Experiential Twitter Installations

How Twitter can enable brands to engage with their consumers simultaneously both online and through live experiences instantly.

There are over 500 million people on Twitter worldwide – that’s a lot of consumers with some serious buying power! But savvy brands already know this, and already engage with their consumer via the social network. Twitter is the ideal platform to enable brands to have direct conversations with their consumers and in-turn humanise their products and service

Unfortunately I still feel that brands aren’t making the most out of their twitter accounts. Aside from the odd re-tweet competition the full scale of the possibilities twitter can hold for brands just doesn’t seem to have been explored yet.

A particular interest of mine is how twitter can interact with physical installations. To me this is one of the best ways for a brand to engage with their consumers in a live experience and online at the same time. The affect is two-fold; you create a memorable and engaging live experience, and increase footfall; then amplify that massively with the introduction of twitter allowing your consumers to spread your message for you. And I’m not talking about the humble hashtag at an event – twitter can get way more experiential than that!

Here is the kind of thing I mean – Tweet for sweets. Consumers tweet the treat machine which sets the wheels in motion (quite literally!) for you to be delivered a sweet. The technology to make this kind of campaign happen has been around for a while however it hasn’t been widely used yet. In my opinion one of the reasons this may be the case is the speed at which it takes for the mechanism (whatever it may be) to respond to the consumers tweet.

One of the great things about twitter is the speed at which 140 characters can travel around the world. The fact that users are forced to only use short messages means you don’t have to wait long for a reply. However twitter activated installations can take between 5 to 30 seconds to pick up a tweet posted by a consumer and react to it. While that may sound pretty quick; we know that the average consumer decision is made in around just 3 seconds.

The good news is that there have been some great changes in the way the backend of Twitter works.

We have been working with the new Twitter streaming API (the techie bits in the background) and have developed our own proprietary framework for creating Twitter installations. This allows us to create Twitter activated installations that react instantly to consumers tweets. We can make sure that your consumers’ tweets are not lost. It also means that you can have more individual consumer interactions in the same period of time.

I developed this experiment which will hopefully help to explain how I see this technology working for a brand. It’s been really simplified here, but this sort of technology can be adjusted to almost anything: a confetti cannon going off in the middle of the street, turning a car’s engine on, releasing 100 balloons, lighting up a building or beginning a fireworks show. The possibilities are almost endless for brands.