Pretzel Crisps Uses Super Bowl Social Media Buzz to Engage with Twitter Users

Like most people who work in the communications industry, I spent last Sunday night analyzing the commercials and campaigns that ran during and in conjunction with the Super Bowl. Posting many of my thoughts to Twitter, I kept wondering what companies would do to follow through after the big game ended (in a heart-crushing, devastating way for me…)

I kept latching on to the ideas of follow-through and engagement because so many companies featured social media channels in their ads: Facebook URLs, Twitter handles, hashtags. In my opinion, far too many brands forget that social media is supposed to be, well, social. Conversational. Engaging. Two-way. A dialogue.

What’s the point of throwing up a hashtag on a multi-million dollar spot if no one from the company is going to follow-up with people who used it, who asked questions, who tried to connect? Sure, it’s great to get a hashtag trending for a couple hours on Twitter, but what else can be done with that conversation stream the days after the game aside from throwing it up on a microsite or Facebook tab?

Using social channels and tracking conversations, brands can truly make an impact that results in a aquiring new customers, building brand loyalty, and increasing awareness. An event as popular on social media as the Super Bowl (peaking at 12,333  Tweets Per Second at the end of the game) provides countless opportunities for brands to find compelling ways to engage with consumers.

Somehow, I luckily got to experience this first hand thanks to the company Pretzel Crisps. On Monday, I received an email notification from Twitter that Pretzel Crisps had mentioned me. The pessimist in me wondered what sort of spam I had just received from this company I’d only vaguely heard of before, so I headed over to Twitter to check out the message. They responded to one of my Tweets about Super Bowl ads in a pretty clever way:

Obviously, being a smaller company, Pretzel Crisps didn’t advertise on Super Bowl Sunday, but the team didn’t let that stop them from reaching out to people chatting about the ads. Taking the engagement a step further, @PretzelCrisps offered the Fleishman-Hillard DC office some of the product to try.

After a couple of DMs, the team told me to expect some pretzels a couple days later. I figured they’d ship me a box of sample packs and that would be the end of it.

The company surprised me again.

A little after lunch time on Wednesday, I received a phone call that someone from Pretzel Crisps was waiting for me at the front desk. Slightly surprised, I walked to the receptionist desk to find two Pretzel Crisps employees with bags and bags stuffed with snacks. They politely introduced themselves and I hounded them with questions about the campaign – growing increasingly impressed with how they are running it. Basically, a team of three people are monitoring Twitter regularly looking for people mentioning that they are hungry and not sure what snack to eat. The Super Bowl provided them with tons of engagement opportunities and I have to admit they definitely followed-through:

The FH team raved about Pretzel Crisps all day and left them lots of love on Twitter. As a team, we concluded that original Pretzel Crisps + Nutella = amazing combination everyone should try.

Due to the simple “surprise and delight” factor, I am now a complete convert and brand loyalist. For the past few days, I’ve been singing the praises of Pretzel Crisps to anyone who will listen… making this marketing initiative extremely successful.

Most impressive, though, is that the engagement didn’t end when the team walked out the door earlier this week. Today, @PretzelCrisps gave my office and me shout outs for #FollowFriday – a nice touch that showed the company wanted to sustain the relationship beyond Super Bowl Sunday.




2 thoughts on “Pretzel Crisps Uses Super Bowl Social Media Buzz to Engage with Twitter Users

  1. I love Pretzel Crisps and your story about the company’s social media campaign and follow-up. There must be work behind the scenes if company’s really want to engage potential consumers. Pretzel Crisps certainly did that in your case. I’m sure someone there recognized the potential of marketing to a Comm/PR agency. Thus, there was little to lose in exchange for a possibly large payoff.

    Do you think this kind of online/offline service from companies is going to be the next wave of engagement? And, I wonder how you would have felt about Pretzel Crisps without the personal touch of hand delivery? Would a box of chips, etc. garnered a similar reaction?

    Great story Meg! Thanks for sharing!

    …now where is that bag of Pretzel Chips I had stashed away…

    • Thanks for stopping by, Bob – always good to hear your thoughts!

      I think online/offline service like this is an excellent way to build rapport with consumers (existing and potential) as we’ve seen with similar initiatives from Outbeak Steakhouse and Morton’s. You raise an excellent point – the personal delivery trumped receiving a box of sample packs in the mail.

      Of course, free product isn’t the only way to “surprise and delight” people and I hope companies don’t come to rely on that. I think there are other creative ways to engage on a personal level online and offline and I’ll be interested to see brands experiment in this space. I shared a story earlier this week about a hotel chain that used Twitter to act as a concierge, catering to one user’s personal requests.

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