So you want to see what Twitter is all about. You are also part of a company that you’d like represented on Twitter. Do you start a page for both? Do you tweet as yourself AND your company? Do you just tweet as the company? I’ve been faced with this question a couple of times this week. Allow me to share my thoughts…
The way you approach Twitter really needs to be based on how you intend to use it. Do you want to build your brand? Do you want to engage your customers and seek out potential clients? Do you want your brand to be the face of your company, or do you have a person who might better represent you? These are all things to consider. When you decide it’s time to bring your company to Twitter, I feel like you have three main options.
- The Branded Company Account. This one is all business. Tweets will be all company related. You can use it for things like product updates, website updates, special events, and even “Twitter only” discounts! While some people may find value in following this type of account, I feel that they miss the point of social networking. They’re not really providing anything that an RSS feed or an on-site blog could provide. You are also going to struggle to find people to follow you. Those who follow you are probably existing customers, not new prospects. Many who follow you will eventually unfollow due to lack of interest in what you’re tweeting.
- The Person as a Member of a Company Account. This type of account is really what the majority of Twitter users seem to be. Most users are people who are also promoting their website, their services, their products, or their company. For many, a major motivation to use Twitter is to try to gain followers in order to help promote products or services. The beauty of this type of account is that it can appeal to fans of your company, as well as casual Twitter users. Posting tweets as a person can help you relate to people more than stale company updates can. Ultimately, Twitter works because you don’t have to follow anybody. If you aren’t providing content that other people find interesting, they will remove you from their list. One downside of this type of account is that you do lose some of your freedom. You are representing your company, and you’ll often want to keep things a little more professional, and ‘clean’, than some other users.
- Multiple Accounts. Some people want their company on Twitter, but they also want to use Twitter apart from their company. Sometimes a company will have several divisions, and they’ll want each represented on Twitter for branding purposes. Multiple accounts would accomplish these things. This seems like a LOT of work to me, but there are those that manage it. There are programs and websites to help you manage multiple accounts, too. Having several accounts might seem like a good idea at first, but remember you if you want them to succeed you have to actually use them! If you don’t have the time or energy to log on and use each account, it’s probably best to pick one of the options above.
Twitter can be a great way to bring your company or website to the masses. The big thing to remember is that Twitter is all about engaging other people. Try to tweet things that people may find interesting or useful. Follow a few of the super popular Twitter users. Watch how they engage and relate to their followers. If you can find ways to do the same, and provide worthy content to those who are following you, your time on Twitter will be well spent!