Monday, January 16, 2012

Yesterday's Tiser on Tweeting

Here's a little piece I wrote for the Australian Marketing Institute late last year.

I'm overshadowed by a big, beautiful photo of Prakky which is - I feel - how it should be.

And the piece I wrote was interesting enough although abridged in the paper. Here's the original: -

Tweeting so the boss stays happy too

On a training session I ran the other week I put up a picture of Donald Trump and asked what the catchphrase was. One of the newest ways to fall out of favour with your employer is through the misuse of your own social media. It may not end in “you’re fired”, but it can get uncomfortable.
We are all broadcasters now. Emma Rusciano tweeted how she didn’t wish to move her family to Adelaide and ended up in the local press. For a few days, Emma’s publicist and SAFM were playing “catch-up”.
There’s no such thing as a private tweet – even if you’re running your accounts anonymously. One keystroke can open the window and anything you’ve ever written is there for scrutiny.

It can be exhilarating but it can be risky. The trick is to enjoy the process while enhancing both your own personal brand and your employers. The first thing to do is get a hold of your employer’s social media policy. More and more employers have them now. Knowing the standing orders is your first step.

Consider the relationship between your personal brand and that of your employers. Are you a line extension, brand extension, or a co-brand?

In consumer goods marketing, Tic-Tac spearmint was a line extension. Employers such as Dell use this approach. Interested employees do a two day social media training course, use company endorsed avatars and operate according to strict guidelines. In “line extension” mode you still need to remain mindful of your private activities but at least a clear line is drawn.

When Virgin entered the air travel business in the 1980s they were doing a brand extension. If you’re writing a blog about cricket, gardening or politics and letting your audience know who you work for you’re acting – in some ways – as a brand extension.

Only some employers (and employees) are suited to the “co-brand” approach. Adelaide social media consultant Michelle Prak has done with Hughes PR – from where I watched. Michelle remained mindful of who her audience was, and her employer’s audience and stayed “on message”.

Congratulations on the recent launch of

Even if it’s just Facebook status updates, it’s important to remember that it says something about both you and your employer. Note to self.

Dr Cullen Habel is an Australian Marketing Institute state councillor and teaches Marketing at the University of Adelaide.

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