Say it in 140 characters
What can a status update or a tweet, all 140 characters or less, do to change a life? Looking at the day-to-day updates of your 500+ friends on Twitter, tweets are typically mundane in nature, with topics ranging from what you ate for breakfast to that latest movie you’re raving or ranting about. But in these times, when social media has just begun to reach audiences from all walks of life and bring people together for various reasons, a tweet with those few, carefully chosen words can really make an impact and change everything.
KFC Asked for Twittered Scholarship Applications
Take for instance the KFC Colonel’s Scholars program. With 2.5 million college scholarships granted every year in the United States, KFC needed to do something different to generate buzz around their 75-scholarship project. Together with PR firm Weber-Shandwick, KFC decided to award one $20,000 scholarship to the winner of a tweet contest. High school seniors took a shot at convincing KFC execs that they deserved the scholarship in just 140 characters (hash tag #KFCScholar required).
In just 2 weeks, the KFC Twitter account saw a 20% increase in followers. A story on USA Today announced the scholarship tweet campaign generated over a thousand media placements and media impressions in the tens of millions. That includes AP Wire stories, several stories on CNN Headline News, MSNBC, NBC, and The Weather Channel. Online, tweets generated during the 10-day entry period translated to over nine million social media impressions.
The $20,000 winning Tweet
Meanwhile, logging onto Twitter from Long Beach, California, seventeen year old high school senior Amanda Russell followed and tweeted, “Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!”
Just how powerful are your tweets? Amanda’s was powerful enough, besting 2,800 others and winning her the $20,000 college scholarship.