Where are you on Twitter?
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Twitter users now send more than 140 million tweets a day. With more than 20% of the tweets being related to products and/or brands, this means that every day 28 million tweets potentially concern your brand or company. The microblogging sphere has undeniably become a worthwhile place for listening to customers and potentially influencing perceptions, attitudes and behaviours by engaging into their conversations.
The relevant question has therefore moved from if marketers should get involved to how they should deal with it. Not only Twitter, but social media in general poses novel challenges to brand building and management. Basically it comes down to the fact that control is handed over to consumers. The times in which the firm controls what the brand stands for are gone. Consumers own the brand. Having lost control, today's competition necessitates that brands learn to respond more quickly. It would make sense that marketers keep their own fingers on the pulse of a dynamic and vast media space like Twitter, and follow sound marketing advice: listen, listen, listen! Doing so enables marketers to learn first-hand about what customers are saying about brands and competitors. Yet is there something else that can be done? If so, what should be done?
What are CMOs of the leading brands doing? As Twitter recently celebrated its fifth birthday, have they joined in the celebrations? Are they even on Twitter? If so, how often do they tweet? And what do they tweet? We systematically examined CMO's Twitter presence of Interbrand's 25 most valuable global brands. Of the top 25, 17 brands have assigned a CMO. Only half of them have a clearly identifiable Twitter account (see Table).
Very different Twitter styles
It seems that the nine top brand CMOs active on Twitter have not found one single right answer. They have very different tweeting styles. On one extreme of the spectrum are Joseph Tripodi of Coca-Cola, Lorraine Twohill of Google, Jerri DeVard of Nokia and Marc Pritchard of P&G.
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