imme­di­ately after the pro­mo­tional time­frame. Deter­mine other inter­est groups that might have longer stay­ing power for your brand in addi­tion to the spiked period.
  • And, always, retweet any great com­ments from your followers

4) Release: Unlock­ing the Full Poten­tial of your Promotion

  • To ensure the best cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, post the promo tweet imme­di­ately upon hit­ting the unlock goal.  Not doing so can result in some very angry tweet­ers and neg­a­tive PR for your brand. It’s all about immediacy.
  • Hand pick­ing a few high pro­file han­dles to mes­sage directly can also result in some phe­nom­e­nal organic activ­ity and incent cus­tomer loy­alty and new followers
  • Announce win­ners and cel­e­brate in their suc­cess – they are the stars.

5) Sus­tain: Con­tin­ued Momen­tum for Long Term Brand Benefit

  • Time sen­si­tive tweets can help encour­age action while keep­ing the con­ver­sa­tion going and cre­ate a sense of urgency.
  • The same approach used to amplify the ini­tial mes­sage can be used to sus­tain the pro­mo­tion. Real­lo­cate bud­get towards top per­form­ing cam­paigns and ensure bids are com­pet­i­tive enough to main­tain visibility.
  • Remem­ber, this promo is not going to be judged on engage­ment alone. Opti­miz­ing to CPE or Engage­ment rates alone may not allow you to hit your DR goals.