Reaching out to that target audience, the fifty-something-year-old company launched the Twitter feed @pchwinningways about two months ago. Contest alerts encourage people to follow. About 650 people have signed up as of Friday. Followers keep tabs on news and drawings, as well as enter a monthly contest to win a $100 gift card.
Alex Betancur, vice president and general manager of the PCH Online Network, said appealing to a younger demographic has been PCH's biggest challenge. For many years the "super tanker" has been mostly known by people age 35 and older. So, the company has moved to an "instant win mentality," similar to the type of interaction a younger, always-on generation expects.
Social media provides the conduit to give away about $50,000 monthly of Amazon.com gift cards, Fandango movie tickets and cash prizes through games and quizzes via Twitter.
It's all about opening lines of communication with fans through social media, Betancur said. "We've been quiet about the Twitter launch as we try to understand the metrics and how to promote it," he said.
That could change, Betancur said, suggesting consumers could soon see the Twitter feed integrated into television commercials for the multimillion-dollar sweepstakes. Although he declined to provide specifics, he said PCH has plans to promote it in a variety of ways within the next six months.
After all, he said, PCH aired the first reality television short with cameras rolling as patrol vans have pulled up and surprised winners with a check.
For PCH, Twitter becomes the carrot that leads followers to its six Web properties anchored by the flagship PCH.com site. People who follow the Twitter post to one of its sites will typically interact with three other games or sweepstakes somewhere on the network.
Although PCH has yet to promote the Twitter site, there's an opportunity to spread the word through daily emails sent to a database of more than 1.5 million people. Each email offers an opportunity to enter a contest. The emails have about a 35% click-through rate. An umbrella newsletter also reminds people to play.