20 February 2010 19 Comments

Twitter and your brand

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)


twitterI have been asked several times why do I think Twitter holds any benefits for Nigerian and African brands. The reason to some is that the population of Nigerians and Africans on twitter is still negligible compare to the western world. The concerns Ihave noticeds on the faces of those who asked such question  has made me to conclude that many do not want to pay the price Twitter requires to be successful.

Unlike Facebook which is easier to operate. Couple with the fact that facebook comes with a lot of fun, I always consider twitter as more for serious professionals, brands that want to pay the price to make a mark. This is based on the premise that it forces users to think, it demands that brands say what it has to say within the limit of 140 characters. Unlike Facebook, Brands (individuals) may not have the luxury of creating events- there may be possibility soon, fan page among other factors. With regards to fan page, there is an argument that bothers on quality over quantity of relationships (followers).

Some believe that the quantity of brand’s followers will determine its influence when others play more emphasis on quality. I am more of quality than quantity. Whichever way an individual falls, each has its own benefits and this should be weighed against the objective, goal of twitter usage. Those who think of quality argue that it allows faster brand’s message spread and visibility while quality school of thought believes in effectiveness of relationship, engagement, commitment among followers. But let us leave the argument for some other days.

For those who see twitter as very demanding and uninteresting, they always missed out in the game. A  Harvard University study shows that sixty percent of twitter users just signed up and use it only once. My research has shown also that many African users fall within this category. To overcome the inertia most brands in Africa have towards Twitter, it will be good to pen down these thoughts.

Twitter has exponential power for brand awareness, visibility. When twitter is properly annexed and incorporated into brand’s communication tool, it can be used for brand activation, product development and launch. It can also help to foster engagement. Other usage of Twitter includes advocacy, customer support. Needless to say is that to get the best of twitter, it is out of place to use all the brand’s tweets on self promotion, pitching. Engagement, strong bonding is not guaranteed when someone else continues to flaunt his ego. Instead always ensure you give quality content, ask for your followers’ opinion, get feedback and respond accurately without getting angry about any issue. Also it may be good to acknowledge the good in others by promoting them if it is possible.

To get the best, brand must first listen to the conversation, then follow the trend, issues, conversation, then create your own relevant content, support system which will help your brand engagement. Do you have success story using Twitter? Share it.

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