Friday, July 17, 2009

The Great Innovation Race! Building Online Advocacy With Twitter

When Dave Wilson and I were tasked to come up with an innovative and educational experience for the Maddock Douglas Summer Interns, we instantly gravitated towards social technologies due to the fact that they are simple to setup and deploy, easy to track or measure, and transparent (read: good publicity for MD). We also knew that Twitter needed to play a major role in the experience because of its especially simple setup, open API, and ubiquitous nature.

The issue for us was how to motivate six interns to create meaningful engagement online while learning how to market a product or service using social technology as a key tool. The solution we arrived at was simple: our interns would compete to build online advocacy around their personal brands over a six week period for a cash prize.

The Great Innovation Race
was born!

The goal for our Summer Interns is to amass the most followers on new Twitter accounts (owned by Maddock Douglas) using their personalities and intellects to fuel advocacy. Getting followers is great, but the point of this contest is to build and deploy a winning marketing strategy. The rules prohibit the usual shenanigans and protect our clients' confidentiality.

Benefits for the agency include enhanced PR, discovery of the Maddock Douglas brand, internal buy-in for social technologies, and a great case study to assist in future client deployments.

An interesting thing has happened in the 24 hours since we launched the competition. Internal advocacy for Twitter has been exploding. All of a sudden Maddock Douglas communications have been fractured between Twitter and the usual means. In my opinion, this is a good thing.

Be sure to follow the race - you can check out our intern pictures, bios, and latest tweets at Maddock Douglas.

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