I must admit that I was very hesitant about the whole twitter-part of this course. I’ve had a twitter account since 2008, but when I started using it for this course I had only done 3 tweets. That is 3 tweets in 4 years.
The problem for me is that I don’t know how to use it. Should I be professional or should I include my private life? Or maybe both? I think this is the problem for a lot of companies when it comes to creating a twitter account. People are still insecure of how to use twitter in the most effective way. As much as it may be an asset to your company from a PR point of view, it can also have the opposite effect.
I’ve got an example of this. When I worked at the PR company ‘Pitch Control PR’ (@PitchControl_PR on twitter) one of my tasks was to come up with things to tweet about. Let me remind you again; I had never used twitter and this was all very new and scary to me. I figured that they wanted me to tweet about PR things, so I desperately tried to find exciting news relating to PR. After a while the CEO came to me and said: ‘You know.. you don’t have to tweet about PR all the time. Just find some fun, silly news. Something that fits our style.’
I think it’s a great example of how to use twitter. This is a fashion/entertainment PR firm, and since they operate in the entertainment business you could tweet about anything from celebrity news to fashion etc. But the question still remains: how do I actually know what the ‘style’ that I’m supposed to tweet about is? And how can I make sure that it’s a hot topic, and not something that has been published multiple times already? There’s a perfect website for this. It’s called tweetdeck.com. The website enables you to keep an eye one what’s happening on twitter. It gives you the opportunity to listen to what people are saying. Let’s say that you want to know what’s been said about your favourite band’s newly released album. Then you just click on ‘Add twitter search column’ and type in the name of the band and the album. A new column will appear where you’ll be able to see what people are saying about it in real time. In this way you’ll be able to get the latest updates about the style that suits your company. It can be used for any topic that you feel is suitable.
To use twitter efficiently I think companies should stop being afraid of expanding their horizon, and start tweeting about subjects that aren’t necessarily only about their company, but also about things in general that suits their ‘style’. I believe that twitter is as much about sharing information as it is about creating an image. It is therefore of crucial importance to know what image you want the public to have of your company before you set up a twitter account.
To quote Steve Schwartz in the video below: ‘Think of twitter as a cocktail party. You would not walk into a cocktail party and start screaming promotions at the top of your lungs. So don’t that on twitter.’