Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

10 Ways to ruin your Brand’s Reputation with Twitter


On Twitter, 140 characters make up a message. That’s not much and some businesses, especially small to medium-sized ones, still think Twitter is a no-go. They say it’s too short, too uncontrollable and too time-consuming.

At first glance, Twitter might indeed not seem an ideal communication tool, but in just a couple of years it has proved the world that sometimes “short” is powerful. From its genesis as a basic online SMS service, it has evolved into a world-encompassing communication tool; Twitter users generate more than 200 million tweets per day, and the microsite often beats the most sturdy news platsforms in the world with speed and accuracy. And don’t forget that close to 750 million searches are performed on Twitter every single day, making it a toup-four search engine.

Communicating in 140 characters can be extremely tricky, and when done in an unconsidered or trigger-happy way, a lot of damage to brand and reputation can be done in a heartbeat. Here are 10 ways that brands risk ruining their reputation on Twitter and, ultimately, across their marketplace:

1. You have the wrong handle. A good Twitter name should be short, catchy, simple and recognizable, and refer to your brand.

2. You’re nobody except an egg on a blue background. If you do not tell people who you are and what you stand for, you’ll never reap ROI. Use your profile to show what it is you do and what you stand for. Include your location and website, and remember to use the C3 rule: be catchy, concise and complete. Also know that the default Twitter background with the impersonal “egghead” avatar is not the road to success. Dress up the bride. Stand out. Be sparkling, inventive, inviting.

3. You’re a robot or a zombie. Communicating from a corporate pedestal and hiding behind a shiny logo gets you nowhere. People want to interact with people, not with a brand. This is the engagement part of social media; So mention in the profile who is tweeting on behalf of your brand. You’ll be amazed how much more interaction is triggered by having real people represent your brand.

4. You’re selling. If you only communicate about your beloved product all the time, people will unfollow you faster than you can press “send.” People are not interested in your sales talk or marketing language. They are interested in finding useful content, hearing smart viewpoints and getting helpful tips.

5. You’re boring. People follow you because they think you might share good information with them, or because they want to build a relationship with you or your brand. So give ’em what you want. As a rule of thumb, divide your tweets in three buckets, one-third for conversing with people, one-third for spreading great content that others brought to you and one-third for bringing great original content to the platform. This optimal mix will allow you to boost followers, connect and engage.

6. You’re shy. Staying in your corner will not win any business or Twitter goodwill. Growing a Twitter account is hard work, and it requires commitment and a willingness to connect. The easiest way to get followers is to follow people. So search for and follow relevant accounts. So search for and follow relevant accounts. If you find someone interesting, check out who he or she is following and add some of these folks to your lists too.

7. You follow spambots and prostitutes. Tell me who you follow and I will tell you who you are, so be careful. When people start following you, it’s common courtesy to follow them back. That’s how a relationship gets started. Be smart about it though. Make sure you filter out the spammers, spambots, prostitutes and random bizarre people.

8. You don’t keep your house clean. Once in a month, do some housekeeping. Look to see if you’re following the right people back and if you answered all messages. Decide whether or not to keep people on your follow list if they are not following you. Ask yourself if the accounts you do follow are relevant in your Twitter stream. If not, unfollow them. Also, accounts that haven’t tweeted in 90 days are usually stone dead, so unfollow.

9. You’re rude. Yes, you have the right to disagree with other people and have your own opinion. What you don’t have is a reason to be rude or impolite. Deal with the message, not with the messenger, and disagree in a pleasant style.

10. You’re lazy. Remember that point earlier about unfollowing accounts that are dead? You’ll be unfollowed if you aren’t a regular tweeter. And remember that once you starte engaging, you’re in it for the long run and should never stop. Your social capital builds with every single tweet.

BONUS TIP: never tweet when angry, drunk, in love, upset, confused or high on emotion. What you put out there cannot be taken back.

Originally published in PRNews’ Digital PR Guidebook, by Danny Devriendt


Twitter, a threat to a journalist’s personal brand?

By Christian Remon

Following the debate at BJIT last Thursday, I was surprised by some old-fashioned statements that certain panel members put forward. What struck me the most was that not all communication professionals are convinced of the added value of new media for both journalists and media companies as a brand.

The debate got heated when Pol Deltour, national secretary of the Vlaamse Vereniging van Journalisten, stated that Twitter is a threat to the journalist’s personal brand and a danger for the credibility of the media he is working for. In his eyes, social media changes the way journalists are perceived: as marketers rather than journalists. But haven’t journalists always been marketers? Aren’t we, in fact, all marketers of our personal brand? Like Alain Gerlache, journalist at RTBF, says:  “Journalists are a brand”. They are the face of a media channel! People read newspapers because journalists are writing qualitative articles about topics that interest them in a way that pleases them.

Traditional media shouldn’t worry, good content is still king. But the game has become more complex.  Accept the fact that scoops no longer exist as speed is the new normal in a world where people are 24/7 confronted with an information overload. Have faith in your journalists. They are capable of using the same common sense they use in their stories online! So please, embrace new media as a way to leverage the brand.

Frankly, I can’t possibly think of a better way than to let journalists syndicate the good content they and their colleagues produce and engage in a discussion afterwards. This leads to more active engagement from the audience and helps build long-term relationships with them as a consumer. Rather than fearing new media, journalists and media companies should try to use them strategically to leverage their (personal) brand, build credibility and establish authority.

Just so you know, Reuters’ social media policy embraces the fact that journalists have (a desire for) a personal brand.


Social Media: not revolutionizing the Revolution… call it Evolution

By Danny Devriendt (

The tweeps from made a great infographic on the use of Twitter during the Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni crises…

Hundreds of  posts have been written on how Social Media trigger these uproars and civic protests. I beg to defer. Twitter and Facebook do not revolutionize revolution. At all. They revolutionize our ability to witness civic protest and social change in real-time. They give protesters an n-tieth way of communication. They allow a CNN-like “always on” voyeurism on how other people battle for freedom of speech and different lives… But Twitter and tutti quanti are no Kalashnikov, no “I had a dream” verbal igniters, no revolution starters.

People start revolutions when provoked enough, Social media help broadcast the revolution outward, and campaign inward.  It’s a bit upsetting to see how fast many Social Media users have been claiming that their beloved Digital Channels allow for a better social world, and warp whole countries into a democratic and open era. Do not steal the thunder of the people now demonstrating for their future, do not rain on their parade: they are playing with their lives, affronting real tanks, real guns, real risk. It’s called a revolution. It’s a very dangerous business.

The fact that we can follow it through our Twitter feeds, is merely an evolution of information technology. Egypt proves that the powers that be can shut the system down in the blink of an eye. The Egyptian government pulled the plug on ISP providers, and within minutes the whole country faded back into a black pre-social media era… we’re upset because we lose our firsthand eyewitness seats to the show. But with Twitter and Facebook down, people are still in the streets. Risking their lives….

And you?


There is a fine line between ignorance and arrogance…

by Danny Devriendt

Everyone goes high on social networks these days. Twitter and Facebook –just to name the two obvious ones- propelled themselves to the absolute zenith of popular online services. Barack Obama used the dialogue and “tribe” possibilities of social media to fuel his –winning- campaign.

Most Belgian politicians are following slowly however… they discovered social media just in time for the last elections. Bizarrely (or predictably?) a lot dropped their engagement again just after being elected… with the new elections a two weeks off, they started to target their online friends and followers again. Not very respectful, and frankly lots of orphaned followers do not take this treatment kindly.

Twitter behavior is also bizarre. Some Belgian politicians have gathered a couple of thousand followers, but do not take the courtesy to follow back. That is about as polite  as giving somebody a business card, but coldly refusing the card that is offered back… it is rude, and arrogant.

I know it is not about numbers, and I do understand you cannot interact with everybody. Star profiles like Bill Gates, or miss Spears cannot possibly even follow back their countless followers. But a Belgian politician? Should follow at least the people who are interested in him/her. Out of courtesy, for one, but also out of curiosity.

How can a politician who is not listening represent me adequately? Ignorance, or arrogance… I do not care. I will not give my vote to someone who is not even interested in following me back.

And you?

find the Belgian politicians on

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RADIO INTERVIEW: Danny Devriendt on Politicians and Social Media

Our one and only Danny Devriendt talking about Belgian politicians and their social media behavior on Studio Brussel! To listen, click on the image below (Dutch only, sorry guys!)


Brands and social networks

Brands don’t properly take into account the influence of social networks like Twitter and Facebook to open up a dialogue with consumers. They need to be more present and control what is happening there in order to avoid difficult situations. Some groups or communities appear on the web around a certain brand without the consent of this brand, and not always for the sake of this brand. Besides, the effect of a tweet, especially negative messages, is exponential even if short in time. On social networks, the consumer approaches the brand, not the other way round, while companies are unilateral in their way of communicating. Finally, brands needs to understand that a ‘human’ message will have more impact than a commercial one. Community Managers are key to more and more companies.

Danny Devriendt, Intelligent Dialogue Director at PN, has just created a social media lab called @PNBR5. As a former journalist, he now has more reach on Twitter than the audience he had when he worked for a daily newspaper. For him, social media is essential to any communications strategy. “There’s an ambiguous approach around the phenomenon, and not only around Twitter. Web-users expect brands to be present on these networks to discuss and criticize. Brands think it’s only a new advertising channel. On the +/- 200 existing digital networks, there are a few stars, but also some targeted and more confidential networks,  that are more efficient depending on the product or brand. What many brands don’t understand, is how you can and must communicate on these networks. Until now, their message was one-way through advertising and would either convince the consumer or not. With digital interaction, dialogue is key, also when you get criticized or attacked. For example: an overweight person was denied single tariff by a US airline company. The company was then hit by boycott calls on the social networks. Brands still need to be educated about this new way of communicating to their consumers.”

Posted by Kathy Van Looy


STUDY: Does Social Media Drive Sales?

by Marta Majewska (originaly posted here).

Still in doubt that social media drives sales?

A recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies confirms that both Twitter and Facebook are effective marketing tools. The data collected from over 1,500 customers in United States shows that people are more likely to purchase products and services from brands that they follow on Facebook (51%) and Twitter (67%). Also, 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan or follower.

Twitter clearly seems to be more effective however I would be careful with assuming that since in my opinion a lot has to do with the type of product and industry we are talking about. One thing is sure, successful online presence will help your company make money ;)


STATS: Facebook still the most engaging social network

According to Pingdom’s statistics, Facebook is the most engaging social network with an average of 661.8 page views per user per month. Statistics are a bit unfair to Twitter though since most of Twitter users rely on third party clients and don’t spend too much time on the site itself.

originally posted on


Marta's Weekly Twip

How to use Twitter to your advantage (or Marta’s Weekly Twip with humor;) )


NEWS: Twitter is Top Word of 2009

Twitter is the Top Word of 2009 according to the Global Language Monitor’s annual global survey of the English language. Of the 1.58 billion English speakers in the world, it looks like Twitter is the most used word of this year surpassing even Obama and the H1N1!

Below the top 10 words of 2009:

#1 Twitter — The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters

#2 Obama — The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare

#3 H1N1 — The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu

#4  Stimulus — The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy

#5 Vampire — Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love

#6 2.0 — The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything

#7  Deficit — Lessons from history are dire warnings here

#8  Hadron — Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider

#9  Healthcare — The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US

#10 Transparency — Elusive goal for which many 21st c. governments are striving