Old Spice, we miss you on Twitter

Old Spice, active on Facebook has just four Tweets in all of October

Or do we?

Happened to stop by Old Spice’s Twitter page today and was surprised (or maybe not) to see that Old Spice had tweeted all of four times in the month of October. In fact, in the 92 days that have passed since the big social media event of the summer came to an end on July 15, Old Spice has posted all of 44 times. That’s 44 times in 92 days.

Instead Old Spice has focused its social media efforts on Facebook, where questions like “What’s fresher than freshishness?” routinely generate well over 1000 likes and just as many comments. Don’t ask me why. Social media is filled with mysteries like that one.

As for Twitter, it appears that Old Spice has found that it could get away using the platform in the old fashioned way — as an advertising medium. Old Spice simply used Twitter to call attention to its videos. They launched a campaign with a huge explosion, poured lots of fuel on it for a few days, and let it fizzle out. That’s the antithesis of how brands like Zappos, Best Buy, Ford, and Whole Foods use Twitter, but it was an effective strategy.

Still, Old Spice’s quick abandonment of Twitter raises some interesting questions.

Can a brand simply use Twitter in the same way it uses paid media?

You turn it on, crank it up, achieve some reach, accomplish your goals and call it a day. In that way it’s really no different from any campaign with a paid media buy. Presuming you have content and an idea big enough to generate attention. If you do, it can be a heck of a lot less expensive than paying for attention.

Is Old Spice missing a much bigger opportunity?

Hello Ladies managed to attract nearly 120,000 Twitter followers overnight. It seems a waste not to engage with those 120,000 followers an ongoing basis. Chances are they’re not the same people who are paying attention on Facebook. And even if there is some duplication why not leverage both social platforms?

How and where do people want to engage with a brand?

Perhaps certain brands just aren’t conducive to the day in and day out engagement that defines Twitter. Media companies, airlines, service brands, retailers with lots of stuff to sell have plenty of reasons to interact with an interested audience that wants constant information, real time access and quick responses. But Twitter calls for a brand to be present, attentive and willing to interact. Facebook doesn’t really. The two social networks can each accommodate very different conversation strategies.

Is Facebook a better place for a brand to connect with fans?

Or is it just an easier place to post content because less interaction is required? For me there are huge differences between Twitter and Facebook. The former is a place where the exchange allows for a productive back and forth, genuine conversation, and, of course, customer service. Facebook on the other hand tends to be a place to post something and simply solicit group reaction or individual comments.

Curious what you think? Should Old Spice be more active on Twitter, or wait until they have another gimmick for which it’s the ideal activation medium?