By Matt Fickenworth, Intern
Just a young, bright, intelligent, ambitious, driven, passionate, charismatic intern. You might’ve heard the phrase – it’s a part of the bio of our revamped Twitter account ran by “the intern,” who also happens to be the person writing this blog. Today, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what went into the rebrand of our Twitter account, and how it looks today.
I started writing content and managing our social platforms in the summer of 2019. Over time, I noticed something on our Twitter account – we had no engagement. And when I say no engagement, I mean absolutely none. We’d posted the same content on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for about a year, and there was significant growth on LinkedIn and Facebook (followers and engagement), but steps in the wrong direction on Twitter. The thought process was simple: we post more, we increase the following count, and then engagement will come with the increased followers. But we learned social media isn’t that simple. We were posting five days a week with varied content – marketing news, helpful tips, blogs, client news and more, but still having issues with Twitter growth. One of the problems was that we scheduled the posts in advance; in order to review the content of the posts, I was writing the posts several days in advance to make sure everything was in order. And for Facebook and LinkedIn, this wasn’t a problem. But for Twitter, it was.
By now, we know all social platforms have their differences, along with pros and cons. When we look at Twitter, we should see it as a real-time conversation with a limited character count that encourages quick interactions after tweets are sent. Information on Twitter is always here and now, important and relevant, and constantly changing: it’s the place for instant news. It’s a platform for businesses to quickly engage with users/consumers easily, and because the users tend to skew toward the younger side, companies must adapt their content. And that’s when the seeds were planted for a rebrand.
Time and time again, the companies that showed the greatest engagement on Twitter had accounts that were outside the box – while some had relatively lower follower counts than competitors, they still outperformed with engagement and interactions. In my research, I highlighted three companies (Denny’s, Moonpie and Wendy’s) that have had great success on Twitter to show the direction we would be heading toward. And there’s no way around it: these companies have successful social media because they are different. Instead of throwing advertisements and marketing content out, these accounts connected with their followers in very untraditional ways: by using character, wit and cleverness. And the stats back it up, especially with Denny’s, which is regarded as the original king of corporate Twitter. I also had to make it clear that we, as a small business, aren’t necessarily comparable to these global brands in terms of economics and resources, but the beauty of social media is that anyone can connect and converse and build a community. The hope was that we would be able to use that in our favor, as we build a platform that engages with followers and provides a laugh.
In researching B2B marketing, it’s easy to see that there is an ongoing struggle with engagement across all social platforms. But even a further disconnect on Twitter – with no product, it’s difficult to interact and relate with consumers in unique ways. I even researched a few examples of local agencies that have had major trouble with their engagement, similar to us (don’t worry, I won’t release any of the names. Although if you think it’s you, I’m here if you need a rebrand). This also factored into making the leap to change: When we looked at other agencies across Cincinnati and the bigger landscape of marketing and communication agencies across the country, it was very difficult to find an agency that has this character/persona – it’s typically just for B2C companies. But who said we should follow everyone else? Worse comes to worse, and we revert back to what we had been doing previously – the potential greatly outweighed the risks.
Social media provides an opportunity that allows brands to create personas and characters that people can feel connected to and interact with – thus, “the intern” was introduced to allow us to connect with users. Used as a signature to every tweet, “the intern” refers to not only who is running our account, but the type of persona we attempt to encapsulate: lost, but intelligent, charming, clever, creative and relatable. Our goal? Not simply to increase followers. We more so wanted to increase engagement and interactions, to get people looking at our profile and then our website, and to get different social communities talking about us. Our content was suddenly shifted from strictly marketing and communication to a mix of one-liners, having fun with other brands, topical comments on news items and a creative mix of wisecracks. Giving me the ability to post when I see opportune without having to run it by supervisors was something we adopted as well, which is turning into a great advantage – minimizing checkpoints and time, and it’s a great chance to capitalize on the news events (or whatever is trending on Twitter) of the day.
Check back here in two weeks to read Part Two: the results and data behind the rebrand and how it’s looking today. And of course, follow us on Twitter.