Trust in Twitter?

twitter-1.jpgstudy that came out yesterday about consumers’ trust of brands, specifically through Twitter. Although I’m not sure how I feel about brand trust via Twitter, I think it does allow brands to communicate with their consumers at times that matter most. From a brand’s perspective, Twitter is a safe space to play, specifically for highly regulated industries. However, entering the space and knowing how to play the game are two different stories.

Here are my observations of how brands can engage, the right way:

Listen, in order to be heard

Time and time again you’ve heard the importance of listening. This is a critical component of social media engagement, but it’s the most often to be cut out due to time allocations, resources or pure budgetary restraints. Any social media strategy requires knowing your audience, responding to your audience and giving them what they want and need. If you can’t achieve these requirements, you’re selling yourself short of truly making a lasting relationship and impact.

No one likes a self-promoter, be a resource

Since Twitter can be considered the safe social media platform, many brands will use it to broadcast news. The reality is, you don’t come into a party and talk about yourself, your accomplishments and all that you’re proud of. Chris Brogan has a great rule – split your time between listening, being a helpful resource, and finally – talking about yourself. Engagement means two-way dialogue and avoiding it while practicing social media is an oxymoron. Ask, answer and share. Social media and Twitter are about enriching our need for human relationships – personal and professional. Give followers something value. Twitter is not a status update – it’s a connection.

Be timely when it matters most

In the recent Harris and Fleishman-Hillard study, Dave Senay shared that Twitter offers brands a key opportunity to address and respond to crisis situations. @PRSarahEvans shared how she used Twitter to communicate during the Chicago earthquake, but from a brand’s perspective – companies can now give real-time updates on transportation crises, product recalls or natural disasters like the BP’s Gulf response. Rather than allowing news sources to be your company’s voice, doesn’t it make sense to have a voice yourself?

There are many other elements of company’s Twitter usage. What would you say is the no. 1 thing companies should be aware of when using Twitter?

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Posted on June 24, 2010, in Corp Comms, Public Relations, social media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Excellent blog very well laid out indeed. I wish mine were as good as yours. Keep up the good work! If I could have your 10% creativity I would be very proud.

  2. Theresa Thiel

    Twitter can be a great resource to use to monitor your brand and what people are saying about you. To this point, it can also be used to remedy problems people have with your products and serve as another venue for customer service. While this is a great way to manage your brand image, if you are going to interact with someone who has a problem with your product, be sure you make an effort to fix the problem instead of just commenting on the issue. Recently I tweeted about my dissatisfaction with my new brand of smartphone and someone from the company started asking me questions as to why I felt this way and what my specific issues were with their product. The conversation ended when he said, “a lot better that what is happening to people who waited in line forever, spent a ton for an iphone4 & can’t make calls!” So basically they are saying, “Yes, our product stinks, but not as bad as the iPhone.”

  3. Thank for your comments! Theresa – I absolutely agree – Twitter is a powerful tool for customer service and brand reputation monitoring. Good customer service is essential for companies to survive to today’s marketplace. I’m glad that the company reached out to you to gain your insights/feedback. Sometimes they can’t fix everything – but it’s nice to know that your thoughts/feedback are heard.

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