Twitter delivers better integrated brand communications

How many followers have you got on Twitter? Dave Trott – legendary creative director has 800,  Rory Sutherland, IPA President has 3,000 and the Guardian’s Technology Team has over 1million.  It may be hard to compete with this or with Oprah Winfrey who has 2 million.

But the point of Twitter for media agencies is not that it promotes one’s personal profile, keeps you networked or allows your witticisms to be broadcast.   Some may have started off just thinking of Twitter as a personal communication vehicle, or a way of keeping up with new developments but its real importance is as a Social Media channel and in terms of what it can do to deliver better integrated communications for an organisation or for a brand.

The days are long gone when a great campaign for a brand just interrupted the consumer.  Now it might generate a fan base, a feedback loop and indeed a movement.

It used to be that the role of amplifying a brand’s ad campaign was automatically handled strategically and operationally outside the media agency.  The public launch of a new advertising campaign was usually led by the PR agency as a matter of course. And the CRM that followed would be handled by another specialist agency.  The world of PR could be a fairly impenetrable one from the outside.  Just a decade ago, whether it was the dark arts of corporate communications or the flashy razzmatazz of celebrity endorsement it all went on at some distance from media planning.

Building excitement about a breaking campaign and developing a dialogue with its adherents is now regularly executed within the media agency by Social Media experts as a part of an integrated media strategy.

Twitter is one of the Social Media tools that can help launch the ad and create a direct channel between the brand and the consumer.  And the ability to generate two way Tweets is not as arcane as the ability to influence journalists in the national media.

It is easy to say : “Lets Tweet”.  As with every medium there is more than one way to use it, and it’s important to get it right.  Very important as clearly it is a public failure in this instance when it goes wrong. But that’s no reason to steer away from the use of Twitter as a planned media channel. – the independent best practice publisher – has a great list of different kinds of possible uses for the Tweet.  There is the “product development” Tweet – great for responding to service criticisms by turning complaints into a request for suggested improvements from your consumers.  There is the “crowd-sourcing ideas generating” Tweet – great for new product developments.  There is the “I want to steal your content “ Tweet – great for viral communications or building a movement.

Unlike some more traditional forms of pr, Twitter is highly accountable and measurable – moment by moment.

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