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by Ben Norman on 15th September 2011
Hi, my name is Ben Norman, and I’m the MD here at Koozai. Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about pushing your brand on Twitter. Now, there are a lot of businesses out there using Twitter already to engage with their clients, suppliers, and peers and just generally network. It’s really a good, useful tool. I suggest it to every brand, no matter what niche you’re in. It’s a very useful advertising vertical, and it is very useful for helping you brand yourself online.
I’m going to start off with user names. Now, there are big problems at the moment getting user names on Twitter because there is a lot of cybersquatting going on, people registering the user name, not using it and waiting for someone to make them an offer on it and buy them. It doesn’t really help when you’re trying to, say, register your name and it’s quite a generic name. Chances are it probably has gone.
Now, the way that we register names on Twitter to help in a branding perspective, we will always register the name with the company name. So Koozai, we’ll then go underscore and then the employee’s first name.
Now, we do that for two reasons. One, we always want to try and push the brand and make sure that people are clear that this person represents Koozai. Also we want the person’s name on there, just the first name normally unless there are two people with the same name. We can’t have that. It just gives it a bit more of a personal feel but professional at the same time. It really helps with actually trying to find a name to register on Twitter.
Secondly is bios and links. You obviously want to include a link back to the company site from every Twitter account that your company has. In the bio, you also want to make it very clear that this person works for the company, what role it’s in, what they do, and what their interests are. They might not all be company related, but you need to show some personality within it. It’s just very important that you also represent the company so that it’s consistent across the board and it’s very clear.
Next are backgrounds and designs. This is the one I’m always amazed with the amount of companies that will have quite a few employees on Twitter who will be going around trying to do a brand building exercise. When you actually go to their Twitter profile, there will be some random abstract image or background picture that doesn’t represent the company or the brand at all. It can be very confusing if you don’t read the small print, i.e. the Twitter user name or any of the bio to actually realise this person is representing the company. So you imagine if you’ve got an employee that is fantastic at networking out there, people aren’t really drawing that connection. It is really important to make sure that it is crystal clear when someone hits that profile that they work for your company. They are a part of your brand, and it will help you develop that brand online.
Following. Now some companies will have specific rules about who you should follow. You should only follow people within the industry or this niche or this kind of client set. You need to show some personality in your following. We’re not robots. It’s important that you have personality within your Twitter account because it will help you gain followers. You don’t want to look like you’re doing this just to canvas people from your own niche. Of course, you do because you network with them and meet them and talk to them online, but it’s just important to get that mix. We recommend, yes, you want to follow lots of people within a given niche or the people you’re targeting. If you’ve got salespeople, they’re going to want to go and target lots of new kind of businesses and people in the right roles within those businesses. But you need to allow people a bit of freedom to have some fun with it as well and put some personality across in their tweets.
Networking, of course, following on is what Twitter is there for. We use it to network with prospective clients, people asking questions. They’re confused about a certain area of search or link building or certain bit of terminology. You can engage with them and be helpful, not sell to them, just be helpful because later on when they’re trying to make that decision, they’ve seen your Twitter profile, they’ve seen the background picture and the user name, and that name will stick. When they are trying to make that decision and they see you again, they should remember, and it really helps.
So, encourage people to network. Don’t limit it to just one or two people within the company.
We rolled Twitter out across the board, so that everybody within the organisation is free to use it and go and network, and the benefit we get from that, I believe, is substantial. When we go to conferences, people will recognise us from our Twitter profiles, and when you’re talking to clients, they may have seen you online from those Twitter profiles. If you allow people that freedom to roam, you can pick up business contacts in the strangest places on Twitter just from being helpful.
So, that’s the way that we do it here at Koozai. I hope that’s been helpful for you. If you want to see more of these, then go over to our YouTube channel or follow us on Twitter or check out the blog.
Thanks a lot.