Friday, July 17, 2009


To promote its shark exhibit, The Toronto Zoo created a Twitter Account for one of toothiest residents: Dwayne The Shark. In just three days, Dwayne has more than tripled his following on Twitter and the attention he’s received goes beyond the online world with coverage from traditional media outlets like The Toronto Star and Metro News. Organizations, like The Toronto Zoo, are always challenged to find new ways to break through in a crowded market. The key is determining your target audience and the best channel(s) to reach them. Did you know teenagers are not frequent Twitter users? But guess who is – parents. Especially young moms. The zoo was spot-on in using Twitter to reach their target audience; it’s the parents who will bring their kids to see the new inhabitants. The zoo also gets a touchdown for using this initiative to cross promote other events by inserting them into the Twitter feed – like their Mitchel Musso concert. And finally, a touchdown for coming up with such creative and educational way to learn about an often misunderstood creature. Giving the shark a personality and a name humanizes a typically scary creature and allows people to better relate to him. Our tips for the Toronto Zoo? Don’t let Dwayne’s Twitter account fall to the wayside. Keep your audience growing by continuing to provide consistent updates and engaging in two-way conversations with followers. You could also include links to multi-media sites (like Twitpics). Happy Tweeting!

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