Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Twitter Experiment

Original Post:
It's my birthday today and I'm conducting a Twitter experiment. I sent the following 2 tweets, followed by @celebritynames or @companynames accordingly. I'll post here the responses I get. It should be interesting. I sent the tweet with over 100 celebrity names and I'm not sure how many companies.

"Lets see if I can get any celebrities to wish me happy birthday..."

"Hmm....Wonder if I can get any companies to send me a b-day gift?"

Do I expect any replies from celebrities? Yeah. Especially the few that I 'converse' with on Twitter regularly. Do I expect replies from companies? Hmmm. Maybe a couple. Maybe I'll be surprised.

So far:
@Bryan_Duncan - "happy B day!! am I late..?" Bryan is the soul-man of Christian music.  In the '70s he was with Sweet Comfort Band and then had a successful solo career. He's still making great music today. I knew he'd be one to respond. He's a really nice guy and very active in social media. I've met Bryan in person - great guy! (Kinda short though) Check him out http://www.bryanduncan.com/

@derekwebb - "yeah, let me know if any celebrities respond. oh, and happy birthday." http://derekwebb.com/ Derek is well known as a member of Caedmon's call and also has had great success as a solo artist.  http://www.derekwebb.com/

@jarretlemaster - "Happy B day man. Have a good one! I don't really count as a celeb but I hope you have a great one:)" Jarret is an old friend of mine. He's done some great music and recently starred in the forthcoming film Turnaround Jake.   (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1185500/ and http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1008542997/turnaround-jake-a-family-friendly-feature-film)

@yoda - "Send you a message that is direct on the Twitter I prefer to do. Wishing you a birthday that is happy I am. Yessss." Do I really need to tell you who Yoda is?  https://www.facebook.com/thatyoda

@adlerdude - "Happy birthday michael! Hope it's a great 1 dude! Sorry for the direct message and not full tweet but I try not to clutter my twit/FB. Pce" Adler is a local (Birmingham, AL) radio phenom. He can be heard on The Rick & Bubba Show and also has his own show on WZZK.

@DuncanPhillips - "Happy Birthday!" Duncan is a long-time member of one of the greatest bands ever - The Newsboys!

@scribblepotemus - "RT @Michaeldx: Lets see if I can get any celebrities to wish me happy birthday/. Happy Birthday!" Dan is the lead vocalist for Jars Of Clay. He's also in The Hawk In Paris.

@michaelhsweet - "@Michaeldx - Happy Birthday Michael:-)" Michael is the lead singer for the legendary band Stryper and he also was the front man for the other legendary band, Boston for a few years. His solo career has been amazing as well. Michael and I have exchanged conversation on twitter several times, he's very active and a pleasure to follow.

@jonwaldenshow - "@Michaeldx Celebrity? Really? Not quite good sir. But I do wish you a Happy Birthday!!!" Jon's a local (Birmingham, AL) radio personality. I've enjoyed meeting him several times and working with him on the Foolish Things concert we did a few years ago.  http://www.myrevradio.com/

@itsDeMarco - "@Michaeldx Hey bro... who u callin' a celebrity?!?! LOL. Enjoy the rest of ur b'day... I'm sure it's been awesome so far! #partytime" Don Juan Demarco Williams was a radio personality on the Rick & Bubba Show here in Birmingham for many years. He left to pursue other interests, but he's still a celebrity in my book. Have you ever heard him laugh??

@triciagoyer - "@Michaeldx happy birthday it's my birthday too" Tricia Goyer is a Christian author. She shares my birthday! Too cool. http://www.triciagoyer.com/

@charliepeacock - "@Michaeldx @michaelhsweet @Bryan_Duncan @BarackObama @360FromTheEdge Any luck? I really though the Edge would comply?" I was first exposed to Charlie's music when he released Lie Down In The Grass in 1984 (I'm listening to this record as I type this) Charlie is nothing short of brilliant. He's done a TON of stuff, way too much to list here, so check out his website!   http://www.charliepeacock.com/

@Donald_Woods - "@Michaeldx Happy Birthday!" I learned about Donald because he is the brother of @ayieshawoods and, well, just click this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIrki-McYyM&feature=youtu.be No. really. Click it.

@winterjamtour - "@Michaeldx @timtebow @turbine @tyburkum @usairforce @whitehouse happy birthday!" Winter Jam Tour is a way too cool tour of multiple Christian artists. They come around the country every year and rock. My friend also works for them :) http://www.jamtour.com/

@tonynolanlive - "@Michaeldx happy B-day" Tony is a minister, author and speaker. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going to see him. http://tonynolan.org/

@BennyHesterNow -  "@Michaeldx I wish you a Happy Birthday too!" Benny Hester is perhaps best known for his song When God Ran. He's a great musician. http://bennyhester.com/

@SamLuminate - "@Michaeldx happy late birthday!!! :)" Sam's the lead vocalist for the band Luminate

@RichMullinsfilm: @Michaeldx happy late birthday

@lotro - "Happy Birthday! Check your DMs." and yes, they sent me something. :)

@UltimateEars "#HappyBirthday @Michaeldx we'll send you UE350vi earphones! DM us UR address"

@DynInc - "@Michaeldx Are you a user of Dyn? If so whats the username?"
@DynInc - "@Michaeldx http://twitvid.com/U8BFC From a Portsmouth NH Dyntini with love."
@DynInc - "@Michaeldx we're just getting started. Can you email me your mailing address?"
@DynInc - "@michaeldx Happy birthday from @Ryohara on the mean streets of Boston http://twitvid.com/42XIY"

@goteerecords - "@Michaeldx possibly. DM us your address."

Other interesting responses:

@rgreenlaw - "Doh, why didn't I tell them about my birthday last month....anyway, hope you have a good one. "

@jalingion - "@lotro @Michaeldx i should had thought of that 3 weeks ago lol ;p"

@lotrojol - "@lotro @Michaeldx Oh ! It's my unbirthday today !"

@pinoymmo - "@lotro @Michaeldx it's my fake birthday, can i have a fake gift? lol"

@musicgeekchic - "@Michaeldx I'm not a celebrity, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

@lilyluelotro -"RT (lotro): @michaeldx Happy Birthday! Check your DMs. http://bit.ly/LoQixn #lotro"

@s_leeann - "@lotro @Michaeldx Happy Birthday! I should have tried this on Sunday :)"

@RebeccaLongwell - "@Michaeldx Happy Birthday! :)"

@BrokenPisces - "@Michaeldx I don't know you but happy birthday! And neat use of twitter on your bday! Hope you get lots of responses."

@anadanirepo - "@Michaeldx I'm not @michaelhsweet but I also wish you a happy and blessed birthday!"

@DavidMartinTX - "@michaelhsweet @Michaeldx //wow no pressure. :)"

@Letters4TheLord - "RT Michaeldx: @charliepeacock @Bryan_Duncan & @michaelhsweet replied.Expected them to,though.I 'converse' with them on twitter occasionally. Cool tweeps!"

Wow this turned out to be a really cool experiment! Got way more responses than I was expecting, and actually got some gifts from some companies. Several celebrities wished me a happy birthday too!

Some responses were really surprising. Dyn, Inc. employees made a couple of videos wishing me happy birthday (http://twitvid.com/U8BFC and http://twitvid.com/42XIY). Apparently they are sending me something in the mail too! I don't know what, but whatever it is, it's cool that they'd go to the trouble and it's much appreciated!

Another big surprise was from Ultimate Ears. They're sending me a really cool pair of earphones!

Turbine, the makers of Lord Of The Rings Online gifted me 500 Turbine points.

Why would any company send me anything based on a simple Twitter post? After all if they do it for one person, shouldn't they be afraid that everyone will expect the same treatment? I can think of a few reasons:
  • They have really cool employees
  • They care about their customers (or potential customers) I've been a customer of Turbine since LOTRO beta and am a lifetime/founder subscriber. 
  • A smart company realizes that word-of-mouth is HUGE (and free!) advertising. A person that shares their opinion of a company's products or services goes a long way toward convincing others to use them. The companies above got multiple tweets from me today, and they know I'll be talking to others about this for a long time. I'll definitely be a loyal re-tweeter of these companies. My tweets generated retweets or responses from other people (see posts below). Plus, you're reading this, right?
  • Treating customers (or potential customers) well ensures repeat or new business. I'm a customer using Dyn's free services, yet they're treating me like I've spent a ton of money with them. They can rest assured that when I need any of the other services that they provide, they have my patronage. They can also rest assured that I'll be recommending them to others when I hear of needs that Dyn can provide. The same goes for Ultimate Ears.
  • They probably found my request to be unique and maybe a little bold.
And why would any celebrity take the time to say happy birthday? Surely hundreds of adoring fans ask them for tweets and retweets every day. It must be tiring for them to be inundated with all these requests. Yet, I got responses from several. My criteria for considering someone a celebrity was that they had to have been an actor on TV or movies, a radio personality, a 'published' musician or author, or other famous person/character such as a politician. As you can see from their responses, several of them don't consider themselves 'celebrities', but as I told @jarretlemaster, celebrity is in the eye of the beholder. :) So why would any celebrity respond to me anyway?
  • They're really nice people
  • They care about their fans. After all, without fans they wouldn't be celebrities anyway!
  • They get a little extra exposure
I got a ton of retweets and replies. I got at least 8 new followers. I got 1 Favorited tweet. It's been really fun to watch what happened with this. I may do it again next year!

UPDATE 8/8/12:
Absolute coolness came to my house today in the form of Ultimate Ears headphones. I've only had time to listen to 3 songs on them, but I can already tell these are easily the best earphones I've ever listened to. Wow. They're super comfortable too. The bass is sublime.

I was beginning to wonder if they'd show up or not. Maybe they forgot. Maybe their shipping department was sleeping. But I tweeted to them a couple days ago and suddenly the box appeared, overnight UPS. Thanks UE. You rock! (Literally)
Check these babies out:

UPDATE 7/26/12:
Dyn's birthday package arrived today. Check this out! They sent me a ton of stuff, and a birthday card. I don't know why Brent told me to "Get well soon" but I got great after opening this package! Lara wished me a 'Happy Burpday" - somehow she knows me too well. :) These people are too cool. What a great company!

  • 2 t-shirts, one of which is sexy (see pic).
  • 3 drink cozies
  • 3 bottle can openers
  • a bunch of stickers
  • 2 sunglasses
  • headphones
  • a glowy necklace thingy
  • 3 Free Music Sampler cards
  • a personalized birthday card (aka burpday card)

UPDATE 7/23/12:
@goteerecords  is the first company that actually delivered something (other than the game code that @lotro sent via DM). Check out what they sent me! Gotee Records Rocks!