The Right Way to Build Brand(s) via Twitter

David Sonn
David Sonn President

Branding on TwitterThe problem as I see it.

Too often I see a company Twitter account pushing out news, links, and general remarks in a first person tense. I never know who at the company is behind these faceless communications and therefore rarely engage with them. Tweets without context carry little weight.

Conversely, the people I do know within a company often have no Twitter presence or when they do tweet, it seems to lack any business value. Instead, they post personal opinions that the company would rather not have tied to their image (see: politics, religion, or poor attempts at humor).

Here’s the better way.

The pillars and greatest assets of every company are its key leaders. They have company knowledge, industry expertise, passion, and connections.

Each top-level executive should have his or her own company Twitter account to post information that is meaningful to the company’s customers – Guidance, industry news, and tips. Twitter is the perfect tool for creating a personal brand, positioning someone as an industry expert and a credible resource.

Quick tips for an executive Twitter account:

  • The account should be your name. If not available, use your name plus a reference to the company, i.e. JohnDoe_AwesomeCompany.
  • We connect with faces, so add your actual photo to the profile. Not a logo or an image and please not just a tight crop of your eyeball.
  • Keep your content business related with advice and tips. Thoughtful opinions will position you as an expert.
  • Simply copying and pasting a link doesn’t make you an expert. Always include your viewpoint and how this info could be valuable (or a pitfall) to your audience.
  • An occasional (<15%), non business post can be used to give your audience a taste of your personality and likes but still make sure it is appropriate for customers.


Re-thinking the company Twitter account.

Once you have your key employees tweeting, you should use the main company account (the one with your logo and company name) as the Official Communications Department.

  • Tweets should be company news, updates, announcements, and open positions, appropriately communicated in third person.
  • Avoid advice, humor, or personal statements.
  • Put one person in charge to create a consistent, singular voice.


Make it co-exist.

With all this in place, the company can leverage what we call the “Hub & Spoke” method.

When employees post meaningful items, the manager of the corporate account should re-tweet them. This provides context to the first-person posts of the staff and allows the company to be viewed more personally as a team of experts. It also exposes followers to experts they have yet to meet. Developing your staff’s individual brands ultimately strengthens the company brand.

With all feeds interconnected, you’re left with a powerful ecosystem of advice and information that pegs you as a leader in your industry. Try it. Your followers will appreciate meaningful content with context.