Twitter, the micro-blogging and social networking site, is a goldmine for businesses who want to build their brand on social media platforms. As a brand building medium, Twitter is powerful as it offers businesses an avenue to share bite-sized, interesting pieces of content with their follower base. It is a great tool for direct interaction with your audience and online communities, networking with industry experts, generating relevant leads and routing traffic to your website.
One brand that has effectively leveraged Twitter is Innocent – the UK smoothie maker with over 200,000 followers, says that its success lies in in responding to relevant tweets by followers, and posting re-tweetable content.
Given the possibilities that this short message communication tool opens, it makes a perfect sense to give it all the attention to build your brand; 316 million monthly active users waiting to be tapped. Here are a few important aspects to keep in mind when building the Twitter persona of your business.
1. Claim your Twitter name:
Having your brand name as your Twitter handle is a huge plus; it helps your audience search for your profile easily, and weeds out the fake / impersonator profiles. However, you need to be quick in claiming your Twitter name. The longer you take to create a profile and a Twitter handle, the greater are the chances that someone else has already used your brand name as their Twitter handle. You will be then forced to create a Twitter handle with versions of your brand name, which will never have as much impact as your original brand name. Moreover, claiming your brand name for your Twitter handle helps your business achieve uniform branding across multiple platforms.
2. Perfect that profile:
Your Twitter profile will be the first thing that will strike your audience; most users check your profile before they follow you. Therefore, make it interesting, genuine and unique. Use your company logo as your profile picture. Draft a bio that exudes your brand's value proposition and values, and include a call to action – a brand website or a 24 × 7 helpline. Remember, the bio can not exceed 160 characters, so get your creative caps on! Also, it is a good practice to update your profile as and when your brand undergoes a transformation or a revamp.
3. Content is King:
As a micro-blogging platform, Twitter opens a doorway for brands to get creative and communicate a message to their audiences in exciting ways. That being said, one can not share random bits of content that have no relevance whatsever to the target audience and expect to build a brand name. Content shared on Twitter must be a product of strategy, industry trends and quality. Identify what works well with your audience – buyer personas typically dictate the way messages need to be customized – and share tweets revolving around such themes in a simple, uncluttered manner. Incorporate relevant hashtags to associate your tweets with globally tagged repositories. It is a good practice to keep a tab on the trending topics and identify ways to participate properly to get your account additional visibility. Interestingly, some of the best tweets are less than 120 characters, giving others opportunity to add quote and interact with the tweet.
4. 'Retweet' and 'Favorite' your way forward:
Posting only original content is going to get your brand only up to a certain level. To truly leverage this platform, retweet and favorite tweets from other parties – these can be your followers, users you follow, domain and industry experts, complementary / supporting businesses and any major events that your brand is a part of Retweeting and marking favorites let your audience know that your brand is not only capable of speaking, but also listening. Sharing third party content that will excite your audience is always a plus. You would also need to make sure that people retweet and favorite your tweets; the simplest way is to ask them to retweet (RT).
5. Converse with your audience:
If your brand persona is one that is engaging, interactive and customer-centric, the best way to portray these characteristics is through responding to tweets posted by your audience – these may be directed at your brand, or may somehow be relevant to your brand. If the tweets are positive, acknowledge the user and establish a rapport with him / her. If the tweets are negative, accept the opinions of the user and try to solve their problem; you could take the conversation to a more one-on-one interaction platform. It is a good practice to openly acknowledge the problem or apologize for a customer inconvenience; it will help build your credibility. Remember, this is your audience talking; make sure you are listening to them.
6. Tweet regularly and frequently:
When you create a Twitter engagement plan, your content calendar should cover aspects such as what, when and how often. Posting routinely creates a favorable impression that your brand is active and is relevant to the audience. Posting frequently – at least 3 to 4 times a day – keeps your brand fresh in the audience's minds. Use automation tools like Crowdfire or Klout to find out the best times to tweet and get maximum response. You can also use HootSuite to schedule tweets to be posted at regular intervals.
Twitter is a networking platform; people and brands work hand-in-hand to promote each other by following, sharing and retweeting. Posting interesting pieces of content (read: re-tweetable), responding to your audience and sharing what others have to say will go a long way in building your brand on social media.