Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Build Your Brand on Twitter

Source: Twitter.

If you are one of the millions of who watched last month’s Super Bowl, then odds are you remember that the lights went out before the third quarter started. But if you also use Twitter either for personal communication or business marketing, then you know that Oreo was the real winner on Super Bowl Sunday.

The reason is simple: Twitter provides the opportunity to comment and respond in real time based on whatever is happening. The ability to tailor comments, target audiences, and engage with customers or prospective customers is an incredible advantage over static advertising, television broadcasts, and taped events.

As a midsize business, Twitter can be an effective marketing tool. While the lights were out in New Orleans, the Oreo team got busy in a conference room. They designed an image and carefully chose the short message, or in Twitter lingo, the tweet: “Power out? No problem.” The image’s message was, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

So, are you still on the fence about Twitter? Yes, you need to decide how Twitter fits into your overall marketing and social media strategy. Yes, you need to create a Twitter plan. And yes, you need to allocate resources to maintain the Twitter account. But once that is all said and done, there is no doubt that Twitter can help to build your brand. Here are five tips:

[1] Understand your brand promise, your competitive advantage, your unique selling proposition. Now, keep this in mind with every tweet. Naturally, every tweet cannot be a sales pitch – then you’d probably not have any followers. But, remember the value that you provide to your audience so that you create interest and engagement. Also, respond in real time whenever possible, so that problems can be solved. If problems are solved, your customers will become brand advocates for you via all social platforms.

[2] Think of your audience before your tweet. Will articles, photos, or quotes be best? What will your audience value? But remember, Twitter is a hodgepodge of conversations, so many things might constitute your strategy.

[3] Create a hashtag that is unique for your brand or company – this will be a great way to monitor every time your brand is mentioned and talked about.

[4] Create and host a branded tweetchat (same time and day every week) to discuss new product launches, interview company experts, or interview industry experts, etc. This is an excellent way to get your brand heard and talked about – and to participate in the talk.

[5] Follow others in your industry – this may include industry leaders, industry spokespeople, and even your competitors. But the reality is, you cannot hide under a rock and work in secret. Everyone sees everything thanks to social media.

The most obvious Twitter branding tips are to use your company name or most famous brand as your Twitter handle and your logo as your Twitter avatar. As with all corporate collateral, websites, promotional give-aways, etc., you want your company name, logo, and tagline to appear in social media.

And last but not least, above all, BE CONSISTENT. Speak in a unifying voice for all tweets. Know who from your team will be your company’s Twitter voice, and make sure that the individual or individuals have set time responsibilities as well as some standard replies for specific issues. And a timeless reminder, your tweets should always be friendly and welcoming.

To see some funny Twitter comments during Super Bowl 47, check out my post:

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

1 comment:

  1. This is the the mistake that a lot of SMEs make when branding their online identity. Not considering your audience and market when you release a tweet or a status can backfire horrendously. I worked in the West Midlands a few years ago with an advertising agency and they would always feed their clients this advice. Once you've seen somebody's brand destroyed by careless operation, you don't want to see it again!


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