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Brand Integrity – How to Build It with Twitter

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One of the biggest breakthroughs that Social Media has achieved is the “humanizing” of companies. It has brought executives down from their ivory towers to the shop floor, making them available to interact with customers irrespective of their geographic location. Twitter, the micro blogging platform has spearheaded this trend, allowing prospects and clients to share their views about products and services in real time through short messages of140 characters. Practicing the art of generosity In most cases users follow many more Twitter members than there are following them. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to be generous in following others in a particular niche. Using

One of the biggest breakthroughs that Social Media has achieved is the “humanizing” of companies. It has brought executives down from their ivory towers to the shop floor, making them available to interact with customers irrespective of their geographic location.

Twitter, the micro blogging platform has spearheaded this trend, allowing prospects and clients to share their views about products and services in real time through short messages of140 characters.

Practicing the art of generosity

In most cases users follow many more Twitter members than there are following them. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to be generous in following others in a particular niche. Using the right keywords it is easy to find a list of users that are more likely to build a relationship by following you back and reading your tweets instead of ignoring them.

Twitter users want to learn about the person who is Tweeting, before they even think about the business behind the person. What this implies is that a manager or employee tweeting on behalf of the business should use a personal voice and be frank about what’s happening in the business. Readers quickly pick up on false bravado. For instance a manager of a business can share his views about the latest industry trends and how the business is likely to be affected, but also an important travel tip that helped him save time while catching a flight to attend a conference.

The only time you may receive a direct message from a Twitter User may be when you begin to follow them. Generally this is a message to thank you for following them. Sometimes, however a user will pick up the courage to send you a Direct Message that could be a query or a request to take the business relationship further. It’s not just courtesy, but also good business sense to respond to the direct message. A response from a brand manager whom a customer would otherwise never interact with contributes to the goodwill that surrounds the brand. This will create an even greater affinity about a brand that a customer strongly favours.

Creating interest through consistency and innovation

Just like any other marketing effort it is important to spend time to regularly update your Tweets. It is far better for an employee in a business to spend time updating Tweets and building relationships than an unresponsive manager, who will come across as cold and uncaring.

It is also acceptable to spark some interactivity by using innovative ideas that do not necessarily have a businesslike tone. For instance a confectionery company can have a “Name your favourite chocolate day”. Ask followers for their opinion on one of your products. Respond to their feedback, indicating that you value their comments and also tell them if you implement their recommendations. This will make them feel that your company takes their business seriously and will strengthen your relationships.

Some of the users will even retweet, meaning forward your tweet to their twitter friends. The advantage here is that you will not only get more feedback, but also gain followers and greater exposure for your business.

Another great way to add value to your tweets and be tweet-worthy is to tweet details about conferences that you attend. If you have a Smartphone, you can tweet snippets of information as they happen to your followers, so they can learn from what is going on.

Adding personality to blogs

Twitter is also an excellent tool that can bring the personality of the publisher to a blog. Since Twitter can never be used to tell the whole story, followers can be given a sneak peak at what is going on in the business, provide quick updates on company plans and post a link back to the blog. Further, as a company blog begins to grow it is highly unlikely that you will be able to respond to all of the comments that you receive on the blog. Also visitors to your website may be attracted to the products that you sell not the articles that you post. Twitter gives you the opportunity to get closer to your target market using short messages that are simple to read and don’t take up too much time.

Drawing strength from numbers

As you begin to use Twitter, and gain more followers, you will reach a stage when you have several thousand followers. This is where the game gets to another level. This is when you will gain greater brand equity, not just through sheer numbers, but also through your value added tweets. After all if someone with say ten thousand followers sends out a tweet, he or she must know what they’re talking about. In the offline world it’s hard to get an authority figure to talk about your products and services. However if your tweet is picked up by someone who has ten thousand followers and retweeted, can you imagine the impact this can have on your brand?

All said and done every tweet about your products, service or brand should be seen as an opportunity to build relationships with people in real time. The objective is to relate to their experiences and try to make them better in a way that delivers an ideal experience with the brand. Of course using Twitter strategically is not for the uninterested or disempowered. In times when expectations run low, Twitter presents an option to engage in a manner that proves the brand is listening and ready to help.