Monday, 29 December 2008

Huffin' & Puffin'

But the house ain't going anywhere and you can't just push yourself in.

I read an article on Advertising Age about how advertisers could capitalize on the Twitter phenomenon by turning it into an Ad network. Now without going into great detail about the article (all explained here) and not repeating some of the very astute and perceptive comments about the piece, it got me thinking about brands and organizations that get it right.

I think a large part of understanding this space comes from your participation in it, which in turn determines your approach to Twitter. If you enter the community with a 'quick wins, quick returns' mindset, you will ultimately fail. Because it's not about pushing messages (however short) out without a fundamental understanding of what value you could add - what are you giving people that makes you an active and appreciated member of this community?

Some people may actually want to 'hear' a more personal side of a brand as well as get relevant and interesting information - airlines, media companies, and museums are great Twitter examples of this (Jetblue provides people with updates and answers to various travel-related questions while also giving people a feel for the brand; and the Getty Museum gives people updates about their collections and other items that would be important to art lovers).

So rather than focusing on transforming Twitter into an Ad network, and what could be gained from Tweeters, they think about what they could add or give, which is reflected by the quality and sometimes quantity of their followers and the community that forms around their product, service or organization.

I personally think that some brands could make interesting use of Twitter. I'd like to know what's going on at Whole Foods - sales, new products, etc., and would gladly follow if they provided that kind of information, but not as a medium to push out contrived brand messages to attempt to convert me into a Whole Foodie.

What do you think? Do you follow a brand? Would you follow a brand? Why? Which one?

1 comment:

  1. I follow a few brands for the reasons you mentioned. For example, @starbucks lets me know what's happening at stores and offers links to coupons, but more importantly, she answers me when I tweet with her. I know there's a person there.

    I'm choosy about brands to follow, but I'll follow just about any individual.