Twitter transparency & tweet formulas

I fear that the word transparency may go the way of empowered, engaged and conversation — words that once meant something but have now been turned into business jargon.  I think one of the downsides of social media is that we are wearing out words at a rapid rate.

But….having said all that — one of the most important factors to remember about social media tools like Twitter is in fact….transparency.

Picture 1 As businesses and marketing folks wrestle with how to participate on Twitter  but do it without any facades…lots of people are trying lots of different things.  One of the constant complaints about Twitter is that if a company is the Twitter ID….who are you really talking to?

The digital agency Modea has handled their Twitter account in a very smart and "look behind the curtain" way.  As you can see on this screen shot….although they are tweeting under the company name, they've identified who is the man (and woman) behind the curtain.

They're building equity in their brand but we don't feel like we're talking to an anonymous IT or marketing person.  Instead, we know it's David or Julianne.

We're all still trying to figure this stuff out…but this sure seems like a smart way to approach handling a company account.

Next step for Modea…I hope they'll start sharing more resources and knowledge.  It's great to learn more about what's happening at their agency — but I also want them to help be (and all of their followers) stay current and smart.

Everyone should decide how they want to use Twitter and connect with their community.  But…for me and MMG, the formula we've informally created is 85% of the time — provide value/resources.  10% of the time — chat and connect with other Tweeters and 5% of the time — promote our own agency and blog posts.

How about you — how are you staying transparent and what's your Tweet formula?

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5 comments on “Twitter transparency & tweet formulas

  1. I worked with a group during a class led by Timothy Johnson at Drake this past fall that was tasked with implementing a Social Media campaign for United Way of Central Iowa. Their biggest hurdle to our plan was to loosen their idea of “corporate communication” and understand they can have people speak for UW without worrying about the content. Once they understood that aspect, their Social Media approach took off. They now have a very powerful Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin…etc. Their Blog has pictures and the Blog “author’s” names so it is clear who is speaking, even though they are speaking for the company. They also have a great Terms & Conditions page to further lessen their culpability. Just a good example to your point Drew, companies can utilize the free media to connect with their customers.

  2. Drew, I’m happy to see that you see it this way. What you wrote is exactly what we preach to our customers. Be transparent, engage and ADD VALUE.

    To your last point: Modea will certainly be sharing more knowledge in the coming months.

    @DavidCatalano, @Modea

  3. I think it’s really true what Guy Kawasaki says: People want to communicate with people, not with companies or brands. They want to talk, write or tweet to the people who are behind the brand, because those are the ones who can really change things.

    But this is fundamentally against what bigger companies have been trying to do in the past: Keeping customers as far away from management as possible and have “customer service”, somewhere in a call center far away, taking care of incoming communication.

    I like the Modea approach and your rule of thumb sounds very reasonable too. I still see way too many companies using Twitter only for promoting their own stuff.

    In my opinion, companies who are not interested in two-way communication and creating additional value should stay away from Twitter and social media in general. Eventually, it would backfire on them.

  4. David,

    Great to meet you…and I’m looking forward to learning from your tweets!

    Drew

  5. Tobias,

    “In my opinion, companies who are not interested in two-way communication and creating additional value should stay away from Twitter and social media in general.”

    Wise counsel indeed. I think it would be very difficult to maintain the facade for too long. There are a few who have pulled it off — but not too many.

    Drew

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