Twitter ROI

This is one of those “your mileage may vary” cases, but it also illustrates Thesis 18: As I Approaches 0, ROI approaches infinity.

It also demonstrates something I learned back in my basketball days: you can’t score if you don’t shoot.

I had the pleasure of attending TEDxTC on May 5 at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. The theme was, “The Extraordinary Capacity of our Youth.” Lacking the requisite $6,000 admission fee, I had never attended the original TED conference. I didn’t really know how the local events worked, and it was interesting that TED lends its brand to local organizers, who add the “x(CITYNAME)” tag. In this case there were a couple of youthful musical performers and three local speakers, and in between were interspersed a couple of TED Talks to bring a taste of the TED event to the local venue.

It was ironic to me that one of the videos the organizers showed was a talk by Sir Ken Robinson, which I had previously embedded here on SMUG and to which I refer in almost every one of my presentations (it’s well worth watching again):

This leads to the Twitter ROI part of the story. One of the event sponsors, Worrell Design (@WorrellDesign) held a contest asking attendees to tweet their favorite speaker quotes. I tweeted a few of them to the #TEDxTC tag, but my favorite (you can see at the 5:40 mark in the video above) was:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original”

Ironically, when I tweeted it I think I got it wrong. I believe I tweeted something like:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never be creative” #TEDxTC @Worrell

But, I tweeted it, and even though I should have used @WorrellDesign instead of @Worrell, my tweet was allowed into the contest, made the finals, and eventually was named the winner.

My prize arrived by mail on Thursday, courtesy of Worrell. It was a portable, 500GB USB-powered hard drive. Perfect for taking big video files on the road. See pictures in the SMUG Student Union on Facebook.

It’s just one of the neat things that has resulted from me getting involved in Twitter. If you’d like to start exploring Twitter, check out the SMUG Twitter Curriculum, and either start working through the courses in numerical order, or go right to Twitter 152: Tweetcamp III for a good overview.

3 thoughts on “Twitter ROI”

  1. Hey, Lee. I’ve won a few things on Twitter contests. I got a $100 gift certificate to best buy, a sleep monitoring system, and — just now — two free tickets to the first show in Phish’s summer 2010 tour in Chicago!

    I know that shows the ROI for ME, but what about the company giving them away? How do we know if it was worth it to THEM?

  2. Great question Steve! Worrell gets several things from our social media efforts. Our favorite thing is participating in conversations about design’s impact on society and commerce. We learn from those in the Twittersphere, and get to connect informally with friends, colleagues and clients through our posts to Facebook.

    For TEDxTC, we not only acquired new Twitter followers, we got brand recognition for our Contest (include link to Worrell’s contest page) through signage throughout the event viewed by all the creative minds that were in attendance. This contest was an interactive tool for us to draw our brand closer to Ted’s vision of sharing powerful ideas as well as proclaiming our belief in the evening’s theme (The extraordinary capacity of our youth).

    Hopefully in addition to the Worrell Design’ed Imation hard drives, we also gave something intangible and valuable. We aimed to provoke thoughts and conversations on the most impactful quotes and moments of the evening. While the social media ROI may not always be monetary for Worrell, as a 34 year old design firm, we seek to be known for our ideals and passion for design’s impact in the world. So far we have found a meaningful tool in social media to achieve this goal.

    Thanks for the comment and let’s try to continue this discussion in a bigger forum online (@worrelldesign or at our Facebook page).

    – Kai Worrell

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