When I arrive at the race track, my heart beats faster and I can't wait for the engines to start. Tonight I was excited to attend the first Twitter press conference coordinated by Brad Keselowski. For those of you who aren't familiar with NASCAR or the Nationwide races yet, Brad grew up in a racing family and is a respected driver for Penske Racing. He joined Twitter in May of 2009.
In a green-white-checker finish, on-air racing personalities often mention that it is either checkers (you win) or wreckers (you wreck and lose).
Here are some good and not so great moments of tonight's Twitter Press Conference:
Brad started the press conference using the web application of Twitter. There isn't anyone who monitors an active social media presence that would have recommended it. There are too many tweets to follow and you miss out on finding out who the real influencers are by not using a more robust social media tool. During the chat, Brad switched to Twitter for iPad and still missed out on some opportunities to maximize his time during the chat session.
The concept was like other Twitter chats, except that Penske Racing set up guidelines for the media to be able to ask him questions directly first. Fans were encouraged to tweet to any media member about specific questions that they had. Brad also introduced each media person that he took questions from to the fans. I liked this aspect, because it brought a level of professionalism to the chat.
Active Twitter fans are used to a fast-paced chat session. When Brad tweeted answers or comments during the chat, he usually didn't use the pre-determined #TPC hashtag. He would also just reply directly to a person. If you weren't following that person, you may have missed the tweet too. This made it difficult for fans to follow the tweets. It also made it seem at first as if Brad wasn't participating or answering any questions from the media.
Brad was extremely transparent about any question that he chose to answer from the media. My favorite question was asked by Bob Pockrass with SceneDaily.com: If you win at the Brickyard, how long does your kiss of bricks last and how long before you wash your lips? This translates well with his target audience. By genuinely connecting with the media and his fans, the #TPC tweets reached 134,996 people during the most active part of the chat session.
Based on Brad's work ethic, I know that his next Twitter Press Conference will be faster with even better results.
Brad was kind enough to retweet my post and thank me for the feedback.