A 10 year old web based company called Moonfruit managed to use Twitter to market its name on the microblogging service so successfully that many fear that Twitter could now become a sweepstakes pool.
Moonfruit used its name as the hashtag, the equivalent to a search term, and lured potential visitors using ten Apple Macbook Pros. Players can take part in what is essentially a free sweepstake by posting something with the moonfruit hashtag - essentially following the same technique as chain (e)mails. Winners are chosen by a computer algorithm.
The result? Moonfruit was near the top of Twitter Trends for a whole week. At one time, #moonfruit was retweeted more than 10,000 every hour and more than 200,000 posts a day. At one point, it captured 2.5 percent of Twitter's traffic.
In general, the press said that they were more than happy with the results. They have nearly 42,000 Twitter followers and their site traffic has surged by more than 8 times. The site allows users to build Flash-based websites.
Did the campaign work? As far as word of mouth is concerned, definitely. Using data captured by Techcrunch, we can say that they signed around 2000 new customers over the last 24 hours.
Their basic package is free - the number of people actually trialling had apparently doubled - with the cheapest paid version costing at £24.29 per year and the most expensive sold for £130.49.
and join nearly 1650 other followers.
Moonfruit could pave the way for other similar campaigns which might or might not be as successful. Sooner or later this will dilute the value that Twitter brings to everybody's life. Moonfruit's example will very likely encourage legit and non-legit entreprises to follow the way.
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