It pays to be Social – how Twitter can help your brand

Twitter is the perfect marketing tool for companies that want to engage with their customers and improve their brand awareness. You can brand or re-brand your company fairly quickly using Twitter to refine your image and brand message.

A few interesting stats (2012)

    • 62% of Fortune 500 companies have an active corporate Twitter account.
    • And, 72% of marketers who have worked in social media for three or more years said that they saw a boost in turnover due to social channels.
    • Twitter now has more than 140 million active users, sending 340 million tweets every day, with an estimated 250 million active users by the end of 2012.

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The statistics certainly look promising. With many successful companies building and maintaining their brand on Twitter, it is becoming vital for businesses to join in on the tweets.

Whilst setting up a Twitter account is free-you pay with your time. So you need to have a solid strategy to ensure you maximise your time spent on Twitter.

Whether you are building your brand or re-branding it is important to firstly perform your research. You need to know your customers’ needs and desires. Twitter should not be used as a self-promotional tool but as an engagement and communication tool. Therefore, you should discover your customers’ interests to help engage with them in the future.

You should also establish your brand image and tone of voice before you start tweeting. This is critical to building your brand. If it helps use a persona that you can think of when using Twitter as your brand.

Ben & Jerry’s is a great example of a brand utilizing Twitter to build and reinforce its brand image. They have quirky brand personality that appeals to their customers and regularly share their latest recipes with customer. They add a personal touch to their tweets by sharing their corporate activities and fans photos. This type of customer engagement builds their brand as an open, friendly, sharing company that cares for their customers. They have a solid branding strategy that has outlined their personality and how to engage with their customers.

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Once you have a clear idea of your brand personality and how you want to engage with your customers (based on your customers’ interests) you can start using Twitter to help improve your brand. Here our top five tips on building your brand on Twitter

1. Build your brand personality through engagement & interaction

Twitter is a great way to allow your personality to shine to your customers. Whether you want to be seen as humorous or serious you can incorporate these traits into your tweets. Ben & Jerry’s regularly interact with their customers by sharing their photos and retweeting their interactions. This interaction further enforces their brand personality as friendly and approachable. Have a dialogue with your customers and use your brand persona to be genuine and real.

2. Engage with influencers and audience of your industry

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Twitter can be used to raise your brand awareness within your industry and market. Competition offline and be valuable online. Engage with other market players and influencers on Twitter. If an influencer retweets or comments back to you, then your brand is exposed to their followers as a company they have the time to engage with-this could result in many new followers.

3. Brand your Twitter cover image and information

Twitter profiles allow you to change the cover image, you should integrate this with your company branding. Coca-Cola’s Twitter page is customised with its well-known branding colour used in the cover image. Their products, can and bottle, are shown in the cover image as well as people who look like they are having fun. This helps to establish themselves as a fun-loving brand who are customer-centric. You should also add your brand message to your company bio.

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4. Tweet your blog posts

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If you have a website blog, and if you don’t I strongly recommend you set one up, then you should be using Twitter to promote your posts. Again, ensure the content you are writing is useful to your customers-you will receive a much higher engagement and shares if users are interested in your posts. This will raise your brand awareness and develop a brand personality that is helpful. It is recommended that you tweet your blog twice in the first day-once when you first thing and then later on in the day to maximise your user impression.

5. Monitor your brand reputation on twitter

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Twitter is a great way to find out what your customers are saying about you online. Search your brand name to view tweets about your company. This can be used for customer research and retention. If customers aren’t happy and tweeting about their complaint, reach out to them through twitter and solve the problem. Managing your brand before small problems become bigger issues can help save your brand reputation online.

Twitter is a fast-moving communications platform where you can instantly engage with your followers. In a world where time means money, this type of technology is an effective way to manage and build your brand. The high level of engagement with your audience can help improve your brand image and sales. Ensure every 140 character tweet is driving your brand with these tips!

For advice on how to brand your LinkedIn company page, have a look at this post.