I’ve lately been involved in a number of conversations about the value proposition of Twitter as a publishing platform to anyone interested in developing a public persona for a company, an organization, or even one’s own career identity. What follows are ideas that have repeatedly surfaced during these conversations, as well as a handful of links I’ve been amassing from my reading, as well as links friends and colleagues have shared with me.
Throughout this post, for the purpose of simplicity, I will use the term brand to apply to all types of public personae, whether organization or personality.
I will also be speaking about a brand’s domain of interest, by which I intend to refer to the plurality of whatever industries and/or disciplinary fields that are relevant to the brand. I’ll use it in this singular form as a blanket concept, covering all topics of interest to the brand.
Finally, I’ll be using the term market to refer to any and all entities to whom a brand seeks (largely competitively) to offer a value proposition, and who interest — in whole or in part — in the brand’s domain of interest. In the case of a company, their market is naturally their customers, clients, etc. In the context of an organization, its market may be composed of the members it seeks to attract, or the community that it seeks to serve. Finally, a market for an individual’s own brand can consist of one’s prospective employers, clients, students, an educational institution, or grant or fellowship for which he or she may wish to apply.
Before I get into the any of the how, let’s invest a moment to get on the same page with respect to the why, since the means must be evaluated against whether or not they advance your efforts towards the desired ends.
This is material that’s been covered the world over around the Web, so I’ll keep this concise:
The goals are currency and reputability.
Currency here refers to the state of maintaining continuing familiarity with the ideas and topics relevant to the conversations presently taking place in the brand’s domain of interest. Currency helps a brand focus its efforts to remain relevant to its market, and is maintained by consuming incoming information.
Reputability refers to the brand’s reputation within the context of its market. Its measure exists only in the eyes of the brand’s prospective market, so it can only be built and developed with public action. On Twitter, this means publishing, or tweeting.
And so the value-proposition that participation in the Twittersphere offers a brand is that it can help the brand stay at the top of its game, and give the market a sense of the brand’s voice, relevance, and even competitive acumen.
But how can a brand engage with Twitter to realize these goals?