Unlocking the PR Power of #Twitter
From your mood to the movement of your favorite rapper, there’s a lot we can learn from Twitter.
For one, the U.S. West Coast is happier than the East Coast—or so say Northeastern and Harvard researchers, who mapped out a way to quantify and visualize happiness all based on real-time Twitter comments (although I’m happy to say—and Tweet—that the map shows we’re pretty content here in Central Florida).
Then, there’s rapper Kanye West. He joined the popular social media site after a visit to its headquarters—and received instant coverage. Then, a few weeks later, Stephen Homes, a Twitter user from England, became a minor celebrity when he tweeted West to ask what kind of toothpaste he used on his diamond teeth. That question made Holmes the only person West himself chose to follow—and earned him a mention on NPR.
It goes to show you: social media’s pull is strong when it comes to media coverage and public awareness, and it should be an integral part of your overall strategic public relations campaign. So how do you build your brand on Twitter? Here are a few social media starter tips:
- Decide how you want to brand your company: Fill out your entire profile and design your background—this makes your page look legitimate and extends your brand image onto Twitter.
- Become known as an expert/resource: Mashable writes that Twitter is a shorter and more viral form of blogging, so the same rules still apply.
- Establish a Twitter marketing plan: This includes adding Twitter links to e-mail signatures, Web sites, newsletters, presentations, business cards, promotion products, etc. Just like with any social network or blog, the more people who follow you, the easier it is to grow your already existing community.
- RT and Hashtags: Retweets, hashtags and following other people are essential ways to get new followers (What are hashtags? They’re the # signs placed in front of key search terms).
Ad Age calls promotion and public relations through Twitter “a souped-up word of mouth.” So start talking—140 characters at a time—and begin to unlock the PR power of Twitter.