It’s not Just for Celebrities and Narcissists
In our last post, we gave you a brief history and definition of Twitter and followed with some examples of Twitter’s power to quickly spread a message. Today we are going to talk through some examples of how businesses should and should not use Twitter to build their brand.

How to Switch from Traditional to New Media and Marketing
Many businesses are leveraging Twitter in smart ways and seeing a cost effective return on their investment (remember, Twitter is free!).  These businesses are unique in that they are willing to adapt to the changing communications environment surrounding their customer base and embrace new (and at first, uncomfortable) ways of representing their brand online.  What makes Twitter uncomfortable for businesses is largely the fact that its difficult, nearly impossible, to really control a message once its out on Twitter.  The old school of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations was all about proactively crafting and controlling well-spun messages.  Today’s leading communicators are building their brands more through customer engagement, word of mouth and peer-to-peer interactions.  Through the “social” nature of online communications, consumers are given a voice to speak into the development of brands and products they trust.  Brands that are not engaging their customers online, listening and responding to what they hear are losing ground to the brands that are.

In order to do this effectively, businesses must invest time, talent and resource.  You can’t just schedule a series of carefully crafted and well spun Tweets to post automatically throughout the day and forget to respond to those who comment or retweet your message.  Audiences want to have a conversation with you about what you are Tweeting, if all you are doing is talking and not listening and responding, future customers will move on to a brand that listens and talks back. Engaging customers online is a full-time responsibility and should be the primary focus of someone (or several someones) on your staff, not an afterthought assigned to an intern.

Businesses also need to ensure that the right people running the social media engagement arm of your company’s communications efforts and that whoever you have put in charge of online engagement has the freedom to actually engage.  There is nothing more frustrating and disappointing then a business that invests a great deal of time and money in talented individuals to handle their online communications initiatives, then hamstrings these leaders with red tape and unrealistic expectations.  The return on investment will indicate the wisdom of setting up shop this way.

Many businesses have figured out how to use Twitter to build and enhance their brand.  You can read up here on specifics of how companies like Ford, Southwest Airlines, Wachovia, and the Chicago Bulls (just to name a few).

One of the services we offer here at Cross and Crown is strategic planning for online communications.  We can help you set up an effective online communications/social media strategy custom designed and aligned with your brand’s unique goals and priorities. Please contact us today if you would like to set up a consultation and discover how we can come alongside your current communications plan and enhance it with online customer engagement.


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