This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on Twitter Strategy for Business. Part 1 is here Part 3 is here

Previously I posted about twitter and business. In that article I discussed a businesses entrance to twitter. and introduced the problem many brands run into on twitter. Here I aim to suggest a solution. In the next article I will go into more detail on strategy, frequency and ROI.

The Perfect Trivium, a proposed solution

courtesy .finding.ireland. @ flickr

courtesy .finding.ireland. @ flickr

I explain better though examples. Meet Susan. Susan works for Widget Makers Inc. She has been tasked with selling more widgets and is supposed to get people excited about their new widgets while cutting their media placement (read: advertising budget). I recommend Susan create three twitter accounts. (twitter is only one aspect of a full social media campaign, see facebook strategy for another, more to come)

  • One twitter account for personal example username: Susan1974
  • One twitter account for the person behind the brand: SusanWMI
  • One twitter account for the brand as whole:  WidgetMakersInc

Here are a couple of real life examples:

So you have the three accounts setup, but what can be or should be said from each account?

Personal twitter account content

Typically people using a personal account talk about what they are having for breakfast or where they are going or meetings they are in or philosophy they are thinking of. Mostly I recommend posting what you want people to talk to you about. Do you want people to know about your office’s new pet pig? Would you want to be known as a money man? How about a person who knows SEO? If you talk about these things, and if you share some information or links you will find that people who have similar interests will follow you. Once they follow you they might add to a conversation you’re having. This is where twitter gets interesting, the conversation. This is after all Social Media!

Person behind the brand twitter account content

courtesy Walker Dukes @ flickr

courtesy Walker Dukes @ flickr

This is a tough account for most people to understand. I recommend talking about industry specific things. In my day job I have a lot of IT vendors who take me out to lunch and talk about what’s going on in the industry. They will tell me why I should be concerned about a certain product or what impact the current news/trends have on my business. They are feeding me information constantly, all while being personal, they know my wife and kids’ names they know about my business and what I do. If they talk about a recent trip to a industry conference I know it will apply to IT products.

Similarly the fake account mentioned above for SusanWMI would talk all about the new Widget line. The account would interact with people who are talking about widgets or which widget to buy for their spouse’s birthday etc. SusanWMI is seen as a brand advocate. I can interact with her, tell her my complaints and know that she is a person and will get back to me tomorrow if it’s late in the day. I also know that the stuff she puts in this account will not be of a very personal nature, I will know nothing about Susan’s kids, or her dog, or what she ate for breakfast –unless of course it was a widget! I will know from her how cool it is to work for WMI, and how much fun they have talking about, creating, designing widgets. I might also learn the intricacies behind developing new products and the new FDA rules for lead levels and how it affects their product or it’s price etc. Are you getting the picture yet?

Susan would encourage conversations, and be actively searching the twitterverse for people to interact with. (This series does not deal with consumption of twittter, instead how to engage in conversations. More on consumption later.) She might ask questions like, “What color widgets would you like to see?” Or “What are your favorite memories of widgets from your growing up years?” She is the personal connection to the brand and desires people to interact with her.

Brand twitter account

This account can do many different things, but primarily is not a personal account. There is no personality. It exists to be a PR outlet for the organization. There might be coupons or discount codes, links to blog posts or news articles, mentions of what events they are sponsoring or new stores/developments. This is not a place for talk of traveling or if it’s cold in the office this morning.

WMI from our example above would probably post information of new stores that are carrying their product and new product announcements. They could offer links to articles and coupons. This would be a channel to follow for the employee or the consumer/client but they would not interact with it. or if they tried to Susan would respond from the Person behind the brand account.

Other accounts?

As if three were not enough to manage, there are other accounts to be considered. For Example an internal HR account with protected updates which exists to communicate with their employees or their sales staff via twitter. Since this account is private and not for public consumption it is not part of the Trivium.

So now you have the how to get on twitter, and the structure of the accounts, but what about the frequency of posting? What are the goals for these accounts? And ultimately what is my ROI for using twitter for my business?

Read Part 3: Twitter for Business Strategy Part 3: Applying the Trivium of Twitter Accounts.