By Asia Camagong, Junior Account Executive
During my first public relations internship, I was tasked with drafting social media content for a local burger restaurant and used Twitter to promote items on the menu, upcoming events and meal deals, as well as engaged with users tweeting about the product. After experiencing some initial apprehension about ghostwriting for a burger, I learned one of the greatest lessons early in my career on the importance of social media in the field of PR.
With 302 million monthly active users sending out an average of 500 million tweets per day on behalf of individuals and organizations worldwide, Twitter is the kale of social media platforms—declared overhyped by those who don’t understand it, and worshiped by those who do.
While talking to a colleague about why he isn’t active on Twitter, he explained: “Nobody wants to hear about what I ate this morning or that I’m going to the grocery store.” Theoretically this may be true, because unless you have an army of #Beliebers or #Swifties behind you, a tweet about a taco has a slim chance of being retweeted or Favorited—unless, of course, you “@” the taco brand or perhaps even add #taco to the tweet. These are only some of the many social media tricks used to spread user engagement and awareness.
Twitter has developed into an important communication tool for companies looking to connect with their audiences from around the world. It has become an incredible component for personal and companywide branding. In 140 characters or less, Twitter gives users the power to share their messages and become part of an expansive network of users.
The top three ways to use Twitter for the branding of individuals and companies are:
- Promote your news.
Sharing news through Twitter is fast and efficient. Using URL-shortening services such as bit.ly encourages users to retweet or link other followers to your announcement. Many individuals and companies utilize Twitter for this reason, resulting in tweets teasing or officially announcing company news.
- Communicate and engage with your network.
The key to social media is to remain social. On top of creating shareworthy content about your personal or company brand, it is also important to interact with the networks you are in and those you desire to join. In real life and on social media, it isn’t enough to just talk; you need to remind followers and subscribers that you can listen, too.
- Observe trends and be a part of the conversation.
With Twitter being used around the world and accessible to anyone with a computer or smartphone, live updates from across the globe in real-time can be used to one’s social media advantage. During the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo was quick to send out a reaction through social media after a power failure interrupted the game in the third quarter. With key trends and constant feedback filtered through Twitter, discovering timely topics and reactions to news is at your fingertips.
It is important to note that none of the campaigns done by these brands were executed without tact. Drafting, developing and distributing tweets relies on a method requiring a targeted goal, audience and brand voice.
The more an individual or organization knows what type of message they want to present to an audience, the better their social media presence will prevail.