Today’s case history introduces us to the digital marketing scenario of a very interesting country in terms of social media usage: Turkey.
Starting from a campaign that went on air in 2011, we will briefly explore the figures of a country that is growing very fast; with an almost 80 million population, Turkey is definitely amongst the most “connected” countries in the world.
Turkcell, leader in the telecommunication market, launched last year a huge social media campaign. The aim was to promote their new smartphone, combined with an Internet service. To promote this offer they picked the digital venue where most of their target market is: Twitter.
Instead of using the classic online advertising tools, they opted for an interactive and more structured competition. They set up a website for the initiative (dahafazlatweet.com, that means “more tweets”), opened a dedicated Twitter profile and created a logo for the campaign, based on the official one:
The campaign was a game on Twitter: the prize was covered by a number of virtual post-it-alike notes. Players had to go on the website, read the notes and tweet them using the hashtag #turkcelltweet.
Some of these notes were including advertising messages: so while playing, users were sharing promotional messages, other than making the hashtag become trending topic several times. This meant huge visibility for the brand during the campaign lifetime.
Once the note was tweeted it disappeared from the website, slowly “unwrapping” the prize. During the competition, users could also play with other mini-games, such as crosswords and Pictionary, to win extra prizes, like free phone traffic cards. In order to win the real prize – the smartphone – a tweet needed to be retweeted by a celebrity, like it happened with Turkish singers Sertab Erener and Nil Karaibrahimgil.
Here’s the video that explains how the campaign worked and its results (the video is in Turkish):
The campaign lasted 7 days and generated over 55 thousand tweets. Interesting figures, considering that nowadays Twitter campaigns are very frequent; this one has been particularly successful because it went beyond the simple concept of “retweet-and-win”.
There are several reasons why this strategy worked, and the most important was probably the fact that Turkcell has been able to make people advertise the brand in different ways – while having fun. Yet it was a potentially dangerous initiative: when people talk about a company, they usually focus on the negative aspects, and this happens quite frequently in Turkey. But even if the campaign could have failed quite easily, it didn’t.
Another factor must be considered: mobile brands are very exposed on social media, therefore in a strong competition between each other. Let’s just think about the fact that – together with Turkcell – amongst the top Turkish brands on Facebook (with over a million fans) there are Nokia Türkiye and the mobile service company Avea.
Twitter and the Turkish social media scenario
And according to ComScore stats, Turkey is on the top 10 worldwide ranking of the most active countries on Twitter – in 2011 over 16% of total Turkish internet users were tweeting.
Pretty often trending topics coming from Turkey can be seen in the worldwide TT list. And Twitter also became a huge player for what concern TV consumption: several Turkish TV shows and series are using Twitter, aiming to make it to the trending topic list during the airtime.
The TV network picks an hashtag and displays it during the show: nowadays most of us are using laptops or smartphones while watching TV, and – most important thing – people love to actively participate to and online conversation, expressing their ideas in real-time.
Another way to enhance the buzz around TV series is to create Twitter accounts for main characters, making them share tweets about the plot and interact with the audience.
It’s interesting to notice how this tendency is consistent with the direction that Twitter seems to have taken: recently they announced partnerships with American broadcasters (such as the ESPN sport network) in order to be able to sell advertising services that integrate the TV screen with the digital experience.
As we all know, social media can be used to actively involve people, and make the brand communication more efficient, both in the the short and long term.
And all these dynamics, such as social TV and buzz-marketing on Twitter, are highly appreciated by an increasing amount of brands and companies.