This week I was asked to talk to the Marketing Directors Network in London about how organisations are using Twitter. We’ve written before about how celebrities are using Twitter and how organisations are using Twitter as an engagement tool. In both cases, perhaps the best advice is just to try using Twitter and to see what happens. As a rapidly growing site, Twitter is changing on a daily basis. New people are joining and using it for new reasons. As such it’s a great environment for brands to experiment and to see what works for them.
And if you are going to experiment, three ways that organisations are using Twitter are as follow.
1. To put a public face on your brand
This is what Ford, Southwest Airlines have done so well. Taking a large brand, that to many has seemed faceless, and putting people centre stage. Using Twitter as a way of putting a face to the brand and providing a route for people to engage. There are many benefits of putting a public face to your brand, overally it provides a personal connection and helps build the emotional relationship with your consumers that can be so useful, especially in the current economic climate.
2. Allowing you to segment and then target different groups
Dell is a great example of how to use social media, and how to experiment with it. It has a large range and variety of Twitter accounts that are used by different people to engage different audiences about different things. Twitter is a great search tool – you can monitor and analyse the different conversations people are having about your brand. Start to understand the segments and the give them different messages using different accounts. The marginal cost of another Twitter account is practically zero and so it’s a great way to engage different people in different ways.
3. Using Twitter as a gateway
The best use of Twitter can be as part of a hub-and-spoke model of social engagement. Use it to engage people in Twitter just as you might engage people in Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other social networks and online communities. Then provide your own site or online community that you can take people to. It is when they are on your own community that you can really work with them, share and discuss ideas with them, get a better understanding of who they are and what they think. And bringing them to your own space makes them feel special. You move from interrupting them where they are doing something else, to providing a direct line to engaging with you.
Some more reading
- Ryanair doesn’t believe in online PR, but it’s working well for other airlines. (bigclever.blogspot.com)
- Perfect storm: JetBlue versus Southwest on Twitter – real incident (simpliflying.com)
- HOW TO: Use Twitter for Customer Service (mashable.com)
- People are fed up of joining brand pages on Facebook (freshnetworks.com)
- Why We All Benefit From Big Brands Being in Social Media (mashable.com)