Friday, June 12, 2009

What Are The Masses Saying About Your Brand?

Have you ever wanted to get your brand on a popular social media site like Twitter? If you haven’t thought about it, you should. It gives you and your company exposure to an untold number of past, present and prospective customers. Depending on how you engage these subsets of clientele, taking your message to them on Twitter can pay off in great ways.

Here are 5 things you need to know about getting your brand on Twitter:

1 Listen. People are probably already talking about your company. What are they saying? Is it positive or negative? Use Twitter search or third party applications like TweetDeck to watch for your company name.

2 Engage. When your company name is mentioned, acknowledge it. If it’s a compliment or even just a casual comment, send a public @ message thanking them for the shout-out. If it’s a complaint, tell them you’re sorry and you’d like to help them resolve the problem. Give them a way to contact you directly and ask them to do so. Then resolve the problem off of the public stage. In many cases, if the issue is solved in a mutually satisfactory way, they will go back and give you a public kudos. Also, if they’ve pointed out a mistake that you’ve made, don’t be afraid to admit it. People in the twitterhood like to deal with people – not with brand names that people hide behind.

3 Give. Here’s something I can’t stress enough. Sometimes companies are tempted to take first and give back. That may work in some online sales transactions, but in the twitterverse, you want to establish trust and gain a relationship with other users. You want to be genuine and give them value just for having read your tweets. Offer a tip that will save them time, money or sanity at least three times a week. If you’re a mechanic, tell them how to save gasoline on short trips. If you’re a mortgage broker, offer a tip on how to get their credit score to where it needs to be for a better deal. You get the idea. Be open to suggestions. If someone asks a question, answer it as honestly and as quickly as you can.

4 Be nice. You most likely have competitors on Twitter. Don’t bash them. They may have made some big mistakes, and you may see them unfold before your eyes if the groundswell catches on. You will lose respect in the eyes of your followers if you engage in mudslinging, especially at a time when a competitor is fighting a real or perceived battle with their customers.

5 Be real. As I mentioned in number 2, above, people like dealing with people. Don’t be afraid to inject personality, humor and fun into your tweets. Whether your business is booking clowns for children’s parties or you sell real estate for a living, let your followers see the man or woman behind the brand account.

6 Be balanced. Not every tweet should be a marketing ploy aimed to make a sale. It’s okay to shoot out a message about your current promotion, send out a coupon or tell your followers how they can get to your website, but don’t overdo it. Five or six well-spaced out tweets about your sale or site are fine in one day, but also send out other tweets in between. Send a link to an industry article or some other non-sales link. If all you do is spew marketing and sales, you will be seen as a spammer and your followers won’t appreciate it. They also won’t buy.

7 Be human. There are ways to set up your twitter account, using third-party tools that allow you to follow everyone who follows you. Some think this is good, others don’t. That’s for you to decide. But, along with autofollowing, there are tools that allow you to send an automated direct message to everyone when they follow you. While these “auto dms” may save time, you should avoid them. Avoid the very appearance of an auto dm or auto welcome. Take time to send a personalized direct message to each new follower. Even if you get behind and it takes a day or two to get to everyone, it’s worth it. Find something witty or clever they’ve said in a recent tweet or in their bio. Check out their blog. Note their cool background picture. Comment on one of these things and you will have made a friend, rather than have alienated them.

These are just some of the “Best Practices” for businesses on twitter that I came up with. If you have more, please use the comments section below. If you have specific questions, you can email me at or call me at (801) 835-9715. You can also find me on twitter: @jwhof


There are many more "Best Practices". Use the comments section below to post yours. I'll pick the best one and the winner will recieve a $10.00 (USD) gift card. To where, you ask? We'll decide where YOU want it to be. Also, if you've read this far, and you retweet this message: "Would you share your ideas with me? RT this, read the post and then comment. Best one wins $10!"

Thanks for reading!

James Hofheins

1 comment:

  1. These are great suggestions. Another thing I think that helps make a company seem very kind and friendly is to promote others. Retweet, praise another company, say something good about other Tweeters. It really helps show you're not just here to promote yourself. It also makes others inclined to promote you as well.