Tweeting as a Brand? Get it RIGHT.

Trawl the Twittersphere and you’ll come across a plethora of branded Twitter accounts, from players as big as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and The Body Shop to small local businesses, boutique shops and niche agencies.

However, despite the exponential marketing and branding opportunities presented by Twitter, it can also damage your brand if handled incorrectly.

Yes, social media is a dynamic, evolving entity – but if using social media channels for marketing purposes, one still has to adhere to effective marketing practices.  Here three of my very simple ‘dos and don’ts’ when tweeting as a brand:

i) ‘You’ is no longer ‘you’ – ‘you’ is the brand

Sounds obvious, but many people overlook this fundamental point.  Yes, we are all adult and understand that there is ‘a person’ constructing these tweets, but the content needs to be written from the brand’s perspective.

As a lover of literature, I follow many publishers on Twitter.  One of the brands with a rich heritage consistently tweets what ‘they’ are looking forward to cake that afternoon, that ‘they’ are reading a current book.

People are following the brand because they have an affinity with that brand, its products and its offerings – not because they want to know what the Marketing Executive is up to that evening.

ii) Txt spk is lk, SO nt kool.

Again, sounds obvious, but colloquial ‘text’ speak is not acceptable.  As a social media marketer, I fully acknowledge the difficulty in conveying lots of information in 140 characters – including a link!

However, shortening a sentence or rethinking your copy is worth the effort.  Sortening every word ‘2 mak it al ft in’ looks unprofessional, shoddy and as if it’s been texted in by a teenager.

Remember to convey your business in the best possible light – and professional language is very much a part of this.  The channel may be different – but your message is not.  Stay on-brand.

iii) Are you following me?

I could write a whole blog post on this – and probably will!  But the true beauty of social media is its transparency, honesty and credibility.  Of course, you want a large following immediately, but trawling through potential ‘followees’ and following them in the hope of a follow is simply not ‘cool’.

There are many programmes that allow Twitter users to ‘auto follow’ people who tweet certain words – for example, if I ran a biscuit business, I could choose to follow the next 100 people who tweeted the word ‘cookie’.  But what does this achieve?

Many brands going down this route end up following 8,000 people, while only 300 people are following them.  This smacks of desperation and loses credibility in the eyes of savvy social media users – the people you are trying to attract.  Try and focus on engaging and connecting with people organically.  Yes, it may take a while to build up a loyal following, but the patience will be rewarded tenfold by engaged customers and authentic conversations.


You can see my tweets (as brand ‘me’!) over @callumsaunders


6 responses to “Tweeting as a Brand? Get it RIGHT.

  1. I cn agree wth this gr8 pst….I see what you mean.

    I sometimes scrunch words. Not often so I don’t sweat it when I feel I have to.

    Right with you on taking time to build connections on Twitter. I’ve been on there for a while (don’t know how to tell how long mind) and I have crept over 500 followers and 450 I am following. And I do pop in and weed out the crud from time to time. Numbers games bore me, I’ll take purpose and quality over quantity any day.

    Cheers – Doug

  2. Fantastic ideas! I agree with you…whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network, one has to understand that it will take time to build a following. It’s sad when businesses follow Tweeters in hopes of gaining them as a follower. It’s like the kid in school that is so desperate for friends that he pushes himself on others, begging for their friendship and ends up alienating himself…

    Have our many years in school taught us nothing?? 😉

  3. @Doug

    Completely agree with you re. the numbers game. This form of ‘digital willy waving’ is tiring, whether it’s individuals or brands. I have over 1,000 followers on Twitter now, but I guarantee you half of these are bots, spam people or sales accounts. In terms of value and engagement, I’d say i probably have a ‘real’ following of c. 60 – 70 people. It’s most definitely quality over quantity.

    I’d also say that the metrics shift slightly when presenting a ‘personal business brand’. These days, there is a great many individuals running their own businesses, so for them, ‘their’ Twitter account is them as a business brand as opposed to an established brand’s Twitter presence. I understand that in this instance, the ‘rules’ (although there are no ‘rules’ in social media) change slightly.

    @PPC Advantage

    I love your school analogy! To take this a step further, we could claim that at school and in youth, we make mistakes, learn from them and move on. There’s no harm in finding your way and learning with social media – it’s brands that continue to fail to learn from these mistakes that end up losing out.

    • Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? These brands need to accept that they may make mistakes and be willing to correct them in order to gain followers. After all, if cheesy 90’s teen films have taught us anything, it’s that the geeky kid really CAN turn into the cool, popular kid if they learn from their mistakes and put in the right effort. 😉

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Tweeting as a Brand? Get it RIGHT. | The Social Symposium --

  5. I see this txt spk all too often done by someone-who-shall-remain-nameless, tweeting on behalf of a brand. To make matters worse, he takes other people’s tweets, and txtspkifies them so that it can fit in a RT – that now makes the other person look like the unprofessional one!

    Another reason to add to why you should text in normal English is txt spk excludes those who aren’t fluent/native English speakers – given the reach of social media, that’s a lot of people who can’t read your message.

    And finally, I fully agree with your point to take the time to edit rather than shorten – it usually is possible, and personally, I find it quite gratifying to snip and distill down to the bare minimum words to convey the message still.

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