You know that company Twitter account that you love? The one with the funny and topical tweets that seem to manage to capture the mood of Twitter and, hence, your customer base? The one that seems in tune with the trending topics without actually trying to ride them in an aggressive and misplaced way? Deep down, you know that the company CEO isn’t sitting with his smartphone knocking out those tweets during breaks between meetings. Even deeper down, you probably realise that it’s not even the in-house PR or Marketing team who are responsible.
Social Media is a relatively new phenomenon. Companies still aren’t sure who the responsibility for dealing with it should lie with. Is it the IT dept? Is it the PR dept? Is it whatever kind of front-of-house staff they may have? This confusion means that more and more companies are turning to 3rd-parties to manage or at least advise upon their social media presence.
So who is qualified to deal with your company’s Twitter account?
The same as with every role. The person qualified to do it isn’t the one with the fancy title or diploma…it’s the person who can demonstrate that they already do it and do it well. That’s why so many companies are turning to people who just ‘get’ Twitter. People who have been able to build a following, tap in to the consciousness of the moment and gain a level of social media authority.
Seize the social media initiative with an openly authored Twitter account
Finding those people and employing them to work on your Twitter account is a great idea! But what do companies do once they’ve engaged the right people though? They hide them. They pay those contributors but don’t credit them. Consider the whole ethos of social media. It’s about building relationships and showing a spirit of sharing and reciprocity. Why haven’t more (any?) companies taken the bold step of not only admitting that their tweets are authored but actually openly crediting the writer on their account. Why on earth would they do that you ask? Well, let me explain my thinking on it.
• Patronage. Companies frequently act as patrons of the arts and are keen to highlight this. If a company commissions a popular or critically acclaimed artist to create an installation for their offices… they clearly credit, and in many cases overtly publicise, the name of the artist.
• Reputation is currency. Look at the way in which Google Authorship works, Google has put more emphasis than ever before on the authority of individuals within their own field. The people who your company employs, directly or indirectly, reflect the standing of the company itself. If you’re using the services of somebody skilled in social media – why would you hide that?
• Social spirit. As I’ve mentioned, the spirit of social media is one of sharing, acknowledgement, and mutually beneficial relationships. This is entirely in-tune with that ethos.
• Buying into an existing audience. People who already have a sizeable following on social media can talk to that audience whichever account they’re doing it from. They’ll also be able to reach and connect with an audience that your company company may not be able to without their services. Even using their services in an uncredited capacity will lose some of their reach, due to many people being turned off by the feeling that they’re interacting with a faceless corporate identity.
• You’ll save money. It makes sense, doesn’t it? You’re on social media to increase the awareness of your company or organisation… and anybody working with you on your social media will be keen to do the same. It’s hard for social media professionals to fully capitalise on the clients they work with when their efforts are clouded in secrecy. Their fees have to be higher to reflect the fact that the work may not be helping them to build towards the future. On the other hand, by openly crediting them…you’re advertising them and amplifying their visibility. That reciprocal benefit gives room for financial negotiation.
Have I captured your attention?
My own personal Twitter account has 2700+ followers, while the Scottish football-based account @ScotComFC that I set up has 6100+ followers (as a comparison, that’s more than the sports Twitter account of The Daily Record, Scotland’s 2nd biggest selling newspaper). I do around 95% of the tweets for this account (the other tweeters being @Owen_McGuire & @Michael Park).
At present, I manage a number of social media accounts for companies or organisations, three of which involve me generating comedic/entertaining content. In the past, I have also written material tweeted by high profile comedians. Did I mention that I was named Best Comedian at the 2010 Scottish Variety Awards and have twice been runner-up in Scottish Comedian of the Year Finals? As well as writing for or script-editing numerous television and radio shows across the BBC and Channel 4? I didn’t? Well, now I have.
Would authored tweeting be right for your company or organisation’s Twitter account?
Openly authored tweeting won’t suit every presence, it will depend on your company or organisation’s audience, message, and aims. Whichever type of social media presence is most appropriate though, it will still be crucial to ensure that it’s properly managed. I can help to ensure that your social media accounts utilise the right engagement strategies to maximise their impact.
To find out more about how I can help your company or organization revitalise their social media presence, please contact Webwise Creative in the first instance.