26 Jan 2011

Meet Ben - the sign man

Who will be responsible for the day to day running of your social media? Is it a role for the marketing department or the customer facing staff? You have a social media strategy, you have goals and you know how to measure the activity but how much time did you spend finding the best person/people to deliver the message?

Anyone can learn about products and services and share information online but what a business really needs is representatives who are passionate, who genuinely care, who notice the little things and who react accordingly.

Communication can be complicated, the message needs to be clear but as this short film by Oscar Sharp demonstrates, it's not just about holding up a sign.

(Click on bottom right to view full screen)

25 Jan 2011

A face or a logo?

Are you considering using Twitter to promote a business?

I was in that position three years ago and was bamboozled by the information and the expert advice. I played around with a personal account on Twitter, only once I was confident with how it worked did I set up a separate account for business. I used an image from the company website as the profile picture and the account was created as @CompanyName. It was very successful in driving traffic (40% directly from Twitter), raising brand awareness and creating a buzz which led to the sale of event tickets and memberships.

Some experts advise businesses to put a human face and name to the account as it is the "best" way to engage with an audience. “Twitter is about people, not logos” in their view. I question that advice unless you are the brand or well recognised in your field.

In general, business isn’t about one individual; it is about a product or service, the customers, their needs and requirements. I've created campaigns for different sectors and every time a logo, not a face, has been used as the Twitter handle. Does a staff member represent your business better than the logo and company name? What if that employee gets a new job with a competitor? Will your customer base move with him or stay loyal to your brand? Food for thought.

There are lots of reasons, some SEO based, why a company would encourage the use of multiple twitter accounts run by different employees. I don't disagree with that, I’m simply championing the logo as it’s getting a bad wrap – don’t write it off.

A logo can have personality …look at the Meerkat campaign, Bulldog Natural or Soap & Glory. No faces, just logos that you recognise, see on the shelves or in adverts on the television. Familiarity, association, connection, influence. Of course this can work in the negative, but with a strategy in place you’d have that covered.

An account is worth following because it is entertaining, informative, provocative or amusing. A logo is only a barrier to effective communication if you allow it to be.

Comments welcome.