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