Those of us tuned into DiGiorno’s Twitter feed during NBC’s live showing of The Sound of Music were treated to a slice of social media bliss. DiGiorno’s sardonic, accusatory, and just plain crazy meditations on pizza- pizza as it relates (loosely) to love and family during wartime in Europe- were delightful. It was out of left field, and it was awesome.

The hashtag #TheSoundofMusicLive saw vehemently negative Tweets that night, with the blogging community slinging rapid-fire Tweet-rants at the show’s acting and the production. Then DiGiorno jumped into this conversation and started shouting at everybody in all caps. Most of Twitter’s brand participants gave a relatively safe play-by-play allowing DiGiorno to stand out among the brands as the lone wolf of weirdness. It’s not the first time DiGiorno’s Twitter feed has caught the eye of Twitter users across the globe with a…well, crazed Twitter voice.

Here’s a Tweet from 4 days before the show:

DiGiorno’s feed was irreverent, offbeat, and sometimes had nothing to do with the actual events of the musical. It looked like this:

andThere were many, many more, because like so much else about Twitter, DiGiorno seems to understand that saturation is key when you’ve got a trend working under you.

The off-the-cuff campaign was genius in the context of social media marketing, where we see certain freedoms suddenly become available to Twitter that stricter, more traditional branding does not permit. Your audience is different on Twitter than, say, your television audience, or even your Facebook audience, so it is important to take the risk to experiment with your brand’s voice within each medium.

In the chart above, you can see that the bulk of Twitter, almost 75% of it, is between 15 and 25 years old. For that audience, this kind of humor is highly desirable, as DiGiorno’s 45,000+ followers would probably attest.

In the words of DiGiorno’s anonymous Twitter marketer: “I will say this was an unplanned event, that the brand trusts me and my agency with the account. And that trust is what makes moments like this possible.” Good call, DiGiorno.

SM Experts Weigh In – “They delivered so much more than pizza. They uplifted an entire brand by having some giggle snort fun on behalf of NBC. Lovely.” –Shawn Paul Wood – “What smack-talking has to do with pizza is a mystery, but it does make for an entertaining Twitter account!” –Jenn Harris – “The latter was a big win for brands on Twitter, with DiGiorno trending in different areas of the U.S. and generating tons of tasty press.” –Jackie Quintana

The point here is that the DiGiorno Twitter feed, specifically its talented marketer, realized an opportunity to talk to the millennial crowd on Twitter that would likely be tuning in to #TheSoundOfMusicLive in real time, monitoring those inevitable sarcastic critiques that Twitter always produces in such moments, and it took a sharp detour to the left.

They have exemplified one of the cardinal rules of fitting a social media marketing service into your overall integrated marketing strategy, to know your audience.

Twitter allows your brand to explore its id without explaining itself. With only 140 characters available, there’s no room to explain anything anyway. DiGiorno’s brand exhibits mastery of the medium, unlike less evolved brands:


So, what happened here exactly?

Social Media Tricks

1. Saturate: DiGiorno banged out Tweet after Tweet, solidifying their presence when they knew viewership was high. Don’t be afraid to do that!

2. Leverage: #TheSoundofMusicLive was trending. Keep an ear to the ground and hitch your campaign to a hot hashtag, regardless of your brand. What does pizza have to do with The Sound of Music? Before? Nothing. Now? Something.

3. Know Your Audience: In this case, the Tweets were targeted at people most likely following the play, so remember, the right hashtag gives you access to a specific set of followers. Your followers are not just followers of your brand; they are followers of every hashtag and every handle you use because, well, that’s how Twitter works.

Social media allows a brand like DiGiorno to do that without producing “brand gaps,” or disconnects between message and meaning that can affect sales. Were the website designed in the same language as the Tweets, we might be confused. Seeing them in Twitter, we’re stoked. By accurately assessing their audience, properly leveraging the hashtag #TheSoundofMusicLive and striking while the iron was hot, DiGiorno’s Twitter account exploded with new followers and made sure we’d remember its pizza. Just look at the reach of this hashtag:

I imagine you’ll at least be thinking of DiGiorno for the rest of the day, perhaps on your way home when your stomach remembers this morsel:

Maybe you’ll smile. Maybe you won’t share with Ray.

What are you doing to elevate your brand’s social media presence? Tell us about it in the comments box below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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