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How #NBA2K16 Earned Over 3 Billion Potential Impressions

NBA 2K16 was released on September 29, 2015, but 2K‘s savvy marketing team began its push long before that.

While you can see in the chart below that #NBA2K16 potential impressions (the number of times people were potentially exposed to the hashtag) peaked during the release month, September, you can also see that this unique hashtag sustained massive momentum from June on.

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Let’s find out why by analyzing the tweets which were the primary impression drivers.

Premiere Video

It’s no accident that 70% of #NBA2K16’s most retweeted Tweets of the year so far have included videos.

In fact, #NBA2K16’s most retweeted Tweet of the year so far was this one, the worldwide premiere of a video clip from the not-yet-release game.

Almost 30K Retweets! Over 22K “Hearts”? Whether 2K put ad spend behind this Tweet or not, it generated unusual and outrageously engaging results.

Tip for your brand: Choose the social network on which your followers and fans are most engaged. Debut a piece of video content on that network to support an upcoming release or product launch.

Influencer Partnership

The #NBA2K16 hashtag really profited from influencer partnerships in the lead-up to its release. Take this tweet from hip hop superstar DJ Khaled, for instance.

By giving out exceptional swag and asking influencer partners to spread the word, 2K earned a ton of engagement for its hashtag and, subsequently, awareness for its upcoming release. The biggest partnership of all? Spike Lee, who narrates #NBA2K16.

Tip for your brand: Choose an influencer who resonates with your followers to sponsor a giveaway, but make sure that this influencer is touting a product alluring enough to provoke engagement on social.

Retweet to Win

There is no Twitter tactic more effective for spreading brand awareness than the ol’ “Retweet to Win” trick. 2K used this tactic several times in the course of its #NBA2K16 campaign.

It’s simple, but it works.

Tip for your brand: Try the “Retweet to Win” tactic and keep tabs on how many followers you gain compared to the numbers of retweets you receive. This will provide you with a good baseline for similar campaigns moving forward.

New Features

Twitter is a great place to reveal new features of your updated product. #NBA2K16 experienced this with uber-successful tweets like the one below.

By pairing a video with text that touted fresh features, this Tweet was able to generate a ton of buzz.

Tip for your brand: Experiment with debuting a new product feature or update on Twitter, letting the video content do the talking but setting it up well with specific examples of what’s different and why Twitter users should care.

Do You Want More Twitter Impressions?

Check out our Twitter Social Marketing Strategy Kit to improve your brand’s performance on Twitter and take your strategy to the next level. This collection of resources is designed to help you master the channel and develop a Twitter strategy that works for your brand.

Learn about the complete social analytics solution

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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