Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Brands and the social media demon that is Twitter..

I joined Twitter ages ago and set about following the bloggers who I spoke to and those who had blogs that interested me.  Along the way I also started following brands that I liked and interested me as I thought they'd tweet things that were useful for those interested in their brands.

Unfortunately, this was not the case.  Now, I'm writing this post solely about the beauty brands that I follow, I don't know if y front brands, candle brands or trouser brands do the same kind of thing.  Come to think of it, are there brands that solely make y fronts or trousers?

Anyway, I don't think certain brands have realised how best to use Twitter/what Twitter is there for.

This is my list of what I feel brands should/shouldn't do on Twitter..and as I'm the consumer, I think I'm well within my rights to ask this of brands.

  1. Don't be a seasonal user.  If you've gone to the effort to show that you move with the times and you have a Twitter account, don't just spam your followers when you want to whip up publicity about a giveaway/promotion.  Use Twitter as often as you can!  Consumers are using Twitter more and more to get a quick answer from brands, what's the point of having Twitter if you use it once in a blue moon?  I think it's better to not even join Twitter in the first place if you're going to do that as it just looks like you don't commit otherwise.
  2. Engage with those who buy your products.  If people are buying products for your brand, they're essentially paying your wages and effectively they're paying you to tweet.  The least you can do is answer them when they have a question.  If they have a blog and want to post about your product then don't ignore them.
  3. Engage with those who are sent your products as PR samples.  There's no denying that blogs influence a great deal of purchases that are made.  If you've sent someone your item and they ask you for some extra information, the least you can do is share the information with them.  They are after all advertising your product for free.
  4. Rise above it.  Consumers get mad. It's a fact of life.  I went apeshit at T-Mobile a few weeks ago (with good reason) and their tweeter was still polite..not very helpful but still remained polite.  Don't go apeshit and a consumer with an issue because the chances are that someone somewhere will see your tweet and retweet it before you've calmed down and had the chance to delete it.  And one bit of bad publicity can turn a lot of consumers off.
  5. Show a bit of personality.  Engage with those that follow you and are consumers.   There a few PR companies and brands who are fantastic at this, one in particular who I'm always tweeting whenever The Godfather is on TV.
  6. Don't spam your users by overusing the retweet function.  You want to show off how the people love your brand.  That's understandable.  What I can't tolerate (and has caused me to unfollow this brand) is when a brand constantly searches Twitter to sweep up any mention of their brand and then retweets this to their followers.  And this is all they tweet.  I don't really care if people think your brand is great.  I'm following you because I want to know what you're doing.
  7. Follow back.  If someone is tweeting you constantly and you're replying to their tweets, I think it's only common courtesy to follow them back.  Plus, it's easier on you because you can see their tweets in your timeline.
  8. Address criticism.  If someone bought your product and has an issue with it and they tweet you about it, don't ignore them.  Give them suggestions re. how they could use it better/offer them a replacement.  It's totally true that people are more likely to discuss bad customer service over good.  I'm not saying offer them a replacement just because the product doesn't work.  If the product is broken (e.g. a shattered eyeshadow) then a replacement builds goodwill and that person is more likely to tell someone else.
  9. Stop telling your followers to constantly like your Facebook page.  If someone follows you Twitter, them not liking you on Facebook is not the end of the world.  There are people who use Facebook but not Twitter and vice versa.  As long as you have the alternative channels there for people, they'll find you.
  10. Don't ask if you can't take the answer.  If you ask your followers a question, don't ignore them when they answer you.  One brand in particular is really bad at this and I no longer follow them because of it.


  1. Brilliant post. I think too many people still haven't realised - or perhaps just thought through - the best way to use social media tools. They can be so effective if you know how to use them properly.

    The thing that bugs me about brands is a use of 'I'. Say for example a huge brand like CocaCola writes 'I've just seen a the cutest pink poodle OMG!' I think - whut? Who is 'I'? Why do I care about what you're doing? A brand is not (usually) one person. I want tweets like 'We just had a meeting to develop a new flavour - it's amazing! #guessesonavirtualpostcard' Now *that's* good brand engagement right there.

    Great post again, I'll be bookmarking it! xx

  2. bravo! good post, i feel the same way about brands on twitter. i hate when you take the time to ask them something or engage and then get straight up ignored or they just tweet OUT and never tweet WITH followers

  3. Yes I can think of one nail polish brand that tweets loads with questions but never tweets me back and it can't just be me that they ignore. Awesome post! x

  4. Y fronts hahahha! All really good points you've made, wish all brands were like this! Constant retweeting is annoying and also asking followers to retweet too many times for a competition or freebie is wrong! x


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