Friday, January 31, 2014

Does Your Brand Tweet?

Image Credit: Twitter.

There is no denying that Twitter is an amazing communication tool, but is it a branding tool? To answer that question, all we have to do is recall that famous tweet by Oreo from last year’s Super Bowl game.

The lights may have gone out on the game, but the Twitterverse has never been brighter. Humor, creativity, and engagement filled everyone’s streams. We laughed with Oreo, Walgreens, Lowe’s, Audi, Tide, and PBS. It was clear that many big names in the worlds of food, pharmacy, home improvement, automotive, consumer products, and public television understood the impact of a few carefully chosen words in social media.

So, does your business think in 140 characters, or more like 110 or 120? Does your business respond to comments by others? Do you invite comments about your products or services by customers and prospective customers? How quickly do you respond to tweets? Do you thank members of the Twitterverse who engage with you? And what about tweeps who mention your brand on Follow Friday – how do you show your gratitude? And let’s not forget the use of hashtags – how often do you use them?

Here were my favorite tweets from last year’s Super Bowl:

Power out? No problem. [Photo: You can still dunk in the dark.]

Hey dome operators at the Big Game, there are a few Lowe’s nearby if you need some generators.

This might be a good time to think about alternative programing. #SuperBowlBlackOut

As you integrate Twitter into your overall marketing strategy, don’t ever forget why these tweets had impact and how they addressed the circumstances of the moment. Also consider how aligned these tweets’ messaging was to the brands’ overall messaging.

How should you spend your time on Twitter? Plan your time strategically:

[1] Develop a Twitter plan – include goals for engagement, a calendar for content, and a schedule for time commitments.

[2] Craft your brand’s and/or company’s official voice – depending on industry, this may be formal, informal, or conversational.

[3] Decide who will tweet on behalf of your company and use initials (if many people tweet) so that followers will know who is tweeting (the initials should clearly correspond to full names in the “About Section”).

[4] Engage your audience or followers – ask questions, offer coupons, use polls, etc. – and respond to each person individually if possible.

[5] Decide how you will handle customer complaints – and be consistent.

Above all, be true to your brand. Don’t tweet content that you wouldn’t include in your annual report or share on your company’s blog or website. Remember, your Twitter account may be part of the social media landscape, but it’s just as much a reflection of your brand as any other piece of the marketing pie.

But because Twitter exists in real time, your reach can be, and is, immediate – which sets this tool apart from all of your other marketing efforts. Use this difference to your advantage – and don’t ever forget Oreo’s tweet.

Do you have a favorite tweet to share?

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