Twitter isn’t for kids

twitterWe’ve all seen Tweets that use the phrases, “OMG,” “totally,” and of course, “!” used as punctuation throughout. Even better are the multiple “!!!!!”  This is absolutely acceptable for individual Tweets if that’s how that individual communicates. However, if the voice of your brand is communicated that way, it’s worth serious evaluation. Twitter is not for kids anymore.

If you are a business and your goal is to remain true to your brand, which is how it should be, the “voice” that is carried throughout your marketing needs to remain in line including your social networking voice. We’ve seen professional brands that come on to Twitter and begin Tweeting one way and then suddenly the voice changes. That’s okay if your voice is still consistent with your brand. However, if it sounds like you’ve handed over your passwords to a social networking newbie, you may start losing followers and not gaining any new ones.

A common misperception we’ve heard is that social networking is owned by the younger generation. That’s not necessarily true. And yes, there are exceptions to this rule. But while today’s college student most likely has a Facebook account and maybe Tweets, they are doing so personally. Their personal voices have been perfected with their friends in a causal and engaging manner. If the person you have assigned to manage your social networking does so without the insight to your brand positioning, the image of your company online won’t be consistent with your marketing. The expectation that it will, is wrong.

So, when a company just hands over its brand to the youngest person in the office without educating them, they are passing off a critical component of their brand to someone without any training. Companies surely wouldn’t do that with an ad or collateral piece. Which leads me to believe that businesses are either: 1) not taking it seriously or 2) they are just doing social networking for the sake of doing social networking. The fact is it’s a very powerful, fully Google searchable voice to your business. If you doubt the power of social networking, you’re just kidding yourself.

We also see confusion on where social networking fits. Social networking is a tactic. It’s not a strategy. However it does require a strategic approach just like any great marketing program.

Want to know how your potential new hire or agency handles it?  Easy, check out their work. 

1.    Do a Google search and see how their personal social outreach trends.

2.    Check out Twitter and see how many people they follow, how many follow back, how often they post and the number of posts to date.

3.    Go to Facebook and check out their profiles including frequency, photos, links and other tabs.

4.    View their LinkedIn profile to see how their professional resume is presented.

5.    See if they have a personal website and/or if they blog.

If you are looking at hiring professionals or an agency,

1.    Be sure to check out the agency’s social networking presence with a Google search. There should be a consistent level of frequency and not just starts.

2.    Search for individual team members to determine their level of participation. After all if you choose the firm, they will be managing your efforts.

3.    Go to their Web site. If an agency is active in the social networking arena, there should be links to their pages and it should up-to-date.

4.    See if the agency blogs. 

If the agency can’t do it for their own business, how are they going to do it for you?

No matter if it’s an individual or agency, a review of each of the online platforms will help determine their personal brand and therefore how they might represent you. If they’ve promoted themselves well, they’ll do justice for you. If they’re not active socially, then you have your answer.

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