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Twitter's International Marketing Director for APAC, MENA, Canada on ASEAN: "Conversations over campaigns"

Blog post   •   Jul 23, 2014 11:00 +08

Mynewsdesk had the opportunity to chat with the charming Twitter’s international marketing director for APAC, MENA, Canada, Frederique Covington-Corbett (who goes by 'Freddie'), on fine-tuning brand stories in ASEAN context. 

Tap into everyday moments to get people talking about your brand.

Thousands of strangers with a common experience use hashtags to find each other on Twitter and share a conversation. Freddie explained how brands could also use hashtags to find specific audiences.

Under #WhyICantSleepAtNight, sleepless folks send tweets to one another on their late night thoughts. ZzzQuil, a sleep-aid brand, joined this conversation by posting this tweet against the hashtag: 'Seriously, these tweets will still be here tomorrow. Let's go to bed together.'

By presenting itself to the right audience at the right moment, ZzzQuil's message emerged as a solution rather than an intrusion. ZzzQuil did not need to talk at length about the brand (and risked boring its audience) to make a memorable introduction.

“This (a shared moment) is the brand’s opportunity to market to us,” Freddie said. 

ZzzQuil had  a witty, interesting message to begin with. But capturing the moment allowed its great content to take off.

The strategy had successfully turned ZzzQuil from a ‘stranger’ global brand into their customers’ conversation buddy. People also started to quote ZzzQuil in their everyday tweets, resulting in free user-generated content (UGC) for the brand.

ASEAN is packed with young generation who prefer conversations to campaigns.

Freddie believes that press releases should reinvent its approach from one-to-many to many-to-many, to engage the growing youth population in South-East Asia. 

“Young people nowadays see themselves as the journalists, creators of the content, commentators. They don’t want one elite telling them the news. They want to be the news,” Freddie said. 

Young people love to share and comment on brand stories that resonate with their everyday emotions rather than receive lectures on corporate facts. A brand that invites them to a conversation and makes them a part of its story.

"Young people in Asia have been fast and forward in changing the nature of brand storytelling. (It has become) a much more distributed storytelling in the form of social network in itself," she remarked.

Let customers transform your brand into a reflection of their cultures. 

Freddie said, "We (brands) should be very much local up. We are as good as our users. We are the reflections of users and their cultures."

Companies should respect cultural and individual differences instead of pushing one global idea to a faceless crowd. They need to operate for and with their users. She believes it is the customers themselves who can make global brands very local.

Small brands have the same opportunity as global brands to go viral.

Great content can come from anyone. Small businesses have the same opportunity as large businesses. Brand stories that are funny, useful and engaging in any kind of way stand a chance to captivate the users.

She said, “Social media brought in an equal playing field. It used to be about media budget. Now anyone (with great content) can go viral.”

//Febriliani Tan, Online Marketing Intern @MynewsdeskAsia

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