LOS ANGELES — A model-driven Playboy social media campaign has grown its Twitter presence 300 percent in 2011.
The company’s #FriskyFriday initiative asks girls to send photos of themselves each Friday and Playboy picks a winner at the end of the day.
According to an interview on TheNextWeb's Insider with Playboy’s social media manager Allie Sullivan, who started the phenomena, the campaign has blown up and is exceeding all expectations.
Sullivan said that she began her career at the company in 2010 with the idea to use Playmates and social media. She would give them advice on how they could use technology to get votes for the online portion of Playboy’s Playmate of the Year 2011 competition.
The plan was born when one of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s current girlfriends, Miss November 2010 Shera Bechard, took the challenge and posted a sexy photo of herself on the same day every week, along with the "FriskyFriday" name.
“For two months, I retweeted Shera’s FriskyFriday picture from Playboy’s Twitter and after a couple of weeks, our followers were asking for it first thing Friday morning. It was time to get more Playmates involved, so Shera and I reached out to her Playmate sisters asking them to join the fun. We started using the hashtag #FriskyFriday so that our followers could view them by checking the retweets out at Playboy, or by simply following along at the hashtag. The hashtag was also an easier way for me to monitor the pictures coming in, since we have over 120 Playmates on Twitter, who tweet a lot throughout the day,” Sullivan said.
After the initial success, other Playmates and even amateur models started sending their photos as well, fueling more interest in the campaign — especially among its male demographic.
Sullivan said a graph of @Playboy’s weekly growth shows that on average, Playboy’s daily followers triple every Friday compared to every other day in the week. “When we first started #FriskyFriday after inviting Playmates to join Shera in posting pictures, we would retweet anywhere between 8-12 images on a Friday. Now, we typically retweet about 60 images, retweeting anywhere between 5-10 minutes over 10 hours. There are at least 50K @ mentions on #FriskyFriday, around 350K clicks on tweeted links retweeted by Playboy every Friday, and our weekly Storify posts generate an average of 50K views.”
The Twitter plan has also boosted fan engagement, site traffic and follower growth for both Playboy's websites and participants — particularly for its TheSmokingJacket.com SFW website.
Sullivan noted that Playboy has monetized social media by creating Playmate-driven #FriskyFriday campaigns in conjunction with mainstream media like HBO’s season premiere of "Entourage," Spike TV’s show "Ink Master," and recently, American Pie’s latest film, "American Reunion."
“Our female fans all over the world often catch on to the themes and participate too, giving our advertising clients added value, as well as entertaining our Twitter following in a natural way,” Sullivan said.
With all of its success, Sullivan said she is leaving Playboy at the end of the month and hopes that the company continues to improve on what has given the sleeping giant new ways of generating revenue and engaging viewers like never before.