Twitter – Is it building or damaging your brand?

Twitter, you may love it or hate it, but I believe business owners who ignore it do so at their peril. aton-mebelVisual Cage

You probably know I’m in the love it category and I can say hand on heart in the last 10 days it has served me well.  From my work and messages on twitter, connections and connections of my connections I have been successful in gaining an interview on Radio Wales Drive Time Show (if you’re not from Wales this doesn’t maybe mean much, but here in Wales that’s rather good!) I was quoted in the Guardian online, sold several copies of my book to followers and secured a piece of work speaking at a conference for later in the year.  Not bad for 140 characters and a mobile phone.

So all this tweeting may have got me some business and some recognition but is it damaging my brand or strengthening it?

Now, it’s easy to think that if you are getting new followers and maybe even a bit of business out of it then all is well.  But, what if, while all this is going on, I’m upsetting my key customers, my repeat business people that I rely on for my core income?  Do they feel my tweeting and twittering is beneficial to them as customers or a distraction from my work?

Has @Sweden got it right or have they made a big mistake?

I mentioned I spoke on Radio Wales this week.  Well it was in response to the news that the Swedish tourist board had a twitter account which each week was hosted / run by a member of the public.  When each person took over the account for their week they are able to tweet about anything.  This they believe would provide others with an insight into Sweden.  Some of them do.  For example the sheep farmer who told us about his farm and work and the area he lived in was fine.  But then other people felt the need to share their views, which are sometimes a bit, well, off the wall or offensive.  I’m not sure if it goes with the brand of ‘Come to Sweden’.

The question must be “Is all publicity good publicity?”

It’s hard to tell if a few people’s views broadcast as “Visit Sweden” will damage the brand.  I may be even keener to visit Sweden now because of the easy going attitude they seem to display to openness and individualism.  Others may be put off because they feel the tourist Board isn’t taking itself seriously.

But what about your customers?

I mentioned my customers and what they think of it all but what about yours?  Do they like to know what you’re up to or do they wish you would just get on with the job in hand?   My guess is it’s all about balance.  If you provide your customers with great service, excellent customer satisfaction then they may see Twitter as a way of really getting to know you.  But if you are late delivering a product, but have time to tell the world what you had for lunch maybe your customers will wonder if you have your priorities right.

As with most things in life; it’s all about balance 

Twitter, like anything else, has its uses.  I know it has helped many business owners to increase their profile, make new connections and link to others who can help them in their business journey.  But beware, not everyone feels the same about this new way of networking, and who can blame them.  Some business owners seem to over share their wows, rants and personal lives and confuse personal and business, therefore, weakening their brand, credibility and potentially their business.

Personal stuff should be just that

I feel personal stuff should be just that, personal.  I like to know a bit about you as a person when I’m doing business with you, but I don’t feel the need to know your child has an upset tummy or your shopping delivery is late again.  Nor does it make me feel inclined to work with you or buy from you when you tell me of your business disasters and how your competitors drive you mad.

Think before you tweet, do my customers and potential customers need to know this, could it effect how they think of me and will I regret it tomorrow when I haven’t had a glass or two of wine? By all means share with your pals, let off steam, but maybe under a different name and not your business one.

You never know who is watching

Twitter and other social networks are open to all, anyone can search and view your tweets, they don’t have to follow you and even those who follow you may not be who you think they are.  It’s so easy to think that only your followers (who may all be pals) will see your tweets, but that’s not the case.

Think before you tweet; Is this a good idea for my brand?  If you’re not sure please don’t hit ‘send’. 

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