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From literature to Twit-erature: How brands can benefit

Known to be the medium to break news, complain real-time to brands, show support to a ‘trending’ social cause, Twitter now aims to add another dimension to its attributes – literature. Twitter sees nearly 500 million tweets every day according to company sources, but its microblogging nature has seemed better suited to news than creative exploration, probably something the company hopes to change with the launch of the second edition of Twitter Fiction Festival (#Twitterfiction). This may also diversify its brand image.
Besides, it can also be seen as part of Twitter’s strategy to re-engage existing users. As per a study by Peer Reach, even though Twitter has a stable group of active users, low retention for new users remains the weak spot. Of the 90 million accounts that registered in the last three months, only 3 million turned into daily active tweeting users. Also, 56 per cent of these accounts haven’t placed a single tweet, while only 8 per cent tweeted more than 50 times.
From literature to Twit-erature
Around 645 million active Twitter users access this platform. Close to 500 million tweets a day are recorded per day and about 5,700 tweets a second. The marketing team at Twitter aims to now sync users, including brands across the world with personal stories and anecdotes. With this initiative, anyone can become a storyteller during the Twitter Fiction Festival , a five-day event commencing March 12, 2014. Participants are invited to create any literary experiment that challenges the limits of Twitter content sharing. “From time to time, creative individuals undertake exciting Twitter-based projects that push the bounds of how we define storytelling on Twitter,” said Andrew Fitzgerald of Twitter’s media team. “We want to encourage more of that, by bringing storytellers together all at the same time and bringing an audience to them.”
Although Twitter has hosted several other creative experiments in the past, this initiative wants to collect several projects at one time, in the hopes of highlighting creativity on the platform.
While it is still to be seen how excited users are about the launch announcement of this festival, here’s how brands can make the most of this festival.
#1: Humanise your brand: The basic truth is that people connect with people, not brands. If, by way of an active Twitter handle, your audience is reminded there are interactive characters behind the scenes, that can spark instant engagement. What better way to ignite conversations than letting a pseudonym Twitter handle participate in this initiative. This could be the brand mascot historically, or one created spontaneously and exclusively. With a humanised brand putting in active participation, chances of amplification increase manifold.
#2: Share the brand story: This initiative can be explored to offer the perfect platform for brands to highlight their brand’s evolution via digital storytelling. Bringing in anecdotes, success stories, brand philosophy in a creative, yet imaginative manner can arouse curiosity among the followers. The key lies in converting the updates into narratives, building the premise and making users anticipate the next Tweet that will follow. The stories we share the most are always personal on some level and usually contain some dimension of usefulness, sweetness, humour, inspiration, or plain surprise and bewilderment. Coming from someone we ‘know’ through the world social media or in the real world, a story that has one of these dimensions to it will connect emotionally and leave a lasting impression. This is exactly the effect advertisers spend billions of dollars to achieve in the form of commercials, and Twitter is offering a unique initiative to fuel this engagement.
#3: Engage via content creation: This initiative by Twitter can also help brands in content creation in collaboration with Twiterrati. As per figures, 25 per cent of top brands use Twitter for broadcasting mainly, rather than engagement. Social media managers are always looking for means to engage followers or acquire new ones. With Twitter Fiction Festival, brands can create digital storytelling with content contribution from followers thus kicking off a mega-engagement. This festival could be well-used for brands that spark creativity and ingenuity in fans. Harnessing the conversations that organically relate to a brand’s thematic elements will improve reach and flesh out a more holistic digital personality for brands