Talk about What the Trend?Don’t overuse hashtags-not in every tweet, it is too spammy and people will not want to follow youIf you are creating a hashtag, send a tweet out explaining what the hashtag means if it isn’t obvious. Make sure the hashtag is creating value for yourself and your followersThe # is a favorite tool for conferences and events. It’s also a way for Twitter users to organize themselves.When everyone adds a certain hashtag to tweets about a topic, it becomes easier to find that topic, and more likely the topic will appear in Twitter’s trending topics. Hashtags like #followfriday help spread information on Twitter while also helping to organize it.
1. People Like a Person, Not Just a Logo — @FordScott Monty is head of social media for Ford Motor Company and, for many, the face and personality of Ford on Twitter. His account, @ScottMonty, has more followers and a higher Klout Score than the @Ford official account. Immediately upon talking to Monty, you realize why he’s had such success in his role: He’s not only personable but very much believes in the company. He says: “One of the reasons that it works so well is that I don’t do it simply because it’s a job. I truly believe in the things Ford Motor Company is doing — from the products to the great leadership. The reason I took the job is that it was something that resonated with me personally. I think you can tell when people are doing something just because it’s a job or because they truly believe in it.”Monty points out that one of the biggest challenges to this approach is finding a representative that will be the right fit. As for the benefits, Monty adds: “People appreciate looking at a face as an avatar instead of a logo. That personal touch brings along a degree of humanity to the brand. I talk about 360 degrees of my life and people like that.”Best for: Companies that have a strong social media lead who is committed to the company and who fits well with the brand image
2. Announce Who’s Tweeting — @Zappos_ServiceThe Twitter handle for Zappos support has a rather unusual, but practical approach to having multiple people run its account: They simply tweet when they change shifts (which happens fairly often) and let people know who’s helping at any given time. It’s a very brick-and-mortar approach similar to how you can check the name tag of who’s helping you at the store, but you still view them as a company representative.“We want Twitter to be more personalized,” says Corina Craig, one of Zappos’s tweeters. “We want people doing Twitter who like to do it. A lot of our customers have their favorite tweeters. People reach out and say, ‘Hey Corina — how’s everything going?’ ” This method was chosen to promote the best customer experience. You can get 24/7 service from Zappos and you can still correspond with someone who has a name and personality.Best for: Companies that need to provide service 24/7.
3. Carefully Craft the Brand Voice — @VirginAmericaVirgin America does a remarkable job of being responsive on Twitter despite the fact that there are only two people behind the handle. Jill Fletcher is the social media and communications manager and one of those two people. She explains that they work very hard to develop a consistent company voice for the account that fits with the overall brand.“The ‘Virgin Voice’ is casual, cheeky and irreverent, and so are we,” she says. “Nick [her colleague] and I work very closely together to inject as much of the ‘Virgin Voice’ into our tweets as possible, but we aren’t afraid to let our personalities shine through either. I think it’s a mistake to over-think every message that goes out on social media. Our aim is to simply be true to Virgin’s values in our social media posts by going out of our way to create ‘wow’ for our guests and having fun along the way.”Best for: A brand with a strong voice.
Avoid a “Cult of Personality” — @WholeFoodsThe Whole Foods Twitter handle definitely has a social media savvy team behind it (even if you can’t easily tell who its members are). They have a very active presence and even post the hours that they are available to answer tweets, making expectations clear for their customers. Due to Whole Foods’ international nature, with each store potentially having quirks or a neighborhood feel of its own, having one Twitter account to represent all of them is a unique challenge.Winnie Hsia, social media senior specialist for Whole Foods, says, “From the beginning, it has been important for us to avoid creating a ‘cult of personality’ around any individual managing our social media presence. We want our social media channels to convey our brand personality and not necessarily the personality of the individual managing the outgoing messages and conversation. We have, however, sought individuals who understand our brand voice — friendly, positive and conversation-driven –- to be our social media specialists.”She believes keeping a certain level of anonymity is important for the brand. Michael Bepko, social media specialist, adds that this has never been a problem for them with their fans. “In general, what is really important to our customers, fans and critics on Twitter is that they receive quick, helpful responses from us … not that information originates from a particular person,” Bepko says.Best for: Brands that are international or multi-faceted where it may be hard for one person to represent the entire company.
5. Get Many Departments Involved — @JetBlueJetBlue Airways is another great example of a company that manages its Twitter brand well. Morgan Johnston, manager of corporate communications, says there are approximately 20 people behind JetBlue’s corporate account. “Every one of us is an established crewmember with expertise in different areas within the company that our followers find useful,” Johnston says. “Representatives from Corporate Communications, Marketing, Interactive (web) team, TrueBlue (customer loyalty) team, and Customer Commitment team are all able to respond directly to customers.” This allows the JetBlue Twitter presence to answer all kind and varieties of questions. Johnston adds, “We like to think of the team as an all-seeing, quickly accessible amazing information booth.”JetBlue maintains a Twitter list of on-duty reps so customers can find out who’s behind the voice at any given time. JetBlue also uses co-tags when someone is expressing a personal instead of brand opinion. Johnston explains: “So while @JetBlue as a corporate entity may not be able to advocate for any particular restaurant at our airport terminal at JFK, you can be sure if I’m handling the question, there will be a “Try the guacamole at Revolución ^MJ” attached.”Best for: Companies where customers are looking for information first and need to be able to get in touch with different parts of the company.
One Account, One Voice — @PalmsLasVegasThis Las Vegas hotel has an active Twitter presence that works well for its image. It maintains its brand without feeling stifled. Amber Olson, the social media strategy manager for the Palms, notes that the account has one voice behind it, making it easy to maintain one consistent feel and personality. While having one person behind an account may be impossible for bigger companies, it may be just the right mix for a local hotel or business.“Tweets are done freely and in real time; it’s more genuine and in the moment,” Olson says. While most companies strive for this, it’s especially easy with this approach because there’s no need to check to ensure the tweet is in the right voice.Best for: Small or local businesses where it’s possible for one person to manage the whole account.
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