Currently, an online community manager, would struggle to avoid using Twitter as part of a community management strategy. It ticks many of the boxes associated with community:
- Having followers
- Spreading the word
- Focused conversation (well at least some of the time:-)
But how you decide to use to Twitter is the key to successfully integrating it into a great community management strategy.
Questions you need to ask?
- Should our company have one or more Twitter accounts?
- What is the focus of the account(s)?
- How does it tie in with the overall marketing or business communication objectives?
Example 1: JetBlue
JetBlue, a US airline carrier, started off with a single twitter account (@JetBlue) in May 2007. However in 2009 they decided to diversify and start a second account (@JetBlueCheeps). Why the need for two separate accounts?
Morgan Johnston, manager of corporate communications, says it was simple. They had two distinct groups who were only interested in specific things:
- Those who wanted conversation and customer service
- Those who wanted info on ticket sales
They looked at the motivations of their followers and were able to define two different personas within their community. They then focused their communication accordingly.
Example 2: AJ Bombers
A Milwaukee based restaurant, AJ Bombers, has used a single Twitter to build an offline community.
They utilise the account to publisise specials, answer questions and offer customer service. They currently have around 9,000 followers. Nothing special there I hear you say?
But they’ve made the Twitter followers feel special when they are in the restaurant, making them feel at home. They estimate 75% of their customers are twitter followers and they encourage them to write their twitter name on the walls of the restaurant. And what I love about their Twitter page is the background replicates those walls.
The key to their success is they keep it local (in line with their target market), they communicate every day and they communicate in a style that they know everyone personally, just a like a pub would treat a local.
A great combination of building a community that extends beyond the confines of the online space.
Check out this video:
Example 3: Heavy Chef
Our very own Heavy Chef Twitter account is also not about sheer numbers. We are looking for a high proportion of our followers to be industry related: marketers, designer, programmers, etc. The tweets are focused around offering great links to relevant industry related articles but with one of the main objectives being recruitment. By creating a community of people in the digital industry we have potential future World Wide Creative/Heavy Chef employees following us. And the real benefit is they know our company and they understand a little about our culture before they arrive.
And the results? Our last 5 employees have come via twitter, they have fitted in perfectly and it has saved quite a bit with recruitment agencies in the process.