But not the way you may be thinking. Many companies still don’t get the power and influence of social media tools like Twitter; and simply use it to broadcast one-way-in-your-face-marketing messages. I believe it’s more effective when organizations empower their employees to use social media to engage in meaningful conversations. Intel (who I work for) just published social media guidelines for all employees who wish to participate; with authenticity, transparency, disclosure being at the forefront.
I just read this article at Mashable that asks the question, Do Brands Belong on Twitter? With the exception of ‘banning or charging brands’ to participate, I pretty much agree with the entire analysis for a few reasons:
- People relate to people, not logos/brands
- Twitter is a place for conversations not one-way marketing messages
- Twitter builds community, connects people and fosters relationships; and in order to do so requires authenticity. It’s difficult to be authentic when hiding behind a company logo
This reminds of a recent post from Rohit Bhargava where he advocates that organizations should hire employees with personal brands. This doesn’t mean that they should hire narcissistic egomaniacs with personal agendas; but rather focus on hiring people who understand the value of relationships and of course who are proficient with tools such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This will help solve the authenticity issue, in most cases.
Ted Murphy also just wrote about an experience he had with a local Mexican restaurant in Orlando called Pancheros (@pancheros). In his post, he makes the three following points for “twitter and mortar” type establishments:
- Get employees on board
- Spread the word
- Encourage conversation
- Drive Demand Through Special Offers
- Embrace The Twitter Community
Great advice for all companies: big, small, tweet and mortar.
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