Twitter Taboos

If you’re thinking about being one of the masses who tweets and twits, think before you start your running commentary. Ad Age reminds us in a recent article that not every moment of your daily life should be broadcast into space, particularly when dealing with confidential information. The article also discusses what they see as a mistake by most advertising agencies who have Twitter accounts but aren’t making use of them.

“Asked what gives, a Euro spokeswoman said: ‘We’re developing our Twitter strategy and in the meantime want to hold onto the name. It’s a Catch-22: You don’t want your Twitter handle stolen, but you also don’t want to start using it before you’re really ready.’ Whatever the case may be, save for a few shining examples of shops that “get it,” agencies need to catch up with their clients — and fast.” – Ad Age

The story then goes on to remind us about the secrecy of proprietary information concerning clients. Apparently the interns at Grey New York are being a little too outspoken with their campaign information and their early morning “thinking about tequila.” See the Grey New York interns Twitter feed here.

So what do you think? Is there an obligation by large companies to tweet if only to prove they can keep up with the trends? And, if that’s the case, is every trend necessarily appropriate? What if there’s nothing juicy to tweet about?

If you just can’t help yourself, here is some advice from Ad Age on maintaining your credibility and keeping people interested…

Don’t over-promote. Of course you want to use Twitter to build your agency’s brand, but don’t hit people over the head with a litany of press releases.

Be human. Attach a personality — a name, a photo — to your Twitter feed and balance promoting your brand with some personal updates so followers can get a sense of your company culture.

Remember, Twitter is public! A client probably won’t appreciate your tweeting “Ouch, got a nasty hangover” when you’re late to the meeting.

Keep clients looped. Be sure to share your agency’s Twitter strategy with your clients. Get permission if you want to mention one by name, and don’t forget that a lot of your work is proprietary. Don’t let a careless misstep to cost you the relationship.

Listen. Know what people are saying about you on Twitter. Use or an application such as TweetDeck to monitor the chatter.

Respond. The point of being on Twitter is to engage with people who know your agency, as well as those who don’t and want to learn more about you. If followers comment on your feed or send you direct messages, get back to them promptly. Remember, it’s a conversation.

Keep expectations in check. A Twitter strategy does not make your agency “social.” Try out tools internally to share knowledge, exchange ideas and — best yet — encourage learning that you can pass along to clients.

Identify impersonators. Accounts purporting to be someone or something they’re not violate Twitter’s terms of service. So if someone’s got their paws on yours, let Twitter know.

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