November 2013
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Build your Brand with Twitter- Part 1

Use Twitter to build your personal brand in Building Automation

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor


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During the last few weeks of October I received many inquiries from companies looking for training on Twitter.  It was not so much that they required training on how to post or reply to tweets; it was more that they all had Twitter pages that were pretty stagnant.  Sure they were making posts, but the pages were not really doing much to increase their brand awareness or increase their client base.  So we started back with the basics.

What is Twitter, and what is it supposed to do for your business?

Twitter is a micro blogging social media tool that evolved out the texting phenomenon associated with smartphones.  It is the easiest of the social media platforms to use, and very fast moving.  It is not meant to be the historical chronicle of your life, but more for in-the-moment conversations.  As with all social media platforms it really has two direct purposes: to engage people, and to drive traffic to a website or blog.  That is essentially what any company wants is to increase the amount of traffic to its website where the content should influence the viewer to make a buying decision. 

This is something that users of Twitter often forget.  They make the assumption that by simply getting more followers their odds of increasing sales improves.  Quantity does not always mean quality.  This article will provide some tips and examples as to how those in the building automation space can leverage their existing Twitter accounts to expand their client base.

The Four Types of Tweets explained

Part of any good sales training program is getting sales people to develop their “elevator speech”. For those that don’t know what the “elevator speech “ is it refers to a hypothetical situation where a sales person ends up in an elevator with the perfect customer and they have only the time between floors to explain what their business does in order to gain the opportunity to potentially close a sale.  It works for explaining products or services as well. Twitter is essentially no different.  Twitter is essentially writing effective copy in 140 characters or less.  That means that each tweet needs to be well thought out with an express purpose and action in mind.  That is ultimately what any copy we write is supposed to do.  Provide copy that is of value to the reader and execute an express mission.

To accomplish these tasks users can use the SITE formula (SITE stands for Share, Inform, Thank, and Engage).  I have talked with many social media gurus and they agree that Tweets need to have the right balance of information, thanks, and reciprocation to work in harmony with the flow of your Twitter site.  Let’s break down how this might work for someone who wants to build their brand in the building automation space:

Share - Everyone loves to share and be engaged when using Twitter.  How do we use this to build our brand?  Firstly we search for topics that relate to our brand and the flavor that we want to have in our Twitter stream.  If we are in the building automation space then we would search for “green buildings”, “building automation”, “BACnet” etc.  These are Twitter streams that relate to a building automation company, and we want to follow the parent company of the Tweets.  Then if we Retweet we can reference the parent site and share what we think is useful information to help build community.

Inform - As a company we want to share our knowledge with our followers so that we can build ourselves as an expert in the building automation space and that our website is a source for useful information.  An example of how this is done is by using Tweets to draw followers to your latest blog post, or latest article.  For www.automatedbuildings.com the editor would use Twitter to promote different articles submitted by contributing authors and draw people back to www.automatedbuildings.com. This increases traffic to the editor’s website which is what he wants, and promotes his article contributors as experts in their field.  The one thing to remember about this type of tweet is that in this case the tweet is not about the magazine editor.  It is about spreading good content to his Twitter followers. 

Thank - As mom always taught us…be thankful.  This is often harder said than done as it involves some time and dedication.  When someone retweets something that you have tweeted, the proper thing to do is thank them on Twitter. This builds your personal brand as being human and appreciative of those who read your tweets.  In a world of automated responses a personal “thank-you” is an extremely powerful thing which will build your personal brand.  I know that I am not always as diligent about it as I should be, but I always feel that even late is better than not thanking someone at all.

Control Solutions, Inc Engage - Engaging on Twitter means more than just following someone on Twitter.  It means actually interacting with them.  This can be done by asking questions, seeking advice, or joining in discussions.  For someone in the building automation space the use of creating a Twitter poll could be a very great tool for not only engaging an audience, but gaining some valuable data.  Perhaps creating a poll to determine which is the most popular protocol used for data exchange would not only stir some conversation, but provide some insight into the technology trends of the industry. 

A Twitter user can also engage the audience by looking at what the current trending topics are for the building automation industry right now.  This is done by using the Twitter search tools to search the # (hashtags) that are pertinent to your company. You will find this on Twitter by clicking the #Discover feature.

This article is the first in a series of articles that will hopefully provide readers with the knowledge to tweak their Tweets and start building their personal brands.  It takes a little work to get into a rhythm using the SITE formula, but it is worth it to start getting Twitter working again to drive customers to your website. 

Next month’s article will explore how to build more followers on your Twitter site.  Until then happy Tweeting! You can follow me @emandrusiak and at @sectormanny.

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