Oneupweb Reviews: Use of Twitter in “Race with Insulin” Campaign

Some companies don’t understand the value of answering Twitter’s question, “What are you doing?”

Do people really need to know you’re putting on your socks right this minute? Or that you were cut off in traffic because some idiot driver wasn’t watching where YOU were going while YOU were tweeting about his bad driving? Some business leaders probably think of Twitter in this way – a real-time timewaster.

Like any advertising or marketing tactic, some work better for certain businesses than others. And there are some businesses we just don’t picture having a Twitter account. With the Food and Drug Administration breathing down the drug industry’s neck, I didn’t expect global healthcare company Novo Nordisk to start a Twitter profile, but they did.

Intrigued, I decided to review the company’s use of Twitter in its larger campaign for diabetes management called “Race with Insulin.” How, if at all, does this Twitter profile impact the campaign and the company? Before answering that question, let’s look at the actual elements of the campaign.

Diabetic race car driver Charlie Kimball is posting tweets about his personal experiences with diabetes management and appearances he makes to support awareness of the disease, as well as his day-to-day life on the track, in a Twitter profile sponsored by Novo Nordisk. There is a corresponding blog, Living in the Fast Lane with Diabetes, along with Kimball’s personal YouTube channel and Facebook Fan Page.

Twitter provides the perfect outlet for Kimball to update fans about new blog posts, appearances, and even to share links to sites that have helped him with diabetes management.

But Twitter is more than just a machine for pushing out press releases and other links. By answering the question “What are you doing?” companies are connecting with customers. In Kimball’s case his post, “Just checked my blood glucose before lunch. Grilled asparagus Panini with fruit. Mmmmm!” could inspire a diabetic to make better food choices. Diet and medication work together to manage diabetes, so it’s win-win for Novo.

Overall, having a dependable advocate who can share his or her experiences with your product is a great idea, and Twitter can help make that connection with consumers. Kimball’s tweets are great, but getting to them is difficult and that could really slow down the campaign’s momentum. When I land on Kimball’s blog or Novo’s home page, I should see a clear link that leads me to the campaign’s Twitter profile.

For a better example of how to integrate social elements, read my blog posts about the Ford Fiesta Movement (my initial post is here with a follow up here).

Official Oneupweb Review: Oneup Thumbs-Up, leaning slightly to the right! (Use of Twitter is great, but better integration with other social media would help the visibility and longevity of the entire campaign.)