HOW TO: Win Your Very Own Twitter War

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By Casey Danton When managing a community it's common practice to contact influencers who can help expand your reach and expose you to a new audience. Influencers can be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity. But if this has become the norm, why aren't brands taking the next step and jumping into something bigger? Dubbed "Twitter wars," two brands with overlapping or similar target audiences can gain traction by interacting with each other in a witty and noticeable way. These conversations can take place on almost any platform, but are best known on Twitter for the fast, timely, short responses required. Interactions tend to fall into three categories: banter, friendly, and catty.

Not all brand interactions can be rainbows and sunshine. Here are some instances where brands got a little rough-and-tumble.

Old Spice is known for its uniquely strange humored voice so it isn't all that surprising that the brand asked Taco Bell some "out-there" questions.

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Not only did Taco Bell hit back with a witty response, but Red Bell joined the fray.

When Oreo tweeted about sneaking some cookies into the movies, AMC Theaters retweeted and jumped on.

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Ending the conversation on a slightly threatening note left this Twitter war with thousands of retweets and and hundreds of favorites creating all kinds of impressions strewn across the Twitter-vrse.

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Honda took on an interesting campaign when it specifically went after multiple food brands to support the release of the Odyssey Touring Elite with Built-in HondaVAC. Brands included Taco Bell, Oreo, Hellmann's, Nature Valley, and other crumbly products. Some tweets included eye catching visuals.

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Just think about all the exposure that could have been missed if Honda's jabs hadn't gotten a response or received responses that were less than engaging. Honda's campaign was picked up by news sources, pinned by fans on Pinterest, and shared on other platforms outside of Twitter, thus raising interest in not only Honda, but the brands that were included in the conversation.

Another way to participate in brand-to-brand conversation is by extending a friendly "olive branch" of interaction.

After a fan tweeted at both Kit Kat and Oreo about which cookie treat she should choose, Kit Kat offered some simple, timely, attention-grabbing creative.

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Oreo was quick to respond and abruptly put an end to the game while showing that it was a fan of Kit Kat at the same time.

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Remember the Budweiser Puppy from the Super Bowl that just couldn't stand to be separated from his best Clydesdale friend? Of course he has his own Twitter handle. Why wouldn't he?

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Family friendly brand Cheerios jumped into the conversation looking to adopt. Budweiser used the opportunity to not only continue the conversation, but to also share some real dogs in need of homes.

The most well-known brand conversations happened with Tesco Mobile when multiple brands, including Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes, and Cadbury UK, jumped into a conversation sparked by a fan. You can read the entire exchange here.

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This “Twitter party” was both entertaining to followers and was featured in news articles and on media outside of the Twittersphere like Buzzfeed (the article detailing this Twitter party garnered over two million views).

Participating in back-and-forth conversations like these "Twitter wars" or "Twitter parties" also demonstrate that your brand is responsive.  Fans will know that they can expect timely help with any issue. Reaching out to social media for customer service has steadily grown and will continue to do so.  NM Insight, now Nielsen, reports that 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response.   

Read More: Top 5 Brands that Scored on Twitter During the Super Bowl

What are you waiting for? Strike up a conversation with other brands and make some friends. You don't want to be the last one to the Twitter party.

What is your favorite Twitter war that you've seen between brands?