Whether you are a brand or an individual, Twitter can be the death of your reputation. While Twitter is a place for sharing opinions, news, feelings, etc., it takes just one errant tweet to send your social world into a rumble.
Take for example Voula Papachristou, a member of Greece’s Olympic team. Because of a single offensive tweet, Papachristou has been suspended from the Olympics.
Last year, a Chrysler employee confused the Chrysler Twitter account with his own, tweeting profanities from the Chrysler account about Detroit traffic. The employee needless to say, gained national attention and was subsequently terminated.
Long story short, if you/your company engage in social media already, or are considering implementing a strategy or campaign, it is essential to have a brand reputation management strategy in place. Yes, even personal accounts should understand the importance of reputation management.
While there is a long list of considerations out there, following are some basic questions/concerns to keep in mind when planning your Twitter strategy.
And what if your Twitter account were to experience a crisis? Do you have a crisis communication plan in place? Here are a couple of key considerations:
Remember, Twitter is a communications tool; use it wisely. If your reputation matters to you – and it should – create a social media strategy that will help build, maintain and protect your reputation.
We are constantly finding new online tools that keep us fresh and provide inspiration. Check out our top three picks that have been inspiring us this week!
1. Media Relations Tool: When it makes sense for their brand, many marketers are using Twitter to connect with media. But, check out this Pinterest board featuring leading media brands on Pinterest to discover what they are interested in, and get inspired to deliver better pitches: http://pinterest.com/pinterestpower/media-brands-on-pinterest/
2. Video Inspiration: YouTube has taken the liberty of gathering some impressive examples of creative video marketing. Check out some excellent video case studies here: http://www.youtube.com/showandtell
3. Branding: We love TrendWatching.com’s monthly Trend Briefing reports. March 2012 focuses on the theme of Flawsome: the idea that brands that behave more humanely and show flaws are more well-received by consumers. For a longer explanation, the research behind this idea and real life examples, visit: http://trendwatching.com/briefing/
The exciting aspect of social media is it opens the door for participants to make connections outside their geographic reach and focus on common interests (being a mom, running, cooking, etc.). However, a recent article “Geography of Twitter” by Barry Wellman, Yuri Tahkteyev and Anatoliy Gruzd published in Social Networks (Jan. 2012) proves there are more geographic boundaries than we initially thought with Twitter. In fact, the article proves through Twitter research that social media connections look more like an airline hub map.
Wellman, Tahkteyev and Gruzd analyzed half a million tweets to determine where people are tweeting from and who is following them. They discovered a lot of people have local Twitter ties mostly because people are interested in their local communities. Furthermore, Twitter connections are very much the same as the connections we have in the “real” world.
Airline connections already prove there is commonality between two cities, for example: trade connections, professional connections, entertainment connections, etc. And people on Twitter are more likely to follow others who are just a plane ride away from them because of those commonalities.
“Los Angeles is more likely to be connected to Toronto than St. Louis. And my apologies to St. Louis, but Torontonians rarely go to there. Tweets – to use the Twitter term – are more likely to be connected to each other between those localities than not,” said Wellman in a recent interview with NPR Morning Edition.
If we apply Wellman’s, Tahkteyev and Gruzd thought process – that “real” world and “social” world connections are the same – to marketing, it is highly likely the same consumers brands are connecting with through traditional advertising and marketing campaigns, are the same people brands are connecting with on social media.
Tom Hanks has nothing on me. Yeah, he was cast away on a deserted island for four years, but did he lose his iPhone? Did he survive a week without checking his email at every convenient moment? Did he suffer the inability to check baseball scores or the ESPN Fantasy Scoreboard? Did he know what it was like to not use a TV Guide app and have to actually flip through the channels to find a program? Did he go to his favorite coffee shop (Starbucks) unable to check in on Foursquare? Did he experience the anxiety of not being able to text friends and associates whenever the spirit moved him? Did he have a clue what it was like to be shunned by the mobile Facebook and Twitter communities? Did he stare into the eye of a QR Code knowing he could not scan and download?
No, Tom Hanks (aka, Chuck Noland, the FedEx systems engineer) had it easy. After all, I was one of those guys – one of those early adopters – who managed to secure the earliest version of the iPhone… the iPhone classic. And despite the crappy AT&T coverage and the grindingly slow speed at which it operated, it became a part of me. And I became a part of it.
So imagine the emotional pain of losing my right appendage.
Turns out it wasn’t that big a deal. Within the first 24 hours, I was back to my old routines (pre-iPhone). Within a couple days I was actually happy to be freed up to talk with people and avoid all the junk mail and conversations that were eating up my day. I even managed to spend the last two days in Atlanta on business without missing a beat. Suddenly my iPhone was a whyPhone, as in “why did I let it become such an important part of my life?”
By the time you read this, I will have survived seven days – a full week – without my soulmate. I will also be activating my new iPhone 4.
What can I say. Just because I don’t need it, doesn’t mean I don’t want it.
I’m thinking about starting a corporate Twitter account. What steps do I need to consider before creating an account?
By Jennifer Manocchio
Twitter can be a great tool to engage customers and prospects with your brand. However, a lot of corporate Twitter accounts have crashed and burned mostly because the focus was too self-promotional.
The key to Twitter (or any social media site) is ENGAGEMENT. In order to effectively engage your customers and prospects, it takes some thought and strategic planning. To help you get started in the right direction, consider these five questions prior to starting a Twitter account.
1. What are your goals? Be sure to document what you hope to achieve by starting a Twitter account. Do you want to increase brand awareness, increase engagement with current customers, increase web site traffic, increase sales? This will help you determine what the content focus should be and provide a way to measure the success of this marketing tool.
2. Who will be Tweeting? Determine who the “face” of Twitter will be. For example, Zappos features CEO Tony Hsieh and Aflac features the Aflac Duck. The Aflac Duck works because he has a following and it is fun to see what the duck is up to (his latest post: “The best part of working in a nineteen story building? Paper airplanes that, with the proper counterweight, can near Mach 1”). Tony Hsieh’s Twitter page is successful because people want some insight into how and why he is so successful. He currently boasts 1.6 million followers!
Consider who at your company people would want to follow on Twitter. Does someone within the company already have credibility established or have good name recognition within your industry? Is there a fictional character associated with your brand that people care about and would engage with (i.e the Geico Gecko)?
3. What is the content focus? A Twitter account will be successful if the content is something your followers or prospective followers want or if the content creates an opportunity for engagement, or two-way conversation. It could be coupons or new promotions specific to Twitter followers, customer service support, direct tweets to answer product use questions, retweets (RT) that highlight viewpoints of a loyal customer or tips on how to make their lives easier. However, avoid too many news releases and company blog links. Too much self-promotion will only steer people away from your Twitter account.
Jet Blue is a great example of a successful Twitter account. It currently has 1.6 million followers because they have established a page (http://twitter.com/JETBLUE) focused on answering customer’s questions. In fact, I only saw one promotional post in the last week!
4. How much time will you commit? Sure social media can be an inexpensive way to reach customers and prospects on the surface (the account is free); however, consider how many hours a day or week you want to devote to Twitter. If you decide to use Twitter as a customer service function, you will likely need full-time staff.
It is important to establish a time investment to help ensure your Twitter account is updated regularly, but also that it is not consuming too much of your time.
5. How will you measure success? As with every marketing and public relations strategy, you want to establish metrics for measuring the success of Twitter. Certainly the number of followers is one easy way to measure the success; however, consider measuring how many people went to your web site from Twitter, how many people downloaded a coupon or participated in a special promotion, how many people are tweeting about your brand and the context (positive, negative, neutral) of the posts.
Need help establishing your Twitter account or want to increase your followers and level of engagement? Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.