Less than a decade ago it didn’t even exist. Now it’s got over 500 million users, generates 400 million conversations a day and gives bird speak a whole new meaning. We are of course talking about the phenomenon called Twitter.
If you’re reading this and spend any amount of time online then chances are you have a Twitter handle. However having a Twitter profile and using it intelligently to achieve branding and marketing goals are two different things.
Twitter is a great tool for cultivating conversations, building communities and keeping your finger on the pulse of things. All important aspects of brand building. So what’s the best way to use Twitter for branding? We’ve culled some of best advice on the subject and put together a concise 5-point checklist of things to do.
Follow these and your brand will stand out amongst the hoard of hashtags and tweets.
#What are they saying about you?
Twitter is a world of ongoing conversations and before you tweet in you need to know what people are saying about your brand, service or product. Twitter Search will quickly tell you if there are any conversations happening about your brand. Use the ongoing conversations to get a deeper insight into what your customers are saying about you. Refine, correct or re-position your brand based on these learnings.
If your search yields no results, don't worry, there may still be an opportunity for your brand to establish a presence and start a conversation. On the other hand this is a good time to pause and consider if Twitter is the right tool for you to engage your consumers.
#What do you want to say?
Before you get on to Twitter it’s important to think about what you want to achieve. Some brands use Twitter for customer service and support,
others use it to sell products and others still use it as a news and PR outlet.
What do you want to achieve? You’ll get a lot more out of Twitter if you answer this with clearly defined goals before spending time and resources on Twitter.
#What’s the right profile?
Do you create a personal profile, or do you create a branded profile that clearly identifies you as an employee? If you’re going to use Twitter for customer service, feedback or help then it makes sense to have a branded profile.
While branded profiles are great for news, contests, investor relations, and customer service, a personal profile can let you leverage your employee’s personal micro-community and give you a more human presence.
#Sow before you reap.
Twitter, like other social media interactions, is a two-way conversation. If you’re looking to push out one-way marketing messages then this is not the place to do it. To truly leverage the power of Twitter you need to build credibility and equity. If you can develop a reputation for being a trusted source of information or an expert in your field, you’ll find it much easier to build a community of followers and spread your message among current and potential customers.
Twitter gives you the freedom to be more personal, ask questions and engage with people naturally. Do this and you will build customer engagement and encourage click throughs.
#Monitor and measure
If you can’t track and measure it, it’s not worth it. Fortunately Twitter lets you do both. Depending on your organisation’s size you can invest in paid tracking to better track Twitter conversations, identify trends, measure sentiment and get a substantive picture of where your brand stands in the social web.
Just as with other forms of branding ROI is important. And dollars and cents saved or made using Twitter is a crucial yardstick of its success. How many issues did you solve, leads did you create, and dollars did you save through Twitter engagement versus traditional resources? If your aim is to provide customer support through Twitter, it's wise to check if there is a decrease in the calls to your customer center. If you are selling products through Twitter, then you should of course measure your sales via Twitter.
Measuring and monitoring your Twitter presence helps you refine or redefine your message and connect more deeply with current and potential customers.
In the end Twitter is a great new avenue to build your brand. But like all media it has it’s own set of rules. Follow the tips above and you’ll find yourself engaging with customers more deeply and better than ever before.
Source: Mashable Guides. Author - Michael Brito.
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