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.

1 comment:

  1. Annie, thanks for redressing the balance. Your points are very pertinent to me, as probably the chief social media mouthpiece within a company whose account has a typographic avatar.
    That was a deliberate strategy from the outset as part of our company's marketing but as we grow and/or change, the way forward may not always be thus. We try - and can certainly always try harder - to engage and grow our follower base by having genuine, authentic content which humanises our company. I hope that offsets the comparative 'anomymity' of our avatar but we'll always keep a watch on this. For the moment it works for us.
    It's just nice to see the logo not getting a bad rap for once.