With more than 300 million user accounts, Twitter has become an important network for companies to leverage in their communication plans.
Below are nine brands that have found success on Twitter along with takeaway lessons on what they do right and how you can emulate their success.
JetBlue has no fewer than 14 people tweeting for its account, assisting customers, apologizing when they make mistakes, sharing specials and interacting with others on Twitter. With more than 1.6 million followers, this is no small task. But JetBlue still manages to showcase the humans and personalities behind their account using Twitter lists.
Lessons: Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry.” Showcase the people and personalities behind your brand.
With more than 1.5 million followers and a global brand, Starbucks could tweet all day about nothing but their own products. But instead, they have fun with their followers, tweeting things such as “This weekend is supposed to be amazing, enjoy!” and “We like the color blue (pic).” They also host polls and contests and share lots of pictures and videos.
Lessons: Bring your brand’s personality to life with multimedia. Have fun with your followers.
Vevo uses Twitter to not only engage with its own fans but the fans of its featured musicians and the celebrities themselves. A recent look at their Twitter stream shows them talking to Aziz Ansari andRihanna.
Lesson: Authentically engage with celebrities. With much larger followings than most brands, celebrities can easily influence your brand and follower count on Twitter.
Charlotte Russe often sends a direct message to new followers with an exclusive, valuable offer. The brand then follows up with prizes, giveaways and deals for all of its followers on a regular basis.
Lesson: Everyone loves a good deal. Use contests and offers to drive excitement about your brand.
The luxury retailer tweets about topics including New York, fashion, style and more. They do an excellent job tweeting about the kind of things their followers would be interested in, rather than only sharing about the brand.
Lesson: Twitter’s not about you, it’s about your audience. Figure out what your audience wants to hear about and tweet it.
For a global brand, Taco Bell does a remarkable job not taking themselves too seriously on Twitter. They recently asked their followers to help get them into Twitter’s “Trending Topics” with great success. They also embraced the bad tweets with the good, tweeting; “It’s all real here! Don’t filter out the bad stuff” and linking to a fan who wrote: “Picture looks great but your food still sucks.”
Lessons: Don’t take yourself too seriously on Twitter. Accelerate the positive comments and embrace the negative ones.
Delta’s “Assist” account notes that “We’re listening around the clock, 7 days a week.” They don’t just listen, they respond to customer questions and complaints, whenever and wherever they are made.
Lesson: If your customers use your product or service outside of business hours, figure out a way to be responsive on Twitter whenever they need help.
Dunkin’ Donuts twitter stream looks like the best digital carnival ever: Non-stop trivia, prizes and fun.
Lesson: Not every brand can be quite as much fun on Twitter as Dunkin’ Donuts, but we can all learn to lighten up a little, ask questions and give away free stuff.
Cisco shows how well business-to-business brands can do on Twitter. They ask and answer questions in addition to participating in and hosting Twitter chats around relevant hashtags.
Lesson: Find Twitter chats to join by using hashtags. Consider starting and hosting your own Twitter chats on a regular basis.
These nine brands all demonstrate worthwhile lessons in Twitter marketing and engagement. What are your favorite brands doing on Twitter? And what other lessons have you learned? Let us know in the comments below.
This blog post was originally published on Mashable on June 9, 2011.