Quick: Name a company on Twitter that you admire because of the way it promote its brand. What would you want to know about how it strategizes that could help your organize manage its online presence?

Best Practices from PR

According to the Twitter Best Practices poll conducted by iPressroom-CommPRO.biz, which pulled more than 250 responses -- the majority of whom were in PR (48.8%), marketing (23%) and corporate communications (21%) -- revealed some trends about how they use Twitter to promote their company’s brand.

Who’s on Twitter?

  • 85.5% of the survey respondents say their company uses Twitter

Whom Do they Follow on Twitter?

The top five brands, among the world’s most-followed Twitter accounts (excluding media) that were also followed by PR and marketers are:

  • Facebook (29.3%)
  • Zappos (28.6%)
  • Southwest Airlines (25%)
  • Starbucks (23.6%)
  • Whole Foods (22.9%)

Whom are they trying to attract?

The results of the Poll revealed 10 strategies that PR professionals employ when trying to engage their customers. Here are a few that shed light on the importance of having a plan, a purpose and a personality.

Have a Purpose
You sell widgets. But instead of talking about widgets, try connecting with how widgets make your customers feel. Think of Zappos -- they sell shoes and other clothing, but when they are on Twitter, they’re selling happiness, even if it has nothing to do with shoes.

Have a Personality
Successful brands use authentic language and their own experiences to connect and identify with their community and tie into universal needs. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Not only does it go against the transparency that social media promises us, chances are you’re not fooling anyone. You will build more credibility, trust and more meaningful relationships by being authentic than you will by faking it.

Have Something to Offer
Sharing is caring. Assert yourself as a source of valuable information and resources. By providing meaningful learning and educational opportunities, insights from experts, perspective, images and information, your followers will turn to you first and regard you as an authority.

What Works?

While these tips provide food for thought, what we really want to know is -- do they work? Yes and no. A majority of respondents say that companies should measure success on Twitter by the number of retweets (63.7%), followers (63.3%) and brand mentions (57.4%). Yet, when asked how their organizations currently measure success, they 'fessed up that it’s based primarily on the number of followers (65.4%).

Ultimately, Twitter success is an individual endeavor. Companies of all sizes are best served by reaching the followers that are the most relevant. In return, prospective customers are better served when they receive information that is meaningful. Whether you have100 followers or 1 million, a company should communicate the same way they would if it had one customer or 1,000.