I tweet about them. I eat them in bed, on the bus and at the office. I have Percy on my key-ring and in my Christmas stocking. I know that a lot of people feel the same way. For a little foamy, gummy sweet, he inspires a lot of love and smiles.
I was beside myself when he joined Twitter, and even more delighted when I was the first person he mentioned!
— Katharine Robinson (@TheSourceress) December 6, 2011
A few days later though, I expressed my disappointment with his tweets. I was expecting something as charming as @Maudthecow from anchor used to be, but also as epic as @bronxzooscobra still is with his keen eye for current events.
On reflection, I think that I am so disappointed because being the voice of Percy Pig on Social Media would be one of my dream jobs. Someone else has that job and they are not doing it in the same way I would. I am frustrated and also very jealous.
I have found myself thinking about the kind of online presence I might craft for Percy.
I imagine that the ultimate goal of Percy’s Twitter account must be to sell more sweets and merchandise. This could be done by both further inspiring current fans and making others curious about Percy Pig, perhaps even bringing new shoppers into Marks and Spencer stores.Therefore the account must bring some value to its followers in order to keep them. Even an account tweeting out a cycling list of Percy Pig merchandise would be more enlightening than “Oink”.
If it were my job to represent Percy online, I’d let any main M&S communications take care of product news. Percy’s voice is too potentially valuable to turn into a link feed.
I’d confidently say that everyone (who isn’t currently a spam-bot) following the @ImPercyPig Twitter account is mad about the sweets, just like me. There were Percy Pig money boxes and novel cases full of sweets available this Christmas, making perfect gifts for the Percy Pig lover in your life. Did they know to ask for them though? Twitter could have given those fantastic items more exposure to both Percy fans and their friends/family.
Before crafting Percy’s Social Media strategy, I’d do my research into Pig related current events. It would be easy to get pig related news straight to my RSS reader or inbox each day and then provide Percy’s unique spin on the (fizzy pig) tale. A day on a farm might be a good idea too. I don’t have much experience with real pigs and would need to learn how they behave, what sort of personalities they have and would surely get loads of inspiration for Percy’s personality. As the sweets appeal to those of all ages, so should the tweets. Percy is a boy, he is sweet, pink and totally fruity. I think that would also help guide in crafting his voice.
There is no shortage of Percy Pig lovers on Twitter – back in the summer, Percy Pig trended on Twitter when Marks and Spencer launched his Ice Cream. I’d definitely follow back all the real people that chose to follow Percy – if they are interested in him, I would think he’d be interested in them. I would look at who uses the #PercyPig hashtag most and I also notice that nine people (at the time of writing) actually mention Percy Pigs in their Twitter bios – I would definitely try to contact them and ask for opinions and ideas. They could end up being Percy’s biggest Twitter evangelists.
I have found myself wondering why Marks and Spencer did not obtain the unused @PercyPig Twitter handle. As Percy Pig is their trade mark, Twitter should have given it to them. I found a number of parody accounts, like @thepercypig and @Percy_Pig1 (the latter is the top result when I Google “Percy Pig Twitter”). Although not used much, both show a nice bit of personality and a humorous rivalry with Colin the Caterpillar.
@ImPercyPig gets a lot of great tweets sent his way, both directly and via the #PercyPig hashtag. He rarely responds though and never employs any wit when he does. For example, he could tell Hannah that her new travel card holders are very “sty-lish”!
… and let Suze know that Percy doesn’t encourage cannibalism.
Percy hasn’t sent many tweets in his first 4 weeks. Despite this his followers still enthusiastically respond to his questions, only to get no further interaction. This could be a real force for spreading love and awareness if only harnessed.
The Percy Pig suit that is beautifully modelled in his Twitter avatar looks like an opportunity for lots of visual fun. “Where’s Percy” and “Percy Spotting” are just two ideas that come to mind when I wonder how to use the suit to engage fans and get them sharing…
I am bursting with too many ideas to share here!
Percy needn’t just share his thoughts and feelings on Twitter. Percy Pig’s Facebook page has managed to amass a quarter of a million fans, even though it doesn’t feature any news from the pig himself, a vanity URL hasn’t even been claimed for the page. Facebook would lend itself well to lots of visual media and Facebook questions would be a fantastic way to get light touch interaction from fans and lots of feedback. Percy could be a very platform versatile pig.
What would you do if you were the voice of Percy Pig?