There are three basic lessons companies need to understand about social stuff:
1 – It can not and will not make your company or its products sexy or desirable
2 – It almost certainly will not have any kind of positive effect on your bottom-line
3 – It takes a huge amount of time and you’ll probably get it wrong anyway
Eschewing the usual corporate social media strategies of yelling about how great you are, leaking offers, and driving clicks (which could be legally ruinous in Betfair’s line of business), their success comes from a unique and engaging brand of silliness. Here are some recent examples:
Of course, it’s not just a stream of situationist one-liners. There is a fair amount of chat and banter as well. And the occasional nod to the fact that some people like to gamble. But does it make you want to sign up for Betfair’s services and throw all your hard-earned cash against a mountain of unbeatable odds? Me neither. However, if I was in the market for an online gaming service, I know where I’d go. I’d go to the company that is clearly setting itself apart from the crowd. One that isn’t afraid of being different. One that, on the surface at least, doesn’t seem to be blinkered in its pursuit* of profit at all costs.
Betfair are clearly playing the long game* here. I’m sure that the red-tape surrounding the gaming industry is at least partly responsible for the sideways approach. But it is the only corporate account that is worth following.
A final note of caution before you remodel your tweet-stream in a like manner. The charm and guile of the Betfair account appears to come from a single voice. Quite what will happen when that voice leaves to write the first social media sitcom for BBC3 is unclear.