In mid-2013, #DadChat surpassed one billion impressions. I wrote How Much is One Billion at the time so all the amazing facts about numbers are in that column. This time, I simply want to crow a bit about how the entire year turned out for #DadChat AND, what I believe to be the potential and pitfalls for Tweet Chats in the future.
First, the statistics for 2013:
Reach: 69.61 million
These numbers speak for themselves. Granted, while the number of Impressions is impressive, we’ve yet to reach a single day’s worth of our government’s spending. Sad truth. But, we have reached a number equivalent to ¼ of the world’s population. That is staggering.
I’m also proud to say we had some impressive sponsors. I worked very hard to evangelize to Social Media and Marketing executives about the value of genuine engagement that #DadChat can offer (or other good communities), and I believe I actually made some headway last year in opening minds to this new and very direct way of interacting with customers.
Some of our sponsors in 2013 were Samsung, Hasbro, Mars Bites, Sears Auto, Kraft Foods, and T-Mobile. Convincing their PR firms of the value of #DadChat was a mean task. Thankfully, many were open to trying it, especially since we average 1,200 tweets, 200-300 contributors, and 15-25 million impressions per week.
Nonetheless, I found New Media people to be as stuck in their ways as those in Old Media. It’s human nature to stay comfortable with what you’re familiar with so New Media “got” Twitter Parties but not the value of a real Twitter Community. Ford got it in 2012 and was the first major company to sponsor #DadChat. But, the process has been tortuous at times.
I waxed poetic in How Much is One Billion about the interactivity and engagement a vital Tweet Chat can provide, but in a nutshell it is direct contact with the consumer in a way that a billboard, one-off swag-oriented Twitter Party, or radio/TV ads simply cannot do.
What will 2014 hold for #DadChat and other Tweet Chats? Hard to say. I feel my efforts to persuade the New Media PR and marketing communities must continue. Often, while they were impressed by the statistics, their client wasn’t properly prepared and didn’t understand that the entire #DadChat was not about them.
I patiently explained that the way to engage organically is not to shove a product or service down a consumer’s throat but to take their general product/service and discuss it “generally.” This way the sponsor is present for a meaningful discussion rather than a Twitter Party-esque giveaway one-off event. Plus, I explained that #DadChat is 24/7, not just one hour during the day run by a couple of ambitious parent bloggers that give away a lot of swag.
All we know for sure is that the future is unpredictable and we’ll be introduced to new services and tech we didn’t realize we couldn’t live without. I hope #DadChat is enduring beyond the moment. We’ll see…