By Chris Crum
Update: Pizza Hut announced today that its former "Twintern" now has the official title of "Tweetologist," and now holds a full-time position. From the announcement:
For more than a month, Alexa Robinson - Pizza Hut's former summer "Twintern" who was hired as an intern to keep up with Pizza Hut fans through @pizzahut on Twitter - has been working without a job title. After extending a full-time job offer to Alexa, Pizza Hut turned to its Twitter fan base for creative suggestions for her new title. Now, thanks to the help of the loyal followers of @pizzahut, Alexa is finally ready to order her new business cards.
"As the new Tweetologist, I want to thank everyone who I have met through Twitter," said Alexa. "It was a lot of fun to see our fans and followers think outside the box, and I can't wait to display my new title on my business card, loud and proud."
Original Article: Pizza and social media seem to have a relationship destined for headlines lately. You've probably read about the Domino's YouTube video fiasco. Now on a more positive note, it's Pizza Hut and Twitter.
Pizza Hut is looking to hire an intern specifically for Twittering. This is news because - how many mainstream companies have you heard of hiring someone specifically for Twittering - not even social media in general - just Twittering.
Stephanie Clifford at the New York Times describes the purpose of the "Twintern" (intern using Twitter...I don't claim responsibility for the term) job:
To attend advertising shoots, product meetings and other corporate events. “They’ll be our social media journalist, chronicling in 140 characters or less what’s going on at Pizza Hut,” said Bob Kraut, the vice president for marketing communications at the company. The Twintern must also play social-media defense, monitoring Twitter for any mentions of the brand and alerting superiors whenever anything negative about the Hut is being said.
There is a full description on Yum's (Pizza Hut's parent company) site. According to that, the twinternship allows for many hands-on opportunities like:
- Collect and share insights and experiences while working for Pizza Hut through social and interactive media: Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, New and emerging media
- Twintern will be given unprecedented access to marketing meetings, brainstorm sessions, ad shoots and special events
- Monitor social media for pop culture news, off-the-wall stories or anything else quirky and fun that he or she thinks would be of interest to loyal Pizza Hut fans.
- Chronicle experience through video; edit and post to selected media
- Conduct media outreach for PR programs
- Assist with execution of national PR programs
It is unclear whether or not Yum has similar intentions for brands like Long John Silver's, A&W, Taco Bell, etc. The fact that pizza is commonly ordered online (and the Domino's incident no doubt) probably plays a direct role in why Pizza Hut is doing this.
"The major pizza chains now do 20% to 30% of their business online, but they want that figure to climb a lot higher, to 50%," says Emily Bryson York with AdAge. "Getting there will take some doing, but the journey offers lessons for other marketers also seeking to build their business online: Know your customers, make it easy and offer incentives."
Very true. Twitter can prove to be a remarkable tool for online reputation management. And as we've discussed at WebProNews repeatedly, there are tons of opportunities for marketers. Though keeping on the ethical side of online marketing is likely to be in the best interest of your business and your online reputation.