Adidas Connects Fans With Soccer Stars via Twitter’s New Group DM

Less than two weeks after Twitter introduced private group messaging, Adidas is embracing the new feature by giving consumers exclusive access to some of their favorite soccer stars on the social platform.

As part of the “There Will be Haters” campaign to introduce Adidas’ 2015 boot collection, the private group messaging initiative was designed to reward the brand’s Twitter followers who have shown support for the ad campaign. It started with a conversation among three select fans and Real Madrid soccer star Karim Benzema.

Maura Tuohy, head of social at agency Eleven, thinks Adidas already uses an integrated approach to execute its #therewillbehaters campaign across social media platforms, but this private group messaging strategy is “the cherry on top.”

Orli LeWinter, vice president of strategy and social media marketing at 360i, a digital marketing agency, concurs with Tuohy and believes that Adidas is utilizing this new feature in a smart way.

“[Adidas] has an asset in the players it sponsors, and is using that asset strategically – likely at no cost – to create goodwill with consumers and achieve broad reach through earned media,” LeWinter says.

“It’s also a smart move on the players’ part, allowing them to be humanized through this [one-to-one] conversation with fans and to gain broader exposure through the Twitter community,” she adds. 

In addition to the exclusive access to celebrities, LeWinter notes that there are other ways to use Twitter’s private group messaging for marketing. “Marketers can use [this feature] to impart virtual access to an exclusive event, to collaborate with their consumers, to solicit feedback from them, or to seed exclusive information to influencers,” she comments.

Looking forward, both Tuohy and LeWinter predict that more brands will jump on the private group messaging bandwagon. But the challenge will be how to leverage this new feature at scale.

“It will be interesting to see how brands can scale these [group messaging] opportunities by segmenting highly influential followers [or] bloggers to participate, and then giving them a strong reason to share beyond thanking the brand,” Eleven’s Tuohy notes. “Brands will need to weigh the sacrificed reach of in-feed conversation against the drawcard of exclusivity.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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