Twelpforce & FanWoody: How Best Buy & TGI Friday are Building Facebook & Twitter Brands on TV

Picture 1A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about Best Buy’s television commercials advertising their Twelpforce, a group of Best Buy’s   technology experts who offer technical advice and support via Twitter. The most interesting thing about these commercials was that they weren’t directing visitors to their website, something which they control. Instead, they were directing people to the Twelpforce Twitter page, which is owned by Twitter.

While I don’t think there are going to be problems with Twitter, I just don’t think it’s a smart move to build the Twitter traffic rather than traffic to the main Best Buy site. They could conceivably redirect traffic from to the Twitter page if they wanted to do so, allowing them to control the traffic and analytics rather than a third party.

Recently, I’ve been seeing commercials from TGI Fridays, encouraging people to go to a Facebook page they set up, The commercial says that if 500,000 become Woody’s Fan, all will receive a coupon for a free burger at a TGI Fridays restaurant. The TGIF fan page has over 497,000 fans right now, and at the rate it seems to be going, they will hit the half a million mark in the next couple of hours.

Like Best Buy is doing with Twitter, TGI Fridays is driving traffic to Facebook rather than their home page. I still don’t understand or like the logic behind building another company’s brand.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I saw that also on TV and thought the same thing.

    Business marketing isn’t logical anymore and the immense popularity of social media sites, like Twitter & Facebook, have turned the traditional ways of thinking upside down.

    I agree with you. Why spend tens of millions on prime time TV spots to send traffic to Twit & FB?

    And maybe ironically that’s part of the marketing at play here. Because advertising and marketing blogs all over the Net, just like we’re doing here, will all ask the same question why are they doing that. And that gives BestBuy & TGIF tons of publicity in the process. LOL

  2. You’re thinking like a publisher, not like a business owner. It isn’t about driving traffic to your own site, it’s about interfacing with your customers and building brand loyalty and ultimately getting more sales. A great way to sell something is to interact with your customers and keep the pitches to a minimum. Dell has done millions of dollars in business from their Twitter account.

    Fridays now has more than half a million people that they can send messages to, exchange wall postings with, etc. whenever they want to, at no extra cost. And that number is still climbing by like 20 fans every few seconds.

    Imagine if the commercial said “Go to and sign up for our newsletter to get a free burger.” I doubt they would have gotten anywhere near 530k signups, and it would still be a one-way conversation. Kinda surprised BestBuy only has 12k followers after all those commercials though.

  3. @ Michael

    Kevin illustrated my point. They could have mentioned Twelpforce or FanWoody and then directed them to their own URL. Social media/tech savvy people might just go to the FB or Twitter page, but others would go to the url controlled by the company, giving them even greater control. This traffic could either be redirected to the intended site or they could use a splash page.

  4. What’s the point of “controlling” the traffic? Like I said, these are not publishers, these are companies selling a product. They don’t make more money if they bounce someone off their server first before immediately redirecting them to Twitter or FB. They aren’t in the impressions business like a publisher, they’re in the sales business.

    Their goal is to interact with people on a social network, so they send them to their profile in a way that social media people will be comfortable with. If I’m an avid FB user, I’m won’t be as likely to go to to fan Woody… there’s no way for me to know what’s going to be there. If I’m presented with a link to, I know exactly what I’m getting, a FB page and I’d be more comfortable with it.

    The only reason I would ever do a redirect in their shoes is if I was a small enough company or didn’t have enough fans to get a friendly URL at FB.

    • It’s not about control and as long as facebook is not selling TGIF type of food it does not hurt them to advertise on FB. TGIF and BestBuy are doing what others like Sears and JcPenny fail to do, stay alive. The new generation is all about internet and social media, we feel better being a part of a group and as silly as it sounds that 500,000 is a group. When you are trying to sell something you have to do the work and change your marketing to get peoples attention. People try the “call the 1800 number and tell them how great this was and you’ll get bla bla bal” it didnt work to well but when you do that plus facebook then you get around more!

  5. People – this is a no brainer. When you sign up, a dialogue box displayes that they are not only taking your info but also your *FRIENDS* info.

    think about the domino effect of that… Forget 500,000 people… it could end up being every Facebook member before all is said and done.

  6. The idea is to get people into Best Buy and T.G.I. Friday’s not just visit the website, this is especially the case with T.G.I. Fridays because they don’t make money from their site. Also it’s much easier to drive someone to twitter or facebook because they’re already going to those websites so you aren’t forcing them to change their behavior. Plus, by becoming your fan or following you on twitter the customer is asking you to interact with them on a regular basis. This is a great way to build connections with consumers.

  7. conducted a study on 252 viewers of a recent T.G.I. Friday’s ad which promotes its new Facebook campaign. The results found that that the majority believe the promotion will increase favorability for the T.G.I. Friday’s brand. After watching the ad, 71% of Facebook users indicated that they would become a “fan” of Friday’s Facebook spokesman, “Woody” to receive the promotional offer of a free Jack Daniel’s hamburger. More in depth results can be seen at:


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