The #AskAlex trend was a shortlived one, lasting only about an hour. However – it still gives some insight as to how PR companies can use twitter to further their brand and create relationships with their consumer.
Also, it’s no small feat that Alexandra Burke (the Alex in question) managed to take out the Lady Gaga centric #bornthisway trend. So congrats to the English XFactor winner – for one hour, your fans overtook Gaga’s birthday wellwishers.
So continue reading to see how she did it – and how she could do it better.
When it started: 8PM GMT, although the first tweet is a bit earlier.
The first tweet:
Her strategy: Alexandra Burke has a bit of an advantage over the average twitter user. She is a celebrity and has over 230,000 followers. So automatically she has an eager audience who, by the sheer fact they are “following” her, want to be involved in her life. Giving them a chance to interact with her personally is just what they want.
Still, she makes sure she reminds them several times about the Q&A.
Best tweets: It’s a bit hard to come up with these this go round. Most people are tweeting things like “Follow me please!,” however I did find a couple that I thought were really interesting:
Whose tweeting?: Mainly young women, my guess the majority are based in the UK. Then there are all the people tweeting it that are also called Alex, and are psyched that their name is trending.
What does this mean for twitter trends?: Twitter can be a powerful tool for celebrities to connect to their fanbase. If they promote a hashtag it will typically begin trending. This is a case where the way to have your tweet trend on twitter is centered on the question of “Who are you?” and not “What are you doing?”
Real World Applications: The thing that most impressed me about this was how quickly it dissipated. It was such a great idea, her fans were pumped to have a chance to talk directly to their idol. They were asking all the right questions (When is your new album coming out? What is your favorite song to sing? When are you going to release a single?) and making all the right statements (You’ve changed my life, you inspire me, I want to be just like you, I love your music…).
So why did it die so quickly?
Well, Burke stopped answering questions. As soon as fans started noticing that she was no longer answering, their interest dwindled and the trend ceased.
Now, having #AskAlex trend for an hour is great. But it could easily have been two or more. If I were to advise Burke, I would give her three pieces of advice:
1) Set limits. If you’re only going to answer 20 questions, say that. You can then make it a competition (RT the question you want answered most). Or at least let them know if this will only be an hour long thing. This means they won’t feel as bad when their questions are left unaswered.
2) Apologize for delays. If you’re swamped with questions, post a quick tweet that says something like “Hey guys – got way more questions than expected. Working on answering them now!” Just so your fans know why their question isn’t being answered. Also, again, this makes them feel involved.
3) Have a plan. Be able to promise that there will be another Q&A soon – or give your fans some sort of information they didn’t have before. This would have been a great opportunity to unveill the date for the new single, or album. Fans would have felt that they earned it, by getting #AskAlex to trend.
Britney Spears’ team is really good at involving her fanbase with Q&A’s – in fact, any celebrity who wants to know how best ot involve and grow their fanbase on twitter should really look to her.
Edit: It’s been brought to my attention there are a couple facts I wasn’t aware of when it came to Burke’s twitter habits. Burke went into twitter jail during the Q&A and answered questions from another account (tweamburke). So – she definitely didn’t just stop posting as I thought she had, which makes me glad! Many thanks to Christine Liverpool in the comments for pointing all this out.