So there's been much debate about Twitter and whether or not it's the new fad or the next step in social networking. For those of you who don't know, Twitter describes itself as a social network that asks "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less. Now for your everyday person, Twitter usually consists of a post such as "Laying out by the pool" or "Watching the Cardinals destroy the Pirates", however, companies are finding ways to reach consumers on a whole new level by using Twitter to communicate promotions, news stories, press releases, and brand-driven message to any individual who wants to follow them.
Pizza Hut has decided to do something that I think is pretty cool. Wether or not it is worth the money, worth the time, or effective from the companies marketing standpoint is still being determined, but they have hired what they call a "Twintern" - an intern whose sole job is to communicate brand messages across Twitter and increase interest in the company through the newest form of social media. What does her job consist of? Tweeting, growing Pizza Hut's followers list, building interest in the company, planning events to advertise on Twitter, and holding conversations with the brand's loyal followers. In an interview with ad week, Pizza Hut's Twintern states, "Brands want to be where their consumers are, and where those consumers are having a conversation. You definitely want to be a part of that so you can contribute more. If your consumers are all on Twitter, why wouldn't you join in? That's Pizza Hut's philosophy."
From a marketing standpoint, I like this idea. Do I think it is a full-time job? I'm not so sure. But do I wish more companies would take a leap of faith and enter into these new forms of social media? Most definitely. Being a recent college graduate and someone who considers myself deeply immersed in social media and web 2.0, I think these are the challenges and tasks that are generation will be industry leaders in. For me, it is inspiring to see a company such as Pizza Hut, taking part in these new forms of technology and putting faith in the hands of the younger generation to take the company to the next level. I know I'll be following along to see where this idea takes them.
In closing, I want to know what you think of the Twintern posistion? Stupid name, unnecessary expense, or strike of genius? Leave your comments in the replies.