Moonfruit: A Twitter Marketing Campaign Analysis

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Inspired by a Twitter hashtag marketing campaign run by a rival company the previous month, Moonfruit, a provider of an easy to use online website creator, launched their own # campaign that offered 1 Macbook Pro to anyone in the world, everyday, for 10 days. With no constraints on the number of times you could enter and a requirement to enter each day’s draw separately, the campaign quickly turned viral and was propagated by a placement at the top of the Twitter Trends list together with massive coverage in the media. The success of the campaign in highlighted by their stellar growth in Twitter followers from 444 to ~40,000, an increase in website traffic of 600% and and increase in sign-ups of 100% for a cost of just $13,500. But is this a sustainable benefit? We look at the campaign, its results and implications for the Twitterverse.

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Moonfruit: A Twitter Marketing Campaign Analysis

  1. 1. What The #Moonfruit ? A Twitter Marketing Campaign Analysis Author: Kunal Kripalani Social-Bug.com | Social Media Guidelines TAG Cloud Twitter , Social Media Strategy, Moonfruit , Marketing Campaign, statistics ROI hashtags Analysis sentiment Abstract Inspired by a Twitter hashtag marketing campaign run by a rival company the previous month, Moonfruit, a provider of an easy to use online website creator, launched their own # campaign that offered 1 Macbook Pro to anyone in the world, everyday, for 10 days. With no constraints on the number of times you could enter and a requirement to enter each day’s draw separately, the campaign quickly turned viral and was propagated by a placement at the top of the Twitter Trends list together with massive coverage in the media. The success of the campaign in highlighted by their stellar growth in Twitter followers from 444 to ~40,000, an increase in website traffic of 600% and increase in sign-ups of 100% for a cost of just $13,500. But is this a sustainable benefit? We look at the campaign, its results and implications for the Twitterverse. 1
  2. 2. “The response has been beyond belief, far more effective than other marketing channels. We wanted to drive both brand awareness and direct response, but this has achieved both in a far more personal way.” Wendy Tan White, Founder of Moonfruit Vital Statistics: Launched Tuesday June 30 2009: 444 followers Ended Tuesday July 7 2009: 44,113 followers Traffic to Moonfruit.com: Increased 600% Sign Ups: Increased 100% Cost: Approximately US$13,500 A snapshot from the July 4th Techcrunch article shows 2,159,297 vs July 7th: 2,167,375. That's about 2,690 new websites per day (let's assume these are new sign-ups.) Update: July 8th: 2,170,702. 3327 more sign ups. Or an increase in sign up rate of: 23% vs. the average sign up rate for the previous 3 days. This is a good sign for Moonfruit. While it is still early days, this increase in post campaign activity bodes well for them. Update: July 17th: 2,182,462: 11,760 more signups over 9 days or 1306 / day. The sign up rate appears to have dropped an average of 61% since July 8th, 2009. Techcrunch MoonFruit A Newer MoonFruit Homepage Homepage Snapshot on July Snapshot on July 7 4th 2
  3. 3. TweetStats: Most Popular Tweep on July 7 2009 was Moontweet Moonfruit (@moontweet) Activity. Proof that it's not what you say, it's how you say it? Moonfruit have traditionally not done a lot of tweeting until the start of this campaign at the beginning of July. To date, they've only made 382 tweets. Clearly Tweeps aren't following them for the interesting conversations they initiate. What does Google Say? Google Insights Top related search terms were: moonfruit and moonfruit twitter. Most regional interest was from the USA, followed by the UK, Canada, Brazil and Germany. The Twitter Top Trends list combined with curiosity about the strange #moonfruit hashtag probably helped catalyse the Moonfruit campaign, as evidenced by Google Insights which as of July 7 2009, classifies "What is moonfruit?" as a breakout search term. Google Insights for Search: "Moonfruit" 3
  4. 4. Follower Growth Moontweet Followers jump with viral hashtag campaign Twitter provides a frictionless medium in which a message can easily propagate. After 36 hours, this resulted in: • 20,000 followers and an increase in traffic to Moonfruit.com by 8x (according to moonfruitlounge.com) • Moonfruit related traffic accounted for 1.63% of all Twitter traffic and spiked to 2.85% following Mashable's Twitter Promotion Done Right #Moonfroot article. • Overall, the campaign delivered a 600% increase in traffic and doubled sign ups for Moonfruit's easy online website creation product trial. • Spikes can bee seen that correspond with key influencer blog posts and tweets, as well as a brief appearance in the Twitter hashtag trends list which was removed within 2 days. #squarespace did a similar competition for 30 iphones over 30 days which trended for two days and then vanished. The same has happened to #moonfruit which was on the Top Trends list on Twitter until ~ midnight July 3 UK time. This does not accurately reflective trends of the Twiterverse as is evident from looking at http://hashtags.org/ (see snapshot below) • It's interesting to note that following @moontweet was not a requirement to entering the competition (although it was suggested ) and yet they've ended up with more than 100X more followers than they started with. One would assume that the number will drop over the coming days. • But is there real value in obtaining a list of followers who don't really care about what you have to say? I don't think so, nor do I think it's worth following people in the hopes that they might follow me back or vice versa, which is why after an initial trial run, I stopped using the SocialToo app. 4
  5. 5. Hashtags.org uncensored top Twitter trend for July 7,2009 #moonfruit: The Twitter Campaign Details: • Enter a competition to win a MacBook Pro. 1 given away (anywhere in the world) for 10 days. • Enter as many times as you like by tweeting #moonfruit and you needed to enter each day's draw separately. The Moonfruit Homepage encouraged you to tweet: “Celebrate 10 years of Moonfruit and win a MacBook Pro http://bit.ly/96bxC #moonfruit1:44 AM Jul 1st from web” Visitors were also encouraged to follow @moonfruit, so you could learn if you'd won, but this was not a requirement to enter the daily draws. Mid-campaign modifications: 1. Additional prizes of iPods were on offer for the most creative #moonfruit tweet tributes. This was to reward the participants' creativity and also would have helped maintain a higher standard of Tweet quality. 2. Shortened from 10 laptops over 10 days to 10 laptops over 7 days because of the overwhelming response and increasing backlash over the 'pollution' of the Twitter stream. Supporting Propagation: • Most creative #moonfruit tweets displayed on Moonfruit homepage: Profile for the Tweeps. • Macbook pro winners and #moonfruit creative Tweep profile names displayed and linked on competition homepage. • Massive coverage by the media (with secondary source like this post adding fuel to the fire) • Blog posts by moonfruitlounge with good community engagement • Responsive to community questions @moonfruit 5
  6. 6. Sentiment Analysis Knowing how people feel about your brand on social networks, community websites and any other web property that allows for a dialogue. These include: message boards, blogs and wikis amongst others. • Real time sentiment analysis lets you know the views of the people within minutes (and sometimes within moments) of an expression. • This creates an opportunity to interject and stop negative sentiment from being amplified. It gives you an opportunity to mitigate the fallout. • By collating a number of different points of view, you can build a picture of how receptive people are to your brand or how your marketing campaign is performing, and how this changes over time. So how does Moonfruit stack up? Audience Receptivity • A mostly positive response with moonfruit achieiving a massive amount of attention from the Twitterverse and also news sites including Mashable, Techcrunch, Clickz, BBC and About.com which served to propagate their message further. • Many users simply added a #moonfruit reference to their regular posts. The intriguing 'moonfruit' name worked in synergy with the campaign objectives and piked user curiosity to find out more about the company bringing more people into the...let's call it a Tribe (thanks Seth Godin.) Audience Backlash • A small % of users considered the campaign nothing more than SPAM and have expressed their discontent (too put things mildly) threatening to unfollow anyone who tweeted #moonfruit.For user perspectives see comments on Moonfruitlounge.com and BBC: Twitter too Corporate by Half • A quick calculation based on the number of positive vs negative comments posted on some articles written about the #Moonfruit campaign shows that subjectively speaking, 82% have a positive response while 18% have expressed a negative response to the campaign. TEDChris points out that you have a 1 / 200,000 chance of winning so why bother? Yet, overall, there were more evangelists than complainers. If knowledge is power, then the company who comes out with the right sentiment analysis algorithm will have unrivaled success (like Google's domination of search.) 6
  7. 7. Calculating ROI: 10 Macbook Pro's at retail (They probably got a bulk deal) $12,000 5 Ipods: $1500 TOTAL: US$13,500 They grew their Twitter follower base to over 40,000 gained a 6 fold increase in website traffic and most importantly, doubled the rate of sign-ups which should translate into atleast some revenue. Moonfruit did 11 million pounds in sales last year. It will be interesting to see how this campaign impacts their next set of reported results. Initial indications show that Moonfruit may get some sustained value. The sign up rate is not slowing down post-campaign. (up 23%.) Community engagement and brand evangelism: Many people contributed Moonfruit themed photos and videos in response to an offer of an iPod in exchange for the most creative response. Massive Press coverage (See Google News) on account of the novelty and spectacular scale of the campaign has made Moonfruit a poster child for marketing campaigns on Twitter. Hijacking: Some Tweeps have gotten into the bad habit of adding the latest trends hashtags like #moonfruit to their tweets for the sole purpose of getting visibility in search results. These include people advocating social causes which may not be the right way to go about it, and then there are the spammers that are promoting the latest 'Get rich quick' scheme and their affiliate links. Should we be annoyed? As Jeremiah Owyang points out, if you don't have an iconic brand with millions of adoring fans, then as a business, you need to exploit whatever means at your disposal to garner attention. Big brands moving to Twitter create an additional channel to reach their customers, while a smaller business is likely to struggle to expand their share of voice. The problem, however, is that if every company on Twitter starts running a hashtag centric contest, then us Tweeps are in trouble and the Twitterverse will implode. I'm sure we will see more competitions and the prizes on offer will only get bigger, and everyone has a price. As Sarah Perez puts it: “But while one day that friend is tweeting to win a Macbook, another may be tweeting to win something else. Even if only a small percentage of an ever- shifting group of my friends tweeted a promotional message every day, it would be enough to junk up my timeline.” Perhaps the solution is to limit the scope of competitions? Rather than accepting an unlimited number of entries, it could have been restricted to 1 7
  8. 8. entry per person per day, or even just one entry for the duration of the competition. Is it Twitter's responsibility to set guidelines? Perhaps Tweetboard's launch strategy was the right approach: You had to tweet a custom message in order to request an alpha invite like so: “Requesting an invite for Tweetboard Alpha (http://tweetboard.com) by @140ware, for my site: http://social-bug.com” Transparent, to the point, and you only ever need to do it once. No subterfuge whatsoever. MTV, Lenovo, Squarespace and Moonfruit were early movers in the # competition arena and gained serendipitous benefits from the novelty of their Twitter initiative in the form of massive press coverage. As Twitter continues to improve its systems and Tweeps become less tolerant of their streams becoming polluted, future attempts at hashtag competitions will simply be copycat campaigns and will likely see less benefit. Who's Responsibility is it? It's clear that anything overtly commercial that causes too much bias will become subject to censorship imposed by Twitter. Is it justified? Both #squarespace and #moonfruit lost their Twitter trends placements within a couple of days of their campaign launches, which is indicative of Twitter's view on commercial bias. So is it Twitter's responsible to police us? Or is it up to the Twitterverse to police itself? Darren Stuart suggests that Twitter allow us to block hashtags. A great solution, and no doubt we will see an application for it in the near future. Twitter might even include spam filters that automatically block Tweets containing hashtags that, for example, have been reported to @spam 100 times. The original offending Tweep can then also be traced and suspended. Similarly, Tad Chef suggests a simple query: “If hashtag mentions more than 3 times by same user on same day delete from search and don’t count in popularity” Perhaps charging for such campaigns is one way Twitter could monetize and also limit abuse of hashtags. Perhaps a CPM for hashtag views? Or even a sophisticated system that scans a tweet for contextual relevance and gives it an Adwords type quality score which is used to help control what appears in the top trends list? Perhaps a sustainable social marketing approach is better: Building relationships, adding value and contributing to the conversation and serving the interests of your brand in the long term. 8
  9. 9. Final Thoughts What long term value does the large follower base now offer Moonfruit? Will Twitter serve as an effective direct marketing channel like it has for @dellOutlet ?Is it like email where a small percentage of their tweets will lead to sales? Or will Twitter continue to serve them as a brand building tool? Will they be able to leverage their share of voice in the Twitterverse or will they simply fade away with the end of the campaign? Share this report: Trackback URL: http://www.social-bug.com/moonfruit-twitter Short URL for Twitter: cli.gs/F74S7M Follow me on Twitter: @kunal_kripalani 9

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