Do you make conscious effort to brand your Twitter account?
Twitter can sometimes feel like a moving target and reaching the audience you want may seem like an insurmountable task. If you’re a brand using Twitter to build leads, convert customers, or even just create recognition, you’ve got to have a plan. Branding a Twitter account effectively takes time, data, and consistency. Here are six tips on how to effectively brand your Twitter account…
Step 1: Cement Your Brand
Before you even think of building a branded Twitter account you have to be very, very clear about what your brand actually is. Know what kind of “voice” best represents your brand and which colors you think accurately represent you, too. Also, spend some time compiling relevant materials like brand photos, logos, and quotes all in one place to make the actual account creation process easier.
The worst thing you can do when setting up a branded Twitter account (or any other social presence) is to appear inconsistent in your brand messaging.
Target is terrific at brand consistency. They practically have a patent on the color red. Their brand messaging always contains clean, modern, Pinterest-worthy photography and, of course, the ubiquitous Target logo. Here, take a look at two of Target’s social media profiles:
Target’s well branded Twitter account
Their well branded Facebook page
Step 2: Complete Your Full Profile
This is the step where a lot of brands lose credibility.
Click on the Above Image to View the Large Version of the Entire Infographic
Fill out every single available criteria Twitter allows – from your primary website to an on-message, succinct bio for your branded Twitter profile. Include your brand’s physical location and even consider asking Twitter to verify your account if you think you’re a likely candidate for rip-off accounts or confusion with other brands.
Think really carefully about the photos, background, and bio you’ll use to represent your brand. The whole point of Twitter is brevity, so you’ll have to pack a lot of info into a few images and 160 words.
Check out The New Yorker. They’re doing their Twitter profile right:
Step 3: Follow the Right People
Brands really discount how important it is to follow, follow, follow. Twitter is all about engagement and for a small or new brand, you can’t engage with an audience that doesn’t exist! Whether you’re just starting up your Twitter account or actively trying to make your current profile better, spending a few hours cultivating a list of relevant, interesting brands and people to follow will be worthwhile.
Remember that Twitter doesn’t like your ratio of followers/following to get too out of whack, so don’t follow 2,000 people the first day you launch. Targeted following should be a detailed process and it’s going to take a little time. Remember that this aspect of your brand’s Twitter engagement should never stop!
Pizza Hut does a great job cultivating a list of “followed” people and is currently following over 50,000 Twitter users. The brand regularly Tweets at random, non-branded followers which creates fantastic engagement.
Step 4: Start Tweeting!
Now for the good stuff! The number one rule of being a brand on Twitter is not to treat the site like some sort of electronic billboard. A good rule of thumb is that for every 1 promotional, self-serving Tweet you put out there you need to have at least 10 customer/other brand engagements.
It’s crucial to post often and engage (i.e. answer questions, direct message, and Retweet) even more often.
Click on the Above Image to View the the Entire Infographic
Here’s a really great infographic from Nestivity.com on the most engaged brands on Twitter:
Step 5: Think About Mobile
In this day and age it’s just not good business to ignore mobile. Consider that among Twitter users that primarily access the site via mobile, 79% use the service multiple times a day. Not only that, but mobile really does convert and Twitter is nothing for a brand if not a means to conversion.
Check out American Express’s many mobile platforms to see a company who’s got the whole thing down. Between an interactive iTunes app and a Twitter profile that’s clean and simple enough to effortlessly go mobile, AmEx gets it.
Step 6: Integrate Twitter
The last and likely most important step for effectively branding your Twitter account is to integrate Twitter into your overall digital marketing. You should have a “Follow” button prominently displayed on your business website and make your Twitter handle easy to find on your other social profiles, too.
One way some businesses are overlapping their digital marketing efforts is by integrating their Twitter feeds into their primary sites. BravoTV.com does a great job of this:
The network gets all its most famous stars to Tweet (which isn’t difficult) then they display the Tweets on the BravoTV.com main page. What better place for fans of the network to go to find out what their favorite celebs are saying?
Overall, creating an effectively-branded Twitter account is a cumulative effort and really, the branding never stops. The most important thing to remember is that staying on-message is paramount, so your business may want to consider hiring someone to manage Twitter full-time.
It’s also crucial to be active on Twitter – responding to Tweets, putting out new content – because the only thing worse than not having a social presence at all is having a stale one. If you’re going to have a branded Twitter account, use it daily.
How do you brand your Twitter account? Which brands are doing it right? Please leave your comments below.