and so to Twitter, which - thanks to, in part, Obama, Ross and Fry - post a 27-fold increase in the last 12 months is now the seventh most popular SN site in the UK. with such growth has come the inevitable and necessary Campaign article on how brands can capitalise on this particular bit of media evolution.
some sense talked by Robin "have genuine conversations with people ... show your real personality and allow people to connect with you" Grant and Faris "we've got to earn attention by being entertaining, useful and also nice" Yakob.
but also some craziness bounded about by Dare's Flo "create a fake receptionist" Heiss and internet consultant David "don't anthropomorphise it, what if an inanimate object was to Tweet" Bain. the question of how much fun a social network would be if inanimate objects Tweeted aside, (although its not entirely mad - my fridge for example; "feeling great today post a thorough defrosting and clean out yesterday, brrrrr - life good" or my Wii "exhausted post Chris playing for sixteen hours non-stop on Super Mario Galaxy - still at least he's completed it now and he and I can get back on with our lives"), the question remains why, when and how should brands enter the Twittersphere?
the debate is picked up in a post on Robin's We Are Social blog, where he makes two important points: (1) a brand's Twitter strategy should be built around the business objectives its trying to achieve, and (2) the hard work only really begins when you're up and out there creating and managing the day after day micro-interactions with real people.
its worth reading down the comments, one by Adriana Lukes struck me as particularly relevant:
the evolution of media and communications and the fragmentation of channels and empowerment of consumers that has come with it, is not a beast to be grappled with. rather its a gift to be embraced.
we need to change our collective idea of what 'broadcasting our brand communications' means. from... a single-minded focus on one-to-many (with things like Twitter playing around the edge), to... having and using a tapestry of touchpoints by which to reach existing and potential customers.
TV ads and Twitter should be part of the same plan, because they come from the same place - the brand, and more specifically the reason for being & idea that sit behind that brand. understanding and continually and consistently articulating that idea is what will align 'one-to-many' as well as 'many-to-many' touchpoints.
Twitter isn't something 'else'... like so many emerging platforms its the best kind of brand space; a space where you're forced to be relevant, interesting and polite, but most of all a space where the people you're so desperate to talk to, can talk back. we've never had it so good.