The Twitter factor

The Twitter factor
Unleashing 140-character power for your brand

Ten years ago, even five years ago, one of the best compliments from a client was being asked to write a speech and an accompanying powerpoint deck for a major event; these tools have long delivered the brand message publicly, typically with media coverage, for a representative of the brand and team that delivered with impact, displaying the brand values.

In 2014, being asked to tweet on behalf of your client is a just as great a vote of confidence as crafting a speech. (Some would argue tweeting is even higher priority given the global, constant audience offered by Twitter and it’s as-it-happens, unfolds nature.) Tweets may just be 140 characters (spacing included) but they are the public voice of your brand, your organization and a public, free way of telling your brand story each day.
Donna Karan International’s SVP of Global Communications Aliza Licht: “Twitter is my first love,” when asked about growing her team’s brand identity on the social network. She also shared her belief that, ‘Twitter is too important to hand to an intern!”. No offence to interns (it’s where we all began!) but crafting 140-character messages that create brand value in the right voice, the best tone and while managing customer, shareholder and partner interactions requires in-depth knowledge of an organization beyond an internship or other positions. Social media messaging is often handed to younger staffers given their know-how and savvy but its power and impact means it is a medium requiring the insight of the highest levels of senior leadership.

Twitter, despite its power, is still a newer social tool for Canadian businesses and selecting who should tweet on behalf of your team is one aspect of your social media and overall digital communications plan – managing the day-to-day Twitter experience is also key.

Top Twitter Considerations:

Followers and Your Following
Your followers will grow, organically, through time and through experience. Initially, develop your network or expand your existing network by following industry leaders. Check out your competition, partners or peers and follow their followers; a quick Twitter scan is always helpful using the search function. (Of course, a good first follow is always Canada’s Queen of Twitter, Kirstine Stewart. She is on my list of favourites!)

Planned Versus Unplanned Messaging
A powerful Twitter account tells your brand story and doesn’t just share updates or product pricing over and over.

Don’t be blatant!
While planning an editorial calendar for your tweets is part of a solid strategy, Twitter unfolds as events (in your industry, your community or related to an event or trend) happen: ensure you are part of the dialogue and conversation as it happens by engaging in conversations with those that matter to your message.

Naturally, a few updates on opening (those were particularly required during events like the recent #darknl event in Newfoundland and Labrador) are often critical during ongoing, unexpected events.

The Hashtag
Twitter has power not just in its public, constant presence but also in its ability to connect you with issues via trending hashtags.

One of the best examples, that has strong Atlantic Canadian roots with Newfoundlander Seamus O’Regan at the helm, is the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Through #bellletstalk tweets, mobile messages and more, on January 28th, this campaign raised over five million dollars for Canadian mental health programs and services.

Even more impactful: the awareness cultivated by the thousands of personal stories shared in just 140 characters. Stories of eating disorders, PTSD, failed health care experiences but moreover – hope. Nationwide hope led by powerful ambassadors and a strong corporate citizen in Bell Canada.

This is the power of Twitter – used wisely, you can create change of all kinds. This is just one winning (and rewarding) example.

Bell Media PR ‏@BellMediaPR • 2h
109,451,718 tweets, texts, calls and shares: Thanks Canada for a record setting #BellLetsTalk Day! @Bell_LetsTalk
Retweeted 426 times

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Karen Moores
About Karen Moores

Karen Moores owns TOWN Content + Commerce, a digital start-up focused on helping Atlantic Canadian companies meet the growing content + commerce demand in Canada. Her blog, The Digital Collide, will share twice-monthly news on digital marketing trends impacting Atlantic Canadian brands. Ring in 2014 with future blogs including a perspective on branded content impact on sales, profiles of brand worthy content + commerce case studies that offer valuable lessons for Atlantic Canadian companies and tips on using visual and technical tools to drive sales. Modern marketing with a brand storytelling twist and all the news, data and trends you want to heart from ABM bloggers and writers. ------ "I've been fortunate to write in the pages of Atlantic Business over the past year as a freelance writer. It's a magazine I've always loved - a contemporary approach and an investigative journalistic perspective covering business newsmakers, issues and trends that affect people in the region I call home. Now, twice a month I am lucky to share strategies and stories that will help companies of all sizes, in sectors of all kinds, tell their brand story in a digital marketplace. The evolution of content + commerce is evolving rapidly in other markets: The Digital Collide will provide a forum for discussion on how we can do it, here, as we use content and digital strategy to export new products, showcase new services and drive commerce via content. New trends like 'shoppable' content are happening for some of the world's biggest brands - our blog wants to help Atlantic Canadian business leaders capitalize on the next marketing movement." - Karen Moores

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