Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Putting Twitter to Work for your Brand

Here are my 5 top things any brand should keep in mind when using Twitter:

1. Keep it personal. In almost every case, I recommend against auto direct messages, for example. They are getting a bad reputation on Twitter – users see them as spammy and many will unfollow a brand (business or personal) for a single auto direct message, no matter how carefully crafted.

2. Engage. Interact with people. Don’t just send marketing tweets all day. See what those you follow are saying and reply to them, even if it has nothing to do with your brand. Be funny. Be clever. Be human. People like to buy from people – not logos with a constantly looping marketing message.

3. Give before you get. I’ve worked with brands who offer up something free – usually information. Is your brand an auto mechanic? Tell your followers how to save gas by having tires properly inflated. Selling healthy foods? How about a link to a calorie counter for fast foods? The more you give, the more you’re trusted when it’s time to get.

4. Stay in tune. See a tweet complaining about your brand? Address it. If it comes via an @ message or as just a mention with your brand, it’s on the public stage. That’s where you first want to address the complaint. You can offer to take it off the public stage and solve it offline, but you first need to address it in the venue where it popped up. If it came via direct message, then of course, you can address the complaint via direct message, too.

5. Keep track. Use a hashtag (pound sign - #) specifically for your brand. Use it with every tweet you send (or at least the marketing tweets). For example, if your company is Bob’s Floral, use #bobsfloral. This is a very easy way to keep track of what you’ve tweeted, and if your followers use it, too, then it’s a bonus.

Those are just 5 things I would focus on.

James Hofheins

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