Business owners we meet with are increasingly asking about Twitter. They want to know if Twitter is really a good place to be interacting with customers, providing customer service and marketing their products or services. Some of this stems from the publicity Frank Eliason, better known as "@comcastcares" received a few years ago. Some of this stems from a need to tap into a younger market during an economic downturn.
Twitter is aware of this increasing interest and has a dedicated landing page for businesses. The page provides business owners with some tips on getting up and running, advertising opportunities and some case studies.
We have also found business owners have concerns about getting involved with the social network. Owners want to know what happens when there is a negative comment about their product or service? They want to know how to protect their identity and reputation. They want to understand the risks involved with their use of the network. If you are considering adding a Twitter account to your 2011 digital strategy, keep reading. We'd like to share a couple tips, tricks, thoughts about these concerns to give you business owners something to think about.
Your Company Website Is Your Hub
Twitter should be looked at as a spoke on the wheel of your business. Everyone knows the spoke connects to the hub. Be sure you connect your Twitter account to your company website. When building your profile in Twitter, take advantage of your ability to add a link to your company website. Connect your Twitter account to your other social accounts too. There's a link to the company website on your Facebook page. Put a link to your Twitter account on your Facebook page too. Connect all your social sites to each other and link them to your hub, the company website.
Concerned about your Trademark or Logo?
Twitter does have a policy, not a clear policy, but a policy about trademarked business names. If you own the trademark "Boutique Cathy" and a twitter account for boutique_cathy or @boutiquecathy is causing some confusion about your business, Twitter may be able to step in and provide some assistance.
If someone on Twitter is using your trademark or logo in a way that is intended to confuse other Twitter users, you may submit a help ticket. Twitter will look at the situation and if all the pieces come together, they can suspend the other user and grant you ownership of the account.
On the other hand, it Twitter finds the other user didn't intend to mislead others, Twitter may give the account owner the opportunity to work things out before suspending them and releasing the username to the trademark holder. Twitter has made it clear that if someone is using a name you have trademarked in a way that has nothing to do with your product or service, they are not required to intervene.
The message here is before you get involved with Twitter, you may want to do some research. Look at what your competitors are doing on Twitter. Do a search of your tradename and similar names. Look for your logo on other accounts. Treat this decision like any other business decision you would make. Do some due diligence before jumping in.