Who’s your favourite brand on Twitter?

Twitter bird

Who are your favourite brands on Twitter? Awesome photo courtesy of Shawn Campbell on Flickr.

So this week, Twitter has been riddled with horse jokes. In fact, if it wasn’t for the downpour of snow tweets in the past 48 hours then I’d expect we’d all still be talking about having the trots, neighing and flogging a dead horse. With the Twitter jokes dying down, you’d have thought Tesco would have been looking to make the most of the weather distraction – maybe using their Twitter to push soup promotions or something similarly warming. But no, last night Twitter tweeted this…

Oh yes, they ‘inadvertently’ created another social media stir. They’ve said it was a scheduled tweet written before the horse DNA debacle and have since apologised, but was it such a bad thing? If we go by all publicity being good publicity then Tesco are winning at life. They got publicity when the news broke, put apology ads in the major papers, got press about the apology ads, posted this tweet and then have gotten even more coverage about the tweet. They’ve been quick to respond at every hurdle (not an intentional horse reference) and originally had a clear, serious message which they got across in an appropriate medium. Maybe the tweet has blurred this stance, but I think they’ll get by just fine.

Twitter can make or break a brand. Particularly when stories, such as the horse DNA burgers, go viral a brand’s reputation can be on the line. Remember when American Apparel and Gap sent out e-newsletters encouraging people to shop during Hurricane Sandy? Twitter was quick to pick up on the unorthodox usage of natural disasters as marketing tools and snapshots of the emails were shared around the globe.

But what about those who’ve done good work for their brands through social media?

I know I’ve talked a lot about the awesome work from Innocent and Cadbury, but who else has the right idea?

Waterstones Oxford Street certainly know how to use humour to their advantage. Run by Jonathan O’Brien, the account is topical, entertaining and gives a huge personality injection into the brand. The account has over 27,000 followers and even used the aformentioned Tesco debacle to their advantage with this heavily RT-ed message:

Another long term favourite of mine is the restaurant chain Giraffe. Although I’m meant to be at war with them over a very shoddy New Year’s Eve 2011 at Giraffe Southbank, it’s hard not to forgive them because they have really good digital marketing (if only their waiting staff that night had been of the same standard). They run a weekly competition on Facebook at Twitter to give away vouchers and manage to maintain a large follower base (over 24,000) who interact with them more often than just a RT every Friday. The account has a personal tone which helps the chain maintain the friendly reputation they gained when they were just a few restaurants dotted around London suburbs. They might have over forty restaurants, but each restaurant seems united in the voice of their social media which in turn has become the voice of the brand.

Selfridges probably doesn’t need good social media to maintain its business, but it does a pretty solid job nonetheless. For a brand with such a strong reputation, it uses Twitter to share the company’s latest news and events, the occasional competition and have even been tying in lots of their Tweets with the Mr Selfridge series currently airing on ITV. The account is always pretty formal and never in the first person and that’s just right for the brand. A great example of how to use social media to support a brand who had an international reputation long before people were voicing opinions online.

So there we have it, a few more of my favourite brands on Twitter.

I’m always looking to find other brands, companies and organisations who are using Twitter well so get in touch with your suggestions and I’ll add them in here.

 

Who are your favourites? Comment below or tweet me (@catherineelaine) and I’ll update this post with your suggestions.

As an aside, I’ve recently started my first adventure into social media marketing and have helped set up a Twitter/Facebook account for a local Governor training agency. I’ve handed over the reins to the company director, but it’s been a great experience helping a brand get online. I’d be very keen to keep doing this in the future so get in touch if I can help you out.

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