Thursday, October 23, 2008

The importance of local advocacy... on Twitter

Recently I've been luck enough to enjoy a kind word or two from Mike Coulter in his post on bigmouthmedia's social media efforts.

As Mike pointed out to me; a little effort to reach out and make the effort to give him the best possible experience (even if it was a simple unsubscribe request) certainly paid off. We may have lost Mike as an email subscriber but we gained him as a Twitter follower. As you might have expected his blog post also brought in a small rush of other Twitter followers.

Neil MacLean of The Travel PR Blog was pleased to see that there was more of a human Twitter presence (me) than just the corporate bigmouthmedia profile.
excellent, a real human twitterer at Big Mouth and not just Big Mouth news updates :-) cheers

You know; that can be a real challenge. I clearly get to go speak at events like SMX or A4U while wearing my bigmouthmedia badge - so people know which company I work for. There are plenty of other bigmouths on Twitter too but most of them are there in their own personal interest/personal communication strategy rather than as brand/social media ambassadors.

That's not to say there are no other bigmouths you can talk shop with on Twitter. From the social media/resources/online PR teams we've also got;
These three are just from the UK team too. I can see names from the Nordics and Germany that could also act as local 'advocats' but I'm writing this post without checking that hunch so I'm playing safe.

The issue of local advocacy is a thorny one. Most brands will (rightly) want to communicate through their brand identity (andI can use Twhirl to speak 'as' bigmouthmedia on Twitter) rather than pick an employee and spotlight them. However, in stark contrast to that is the genuine desire from the community to be able to communciate to an actual person rather than to a 'channel'.

2 comments:

Neil MacLean said...

Hi Andrew
I don't mean to be overly critical, quite the opposite but just to address your post, I think the official bigmouth twitter account could be a bit more personal without being less official. It's off-putting (to me) to see nearly every post starting with "bigmouthmedia news:" (hence my initial response to you). If nothing else its a waste of twitter real estate. It smacks of SEO strategy and also it suggests to the reader that "this is all about us". Sorry, that's harsh. What's the answer? I dunno. Maybe more conversation and even though the account is bigmouthmedia you could still sign off each twitter with "cheers, Andrew" or something (mindful of those 144 characters again).

Andrew Girdwood said...

Thanks for the input Neil. I've made some changes to the twitterfeed to drop the 'bigmouthmedia' prefix.

I've kept the 'news' prefix as we actually import a number of feeds. The one you'll like the least is our delicious feed, which we use as a news clipping service, as that's prefixed with #bigmouthmedia in order to get the hashtagging done.

Why did we add 'bigmouthmedia' to the prefix in the first place? Not for SEO - Twitter's content is so transitory that on-page syntax is given a low weight. Rather it was future proofing to allow us to add one of the bigmouthmedia blogs or sub-brands if we wanted.

I think the addition of a blog is unlikely and I agree with your point about the character limit and the tone of voice - so I'm pleased that you prompted me to make the edits.