At about 1PM EST today @Maggianos tweeted, on twitter, “Just send the following tweet to enter: “Follow @Maggianos by 5pm CST to be entered to win $100 in Maggiano‘s gift certificates.” That sound easy enough. At 4PM EST Maggianos and 5PM each had a very large presences in the tweet cloud. A tweet cloud is similar to a tag cloud but instead of illustrating the use of tags it shows which words are being tweeted most commonly. In addition, according to twitters new trends feature, “CST” was in the top 10 trends. If you search CST on twitter you will see that they almost all come from this promotion.
Social media is expensive because of the number of man hours it takes to run a successful marketing campaign. Twitter does not take long to set up or to send out information. Even the slowest typists can type 14o characters relatively quickly. The part that takes a long time on twitter is getting a following.
@mikemost was also interested in the success of this giveaway announcement. He requested the number of pre-announcement followers. @magginaos responded with 127. By 4PM EST @Maggianos had more that 1,650 followers. The best part of Maggianos is that most of these followers are not going to stop following @Maggianos after the promotion is over.
So basically, Maggianos spent $100.00 and 10 minutes of man hours (1 minute to type tweet, 1 minute to type winner tweet and several minutes to generate the winner) and they got a huge following, high exposure by showing up as huge twitter trends and extended exposure from articles like this that praise the action. Sounds like social media can be cheap with a little knowledge and some luck.