What Works on Twitter: GE’s Umbrellas

General Electric made umbrellas interesting.

I didn’t think it could be possible for a tweet about umbrellas to hold my attention, but GE accomplished it, giving us a great example of what works well on Twitter:

Here’s why this tweet is a success:

It addressed a pain-point for umbrella owners.

No one likes having to deal with a broken umbrella in a storm. GE’s message very clearly addresses this frustration and comforts customers by showing them you’ll have less to worry about with this umbrella.

The GIF is a really nice touch.

They could have cut corners and just tweeted a picture, or only simple text, but the GIF does a much better job communicating the message.

GE isn’t taking themselves too seriously.

Benjamin Zander calls it “Rule Number 6.” GE could have tried to communicate how a stronger umbrella is much safer for the consumer, protecting them from the elements. But they decided to follow Rule Number 6, and took a really fun angle.

You see a bit of their humanity.

I would like to think that GE used an actual engineer in this GIF. If so, then they took advantage of another opportunity to show the humanity that makes up their staff.

What could have made this better?

I have just a couple of suggestions:

  • They could have turned this into a series of tweets, showing how many engineers it takes to withstand the 74 mph winds. The series could have been a contest, something like: “How many engineers do you think it takes?”
  • I’m left wondering where I might buy one of these umbrellas. Adding a link would have been a nice way to inspire customers to take action while they are paying attention.

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