What’s your Twitter strategy?

The types of tweets you publish define your Twitter Channel. Your channel can be for company news, customer support, sales promotions or anything else.  Whatever it is, the channel must be consistent with your overall business objective. Companies with limited manpower tend to choose a single channel whereas larger companies have multiple channels. For example, Salesforce has at least 9 different official channels on Twitter.

Twitter Strategy #1: Universal Branding

Most businesses use a universal branding approach on Twitter. The universal branding strategy is a direct extension of the company’s overall branding. It’s not a strategy developed exclusively for Twitter.  So if the company appears as fun and green in other mediums, then it appears the same on Twitter as well.  @Bestbuy and @Google have good universal branding channels. They tweet about products, company, industry, jobs, environment, etc.

  • Pros: This channel strategy is good if you want to have one central corporate Twitter account. It’s easy to manage and requires medium level of operational effort.
  • Cons: This channel is the jack of all trades but master of none.

Twitter Strategy #2: Thought Leadership

This channel strategy is extremely effective if you are a small, agile company with an industry pundit as part of your team. You can have your pundit blog and gain more currency in the social space. By adding a thought leadership Twitter channel, you further extend your guru’s persona. Some examples of Twitter thought leaders are @Zappos and @Pistachio.

  • Pros: You set yourself as a trend setter. When you tweet people listen to you. You Twitter presence adds value to your brand image.
  • Cons: Requires immense effort and a well maintained blog. You need commitment from the guru towards this project (easier said than done.)

Twitter Strategy #3: Demand Generation

Creating a specific channel for demand generation can be a good idea, especially if you’re in the B2C domain. If most of your tweets link back to your website, then you are building your demand channel. Sometimes these incoming links can to be informational tidbits (such as @BBCNews) or freebies/coupons (@DellOutlet.) Notice how these channels distinguish themselves from the main brand by adding a suffix of –News and –Outlet.

  • Pros: Can be easily automated and managed by marketing team or even farmed out to agency. Builds up large follower-base.
  • Cons: Creates non-sustainable social traffic. Once the freebies/promotions are gone, then so is your social network. Care must be taken in how you tweet or you risk being labeled a spam channel.

Twitter Strategy #4: Customer Support

Twitter has proven to be a practical tool in providing customer service and support. Factors that make Twitter successful as a customer support channel include: low cost of communication, ease of use, ubiquitous presence, and a large community base.  Some great support channels include @Firefox and @SouthWestAir. Alongside their corporate accounts, the CSRs work with individual twitter accounts. This way,  “personal support” is provided rather than from a single corporate account.

  • Pros: One of the best ways to build up positive brand on social media.
  • Cons: It’s labor- intensive. Requires a lot of training and team collaboration. Use of Twitter specific collaborative tools is a must.

These are just four of the basic types of channels. You can always have more than one channel, depending on your market, business and man power. If you don’t have a clear cut channel now, it’s about time you sit down and figure out what will give you best bang for your buck. Use the wizard above to get tips on what to do with your selected channel.

Trackback from your site.

Zaki Usman

Hello, I'm the founder and CEO at ShoutEx. I like to blog about marketing, mobile and web topics. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Bela Patkai


    This is really useful and makes me rething my Twitter strategy! You said in one of your earlier blog posts that marketing should be a science, not an art. I can see you getting there! Thanks for the nifty tool.

    cheers, @belapatkai


  • Avatar



    These days Twitter is gone. Most of the action is on Facebook. Look at how many ads reference facebook fan pages at the end of the commerical. Twitter is finished!


  • Avatar

    Maria Cruz


    I’m thinking of getting into the twittersphere too. I’m a small accountant and a few of my clients are using it. I think it can help me, not get more business but at least connect with some of my existing clients.


  • Avatar



    I use twitter for thought leadership. That’s what makes sense for most individuals. As a business you can do good customer support/service with it too. You can get the entire twitter network to respond to questions in real time. Very useful.


Leave a comment

Get in touch