In #BrandsTalkTwitter, we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how our favourite brands use the platform, and this week it's the turn of FMCG brand @innocent.
The smoothie brand is no stranger to Twitter audiences. When we recently asked @TwitterMktgUK followers about their top brands to follow, Innocent was one of the most popular.
Here we get the rundown from innocent on how it uses Twitter.
What role does Twitter fulfil in your social media strategy?
Twitter's the main channel we use to not talk about our drinks. It's a great place to stick random throwaway thoughts as well as launch full-blown campaigns; we'd say 90% of our best ideas started on Twitter. It's also where we have the best chat with our drinkers - people's responses to our posts are often better than the post itself.
How do you handle direct messages from consumers?
We try to reply to everyone who gets in touch. These guys pay our wages, it’s the least we can do. Customer service issues come first. Once they’re solved, we try and chat as much nonsense to as many people as possible.
Even with customer service, we always try and talk in a simple, clear way and add some fun where we can. We want people to know an actual human is reading and replying to their message, not a robot.
How do you split planned activity vs tactical?
We plan less than half our stuff. We do that on purpose. It’s not because we’re disorganised...(our boss could be reading this). We plan for days like Valentine’s but a lot of our stuff is unplanned. We talk about what’s going on that day - things like the weather – and you can’t plan for that.
Tweeting in the moment is the best way to make sure we’re talking about what actual people are talking about. This also means we’re used to thinking quickly, so if we see a chance to jump on something, we can take it at short notice.
For example, a different social media site, whose name we shall not mention, went down earlier in the year. We wrote this tweet in the supermarket on our way home, and it’s one of our best-performing ever.
What is the most important thing to bear in mind before you Tweet?
We ask: “why would anyone share this?”. If it’s just a boring advert, it’s probably not bringing very much to someone’s timeline. People don’t go on Twitter to look at advert (which is a real shame, makes our job a lot harder). We’re competing for attention with animals and kids falling over, so our tweets need to be interesting. We also think “would other brands do this?” – if the answer is yes, we probably don’t tweet it.
What’s your most successful tweet?
We launched a new drink this year. It’s blue. Really blue. We tweeted about that, and one or two people disagreed about the colour. We spent four days telling people it was blue and put it in a big thread. People loved that.
It’s not normal to see a company openly argue with their customers so it took people by surprise. It’s easy to back down and try to please everyone, but we try have a bit more personality and take opportunities to be funny and subversive where we can. We followed it up by making a video with Duncan from Blue. Everyone now agrees our drink is blue.
We tweet along to the telly a lot. Eurovision, Bake Off, Love Island – things like that. They go down a treat - people aren’t expecting a smoothie company to also tweet about European singing contests. A lot of our good stuff is funnier because it comes from a brand. We want people to say “why are their bosses paying them to do this?”.
What gets the most engagement from your followers?
We'd like to say “smoothies” or “great writing” but the answer is dogs. At polling stations, on trains – you name it, if a dog is involved we're onto a winner.
We love it when everyone joins in and we can spend a whole day talking about one thing. We squeeze every drop from an idea until it gets not-funny then carry on until it's funny again.
Oh, and this grape with a beard did stupidly well. Annoyingly well. We work really hard on all our stuff and then this grape comes along and outperforms everything. This grape is our Everest. We may never conquer it.
From @TwitterMktgUK’s point of view, it’s great to see brands conversing with consumers even if they don’t agree. For a masterclass in this, if you are not already, you could do worse than giving @innocent a follow.