Using Twitter for Your Brand
The purpose of a branded Twitter account is to engage with customers, clients and industry peers in your market sector. Your account is an outlet for the company’s voice, and a receptive ear for suggestions, praise or complaint. Twitter is a tool for conversation, not broadcast, and it is definitely not a sales channel!
Setting Up Your Account
Your username should be unique, memorable and scalable. Choose something that resonates well with your existing usernames on other social channels. Try to be consistent if setting up multiple accounts eg @BrandLocation or @Company_Office.
The biography is your opportunity to position your brand. If you had to describe your company in 140 characters or less, what would you say? Provide basic information about the kind of organisation you are, in a friendly and informal way. Don’t forget to link to your brand’s main online presence, be it your website or your Facebook page.
The background should be customized in a manner consistent with your overall brand guidelines. Some companies choose to show contact details on the left hand side of the background. Your profile image must be distinctive and recognisable at very small sizes. Don’t change it too often, as it’s one of the easiest ways for users to recognize your content in their streams.
Choose curators who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The curators should be named in the company biography, referenced by their personal Twitter accounts. Producing interesting content for the company feed then pays off by increasing their personal following.
1.Tweet interesting, high quality content that links to material relevant to your audience.
2.Use hashtags to add your voice to conversations in your field of specialism.
3.Create Twitter lists: firstly, it will help you keep your followers in manageable groups, and secondly, it allows you to demonstrate your industry knowledge and contacts.
4.Always respond to your @replies – you wouldn’t ignore someone in face to face conversation, would you?
5.Follow your company’s other presences on Twitter (other offices, sub-brands etc.), as well as industry peers and competitors, and retweet interesting content from them.
6.Listen for your brand terms and hashtags on Twitter: if people are complimentary, retweet them or thank them, if it’s a complaint, address it.
7.Take part in #followfriday. It’s a good way to show your followers that you appreciate them.
8.Use a specialist tool to view and manage your account: using TweetDeck or HootSuite will streamline the process of maintaining your account, especially if you have multiple curators.
9.Use tracking tools (like bit.ly) to track your clicks – use that feedback to see which links your audience finds interesting and optimize your content accordingly.
10.Use free tools to measure the growth of your account and check ranking services to see how you compare to your competitors.
To measure simple growth in followers, you can use free tools such as Twitter Counter. For more holistic metrics, Twitalyzer or Klout can give a better idea of your influence. Services like Qwitter and TweetEffect help you understand which tweets are losing you followers. Remember, gaining followers is important, but not the be-all-and-end-all of the exercise: aim to maximise the quality of interactions with your audience, not the quantity. Demonstrate your expertise, your passion, and your sense of humour, and people will soon start to engage with you.
By Sinead Doyle, Social Media and Digital PR, LBi Ltd (Lost Boys International)