Twittering for work – how to handle the handles

The usage of Twitter is becoming increasingly important for corporations to push out information, engage with their client base and glean information from the market. I would argue that Twitter might replace the traditional wire services to push out press releases, more on that in a later post. However one dilemma that I have seen increase is how do you handle the Twitter handles?

For example – should you have a generic corporate Twitter handle and then handles for specific employees? What content should be pushed via which handle? A recent interview with George Colony of Forrester, states that most executives are not using the social tools nor are they socially savvy, not a huge surprise. So what does this mean for Twitter?

  • First – assume that most companies’ executives today are not going to leverage Twitter as it should be, so set your expectations at the proper level. Do not expect your CEO to jump on Twitter and have a handle where they are tweeting every hour, RT, doing #FF and understanding what # Tags are.
  • Second – you need to have a corporate Twitter handle that pushes out the corporate message. This can be seen as an extension of your Public Relations department. Just as they would send a press release to PRNewswire for distribution, the corporate Twitter handle needs to be seen in the same light. Of course to take full advantage of the medium, the handle will need to be monitored and leveraged to generate discussion, respond to other tweets and be a two way street in terms of conversations.
  • Third – determine if you business lends itself to having individuals tweet under their own handle company related tweets. For example, your company sells software solutions for the retail space your company twitter handle should be pushing out relevant marketing materials and information, however the head of marketing should be tweeting and gaining insight into industry trends, building relationships with relevant players in the space. Maybe someone in sales wants to tweet about their experience in identifying business problems with clients and how they are assisting.

The more open you are with regards to Twitter -meaning the more voices that speak for the company, the better that is for the overall business. Why? It allows for greater communication, greater insight and greater opportunity to develop trust with that firm. The corporate handle is how the entire entity communicates, the individual tweets allow a communication to be established at a much more specific and targeted manner.

Bottom line, your company should have multiple twitter handles. Allow the likes of the marketing, sales, R&D and executive departments to build their relationship with your audience. Done properly, your Twitter strategy will allow for your brand to be carried by multiple ambassadors.

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