#PRAwards 2021 highlight: How Twitter cemented the relationship between its platform and K-pop

While Twitter and K-pop are inextricably linked, Twitter wanted to bring the relationship to the fore during the 10th anniversary of the growth of K-pop on Twitter’s social platform, showing its leadership in the music industry, and attracting new users.

Twitter and its PR partner Hoffman Agency Asia Pacific developed a comprehensive global campaign involving infographics and a livestreamed K-pop event to attract media interest and increase buzz among K-pop fans. The scale of the campaign and significance of the results led to Hoffman taking home a bronze award in recognition for Best Insights Driven PR at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's recent PR Awards 2021.

Challenge

Twitter has played a critical role in allowing K-pop artists to build their fandoms internationally, while also giving fans an outlet to connect with one another across the world. The year 2019 saw a 15% increase in the number of #KpopTwitter tweets, rising to a record 6.1 billion tweets across the world.

The year 2020 was a huge milestone for K-pop and Twitter, marking their decade-long growth together. Though K-pop stans and artists know that K-pop and Twitter are linked, the company wanted to elevate its position toward music industry leadership and to attract non-users to the platform across 20 key markets worldwide.

Campaign announcements would have to be made compelling for media globally in order to activate, engage, and evangelise K-pop fans around the world, and deepen Twitter’s mindshare at the same time.

The key objectives for the campaign were:

1. Brand: Create an international project to extend consumer awareness beyond the news and politics that are strongly associated with Twitter, and to remind them that Twitter is a place for culture, entertainment, and fun as well

2. Communications: Reinforce Twitter’s leadership among music fans and industry experts as the best platform contributing to the growth of K-pop over the past 10 years around the world

3. Audience: Create fun #OnlyOnTwitter moments as well as engage the key influencers behind K-pop fan communities to increase #KpopTwitter conversations, based on global and country data.

Strategy

To commemorate 10 years of K-pop on Twitter, Twitter planned to highlight the decade in data with an infographic - The #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map. Hoffman, as Twitter’s Asia Pacific hub in Singapore, planned the campaign with three key audiences in mind:

For media - and as proxies of the average outsider consumer - it was important to show the immense scale of #KpopTwitter, the exponential growth to date, and the global level of fan participation on Twitter.

Meanwhile, to excite K-pop fans, Twitter’s focus was on data that best reflected fans’ personal Twitter experience. The company delved into the psyche of a K-pop fan and their drivers, and aimed to mobilise the stans to celebrate their favourite artists as they were crowned the “most tweeted” in their respective categories.

Finally, to target businesses considering Twitter’s products to reach K-pop audiences, the company needed to showcase Twitter as a K-pop guru, the guide to a decade’s worth of insights on the unique ways that fans use the platform, as well as the authority on what comes next.

Key messages focused on the fact that no other platform can claim to be as closely linked to K-pop from the sides of both artists and fans worldwide over the past decade. In the same vein, only Twitter can claim to power the deep online and offline fan connections that power the genre and keep fans’ passions strong.

The final messaging was distilled into three proof points:

Twitter is where you can be part of what’s happening in K-pop today, for everything from breaking news to the biggest and newest artists, to the best content by fans for other fans, to stans sharing their K-pop love with the world.

K-pop and Twitter rose together over the past decade as Twitter is the only public conversation platform for K-pop artists and fans to connect with each other globally every step of the way.

During the pandemic, despite the lack of concerts, tours, and conventions, K-pop fans are still gathering and talking on Twitter to stay close to their favourite artists, while remaining connected with their global fan communities and even having their voices heard in global movements.

Earned media, in the form of interviews with Twitter’s K-pop expert, were selected as the key tactic to tell the deep and detailed story of K-pop’s growth on the platform.

Social media was chosen as the key channel to reach K-pop fans given their use of the platform, and their ability to amplify and share content related to their favourite artists. At the end of the campaign, Twitter also sought to reward fans via a livestream interview with K-pop luminaries.

Execution

With 10 years of platform data, Twitter was able to compile insights on the greatest K-pop wins throughout the past decade to inform the central campaign asset, the #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map. To amplify the #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map across the top 20 #KpopTwitter markets globally, Twitter’s tactics included:

1. Arranging top-tier media interviews in each market with Twitter’s resident K-pop expert to establish #KpopTwitter as the leading source on the rise and future of K-pop.

Hoffman worked with Twitter to establish the narrative for these interviews, as well as to strategise how this would fit into the overall 2020 World Map activation. Twitter then activated its PR team and agencies across the top 20 markets to pitch the story to their media and secure the interview. Many of the interviews were conducted under embargo to drive day-one coverage for the #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map.

2. Tailor-made, local-language social media infographics for each participating market with in-market rankings pitting artist against artist to evoke fan pride for their favourites. Posted via the respective Twitter country handles, this encouraged local K-pop fans to rally for their favourite artists.

Hoffman led the management of these infographics in-house, including developing versions of the infographics for each top 20 market with data and images that reflected the market’s Twitter data. From there; Twitter leveraged their in-market teams to translate the infographics into the local language, develop social copy for their country handles to promote the infographics, then posted at launch.

3. The “Decade of #KpopTwitter” livestream, where Twitter’s K-pop expert interviewed K-pop legends and members of the hottest up-and-coming groups about their experiences with Twitter to generate excitement and even more fan fervour.

Twitter and Hoffman began planning on July 28, 2020. With the “Decade of #KpopTwitter” livestream virtual event set for September 22 last year due to participating artists’ schedules, the launch of the #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map campaign was set for the morning of September 22.

Result

The earned and owned organic strategy was very successful. With the campaign, the team not only fulfilled but exceeded its objectives. More than 2.5 million viewers in total watched the “Decade of #KpopTwitter” on Twitter Blueroom.

With 1.3 million viewers for the original livestream in Korean and 1.2 million viewers for the English subtitle replay, the live stream event touched fans all over the world within one week of the live stream. In terms of owned media, K-pop fans around the world loved and interacted with Twitter's infographics as predicted, resulting in a 370% increase week-over-week in #KpopTwitter tweets and 20% increase in positive tweet sentiment.

Some 322,000 #KpopTwitter tweets were garnered with 578 million impressions within 48 hours. More than 600,000 engagements occurred for country handles internationally.

For earned media, spokesperson press interviews and media outreach for the #KpopTwitter 2020 World Map announcement generated positive press coverage in the top 20 Kpop markets, scoring over 470 articles worldwide. This including top-tier international publications like Forbes, regional publications like Mashable SEA, and popular local news outlets such as Chosun Ilbo in Korea, The Straits Times from Singapore, The Star in Malaysia, The Jakarta Post in Indonesia and Manager in Thailand.

Dickson Seow, director, global communications (strategic planning and campaigns), Twitter Inc. was very happy with the outcome, and said: “The agency was a valuable partner in bringing our largest-ever international #KpopTwitter campaign to life. The press coverage results and on-platform engagement around the world were truly amazing, and showcased the fun, positive power of the global #KpopTwitter community."

“We could not have done it without the agency helping our internal team through a process that was months in the making, and their creativity and strategy led to strong business results for our thought leadership position and audience engagement across 20 markets worldwide," he added.

Photo courtesy: 123RF