Twitter for a brand?

by Eve Resnick on December 15, 2008

in General

Dr. Mark Drapeau thinks brands should be banned from Twitter. Why? “Not unlike Facebook and other sites, every account would represent a person using a real name, location, and picture”, wrote Drapeau. “New users would find having only real, authentic people on Twitter more attractive.”

As a Twitter user, I can say most people I met on the chat are “real people” with their identity and work related topics. Why are we on Twitter? Because we want to keep in touch with people we met on other networks, because we want to be informed of what they’re doing (personally or professionally) and inform them of our activities, maybe even meet them in real life. Tools like “Direct messages” are also a wonderful way to connect in real time with the other twitters.

Why shouldn’t a brand be on Twitter? International brands, like Dior or Dunkin Donuts, IBM or Dell, have thousands of employees. They can easily dedicate a few of those employees to become their ambassadors on Twitter. Those people could do a wonderful job answering consumers’ questions or complaints, presenting new products or services and whatever is relevant to the brand. There is no need to be anonymous or to hide behind the brand name. On the contrary, such a behavior would be counter-productive.

Smaller brands or famous names, like in the wine business, would gain a lot to be on Twitter. They could link to their news page or their blog as well as communicate directly with their consumers. Twitter for brands? Yes!

{ 9 comments }

1 Alex December 15, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Whether or not brands actively participate in/on twitter (and I think they should), monitoring the service is essential for any corporation. I was very impressed when I tweeted how happy I was about a hotel I’d booked through an online service and seconds later its twitter embodiment had followed me and sent me a message.

As part of brand management strategy twitter has to feature – whether or not the brand chooses to participate real time will, at this stage at least, have neither positive or negative effects. Knowing what consumers are saying – absolutely essential.

2 randulo December 16, 2008 at 9:01 am

I couldn’t agree more! Every company who deals with the public should at the very least have an “ear” on Twitter. There are many simple ways to do this, beginning with http://search.twitter.com and a whole set of beta tools that are, like Twitter, looking for a way to monetize.

3 Evelyne Resnick December 16, 2008 at 9:10 am

I agree with both of you. There is a direct answer to Dr Drapeau’s post on http://mashable.com/2008/12/14/brands-do-twitter/. I’m absolutely convinced brands have to be on Twitter.

4 Brett, The Wine Maestro December 16, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Individuals work for brands and big companies, and individuals Twitter. So brands should have a presence on Twitter.

5 Mark Drapeau December 16, 2008 at 5:52 pm

You completely misunderstood what I wrote. I never said there should be no discussion of brands on Twitter. Obviously, that’s idiotic because it’s impossible. What I did say is that accounts should be associated with accountable people, and that brands should be represented by personal ambassadors.

6 randulo December 16, 2008 at 6:10 pm

“…in my opinion Twitter should not only not charge brands for membership, but also ban them altogether.”

Wait, how could they charge them and then ban them?

We all agree they should be there but I deduce you are against role accounts bearing the name of the brand. I’m going to suggest we let the market decide what the place of role account is.

7 Alex December 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm

As an individual can follow (or not follow) the brand – why not let it be there? A big selling point of the twitter model is that it’s reciprocal – if I’m not interested in the brand, I won’t follow. If you’re a brand and all you do is issue propaganda then I’m unlikely to listen. If you give followers heads-up on new deals or changes then I’ll be taking note – provided you’re not spamming me!

8 ryan December 17, 2008 at 9:19 am

I love brands on twitter! I choose which brands I want to follow and I ignore those I dont’ want to follow. How is that hard to understand. Not to mention any time you “ban” anything you end up with a revolt. Ignoring tends to be a better way to deal with something you dislike!

9 randulo December 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

Twitter CEO Ev Williams said:
“… obviously Twitter is being used for a lot of commercial purposes right now, in addition to social purposes. We think that works pretty well. We think there’s a lot of companies that we’ve talked to that seem to be getting a lot of value out of it. If that continues, if that becomes a rich world for users and the companies, we think we can extract some revenue from that.”

(from a TechCrunch interview http://tr.im/twbrands)

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