Five steps to a successful corporate Twitter presence
08 December 2008
As Twitter gathers pace, we are seeing more use of the micro-blogging community by companies and brands. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but like blogging that went before they will come unstuck if they don’t take the time to understand the platform before just wading in.
First let me state my opinion about companies and brands using Twitter – or any social media for that matter. The “screen name” you use says a lot. On Twitter I see an increasing number of accounts that are identifiable only as a company or brand name, rather than an individual. Personally, I’m not a fan of this. My logic goes something like this:
- For me, social media is about human interaction.
- People are human. Brands and companies are not.
- The people who work for those brands and companies are.
- I would prefer to interact with real people using their real names than anonymous company or brand names.
- I would rather someone use their real name and include their brand/company in a profile than the other way round.
I accept that this is a personal point of view. Yours may differ. But companies need to tread carefully.
With this in mind, and appreciating that some companies will want to use brand, company and department names for their Twitter account – my definition of a corporate Twitter account, here is a suggested five steps etiquette guide for them:
- Listen. It’s easy to set up and subscribe to a search of your brand or company name.
- Add value. Provide useful content for those that choose to follow you.
- Only follow when followed or mentioned. Having an anonymous entity follow you is a bit like receiving spam – you don’t know who it is or why you’re getting it. If your following:followers ratio is more than 2:1 then you are probably being a bit desperate.
- Reply. Respond to every tweet directed at you.
- Use replies rather than direct messages. Be transparent about what you’re saying to others on Twitter.