How To Succeed At Twitter: Don’t Tweet Like A Brand

September 16, 2016

How To Succeed At Twitter: Don’t Tweet Like A Brand

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Don't Tweet Like A Brand

Is the building of your brand a little heavy on the product promotion and sales side? Chances are, your Twitter campaign isn’t doing so well if that’s the case. Today, at the heart of any successful campaign is a brand that’s not acting like a brand. Confused?

The short story is this. Brands that discuss everything from movie releases (that they are not a part of) to the baseball season are trendy and driving traffic to their websites and products. These are companies not positioning their products and logos, but rather connecting with consumers the way you might talk to the guy at the coffee shop you just met. And, it’s working.

Let’s get a few things straight. Twitter is an incredible marketing tool for building your business. It has 310 million active monthly users and 1 billion unique visits each month to sites with Twitter embedded Tweets. It is the place to talk about your products and services. But, that’s not all you should be using Twitter for when it comes to branding your business.

Sharon Michaels of WomensMedia contributed to Forbes when she said, “Your Internet clients and customers, as with all clients and customers, want to know, like and trust you. I believe your target market needs to accept you as the person behind the brand before they will buy what you are offering.”

What does that mean? To be successful, you need to build a personal relationship and engage with your audience. Those brands mastering this on Twitter are seeing the success you want.

How Brands Are Standing Out

Plenty of examples exist of brands talking about topics that just don’t seem to be relevant to their platform. Here are a few examples.

Innocent Drinks, a healthy, smoothie-like small brand really dominates Twitter with its fun, lighthearted and graphically attention-getting Tweets.

The company didn’t mention its drinks and refreshing benefits of them in this set of Tweets, but it did connect with its young, trendy audience:

SpaghettiOs is another example. This is a popular Twitter page and one of the brands dominating the site for its fun and quirky Tweets. Take a look at this image. Clearly, those little noodles don’t play a role in military activities or events, but the company made a statement with this Tweet:

Perhaps you’re not a big brand but a school, religious organization, or nonprofit. The same holds true. Finding a way to engage with your audience is critical. You’ve likely heard of MIT, one of the largest and most well-known tech schools in the country. At First Year at MIT, the Twitter page is all about helping students just getting started at the school. It’s not about branding, but about building relationships.


Here’s the school’s Internship Twitter feed:


And, the GradLink:

Follow these feeds to see the true connection occurring here.

How Will You Connect?

Why not take a look at the news? Perhaps you’ve heard that Twitter recently launched a new feature on its service that encourages users to see the social media site as a news source. TechCrunch says that the service added card-like formatting to brief summary displays to make it more enhanced and news-like. The company is also live streaming Bloomberg content. In fact, a Pew Research Center report noted that 63% of Twitter users use the site for gathering the news, and that’s up from 52% just three years prior.

What does this have to do with your own marketing on the site?

Utilize this news feed and news focus for your own business goals. For example, you can easily see the news stories and incorporate your company’s brand logo or message in a Tweet you send. The news story can be something you ReTweet as well, especially if it relates to your audience.

That’s the key – whatever you Tweet, it shouldn’t be off the wall and totally off in left field. It needs to be something that your audience is going to care about in order for those readers to form a bond with your company.

But, as Lisa Toner of HubSpot points out, “Businesses will on average lose 15% of new Twitter followers within three weeks unless they make an effort to engage early.”

Steps To Create Engagement, Newsworthy Content, and a Non-Brand Level of Success

To master the art of Tweeting without a brand focus, start here:

no.1: Pay attention to the world around you, especially as it relates to your audience. What is important to your audience? Incorporate that – even if it is not directly related to your business, into your Tweets.

no.2: Be brave, bold, and as interesting as you can be. You could be one of the big brands taking full advantage of Twitter, such as Major League Baseball (a dominating factor in the world of news-related coverage) or JetBlue, a known do-it-all Twitter brand. Make your mark to stand out.

no.3: Engage, engage, and engage. Not only do you need to Tweet often, between one and four Tweets each day, but you also need to find a way to get your readers to take action. Include videos. Always use images. Present a call to action – you can do this without a strong buy-me focus. Use social media analytics tools to help you to know your audience well enough for this.

It’s time to focus on being a Twitter brand that isn’t using traditional methods for branding. It’s the latest trend that consumers are reacting to and it’s simply good for business. Don’t force engagement, though. If you couldn’t or wouldn’t bring up a topic in a conversation with your in-store customer or even a friend, don’t do it on the social media site. Just remember, Twitter is the place for conversations. Are you starting one?

For all of the social media listening tools you need, turn to We’re here to make your use of social media dynamic and successful. Let us help you drive sales without being too brand-focused.

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