Monday, July 27, 2009

How The WB used Twitter at Comic Con and won a permanent fan...

Twittering was all the rage on the floor of Comic Con with fans and booths using the application to entice and to squee over Con awesome-ness. However, no one used Twitter's feed to it's maximum capacity like The WB.

First disclaimer: The WB was my least favorite booth in the Con. Obviously stressed-out employees handing out doo-dads to demando fans filled the booth. Gone was the fun from last year and, in its place, a crowd that forgot they were dealing with non-famous human beings who were trying to fairly hand out "stuff" that everyone knew would end up on e-Bay. My claustrophobia went insane just thinking of that booth.

Second disclaimer: I'm still bitter over not getting two of those nifty Chuck posters. I wanted one for a friend who couldn't make the Con and one for my wall -- that wall over there.

Now, on for my critique:

Like almost all other savvy vendors, the WB Tweeted panel announcements. However, during the announcements, the WB became a victim of the infamous "Left Turn Con Maneuver" where Elite Security changed how line-ups would occur at the WB booth. In years past, this caused chaos among fans to the nth degree. This year, though, the WB Tweet person immediately twittered this change and offered an incentive (free t-shirt) to the first 200 hundred who RT'd it. While I would love that free T, I knew what might occur if that info didn't get out (people - no drama here, that booth was that insane) so I immediately RT'd it as well as lots of others. I personally received that information six times from people I followed.

Info out, was disaster diverted as a result? No scientific evidence exists, but from the tweets went word-of-mouth so when I peeked over during that time, the line was still orderly with minimal of crankiness. I have no idea if I'll ever get that T-shirt, but just helping by RT-ing gave me a sense of "one-ness" with The WB.

On top of that, the WB tried an experiment where, instead of handing out doo-dads at the booth, they asked Twitter peeps to text their badge number to The WB's Twitter account and a t-shirt will be mailed. The WB experienced their first failure when the mailing part wasn't obvious from the initial tweet and people showed up at the booth for their t-shirt, but they quickly corrected that by tweeting their correction several times.

By the end of the Con, I was following TheWBdotcom Twitter feed and I was won over by their obvious fan-friendliness. Will it make me watch their channel in the fall? Yes, it will. I've plans now to add Supernatural to my Netflix cue and get caught up. Will it entice me to buy? Yes, I've ordered my Chuck DVDs this morning.

Why?

Because of that feeling of "one-ness" that came from the Tweets. When I RT'd the emergency call, I truly felt apart of a community. Shallow, I know, but I use Twitter as a way of making friends and connections. That RT-ing answered that need in me to help my fellow man. As a longtime customer service person, I knew the chaos that would ensue if fans showed up and found that plans had changed. I empathized immediately with The WB and those underpaid and underloved (by fans) employees: what would the fans do to them? That strong empathy (which is worth gold, but cannot be bought) brought The WB into my "emotional" family and I want to support my "family" in any way that I can.

By the way, hello WB, my new brother/sister? My birthday is December 16 and I live only 15 minutes from Burbank...I expect a party with lots of presents.



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