Tracking Brands on Twitter to Improve How You Listen and Engage

Recently, I reviewed Twibs, a directory that lists all brands and businesses currently using Twitter.

Electric Artists released Tracking Twitter, a new app that is a real-time listing of the top brands, media, television, entertainment, and celebrities that the team is currently following on Twitter.

While this service offers appeal as a directory for consumers seeking their favorite brands and personalities on Twitter, it’s much more promising as a real-time monitor of how businesses, media properties, and celebrities are using Twitter – for better or for worse.

The directory includes notes next to each account, although I’d suggest that it’s far more effective to simply click through and view their update history on Twitter to get an idea of how they’re interacting with the public and also identify helpful patterns. Also open up an additional window and run each account through TwitterFriends to get an overview of how they score according to their tweeting behavior.

For example, @comcastcares is listed as a recommended brand, so let’s take a look at the work of Frank Eliason and team on Twitter (A long overdue hello goes out to you Frank!)

As you can see, @comcastcares is the definitive example of how to participate on Twitter. He’s active, engaging, helpful, and resilient. The stats on TwitterFriends echo this sentiment based on an analysis of the collective tweets and @’s.

Perhaps most notably, @comcast cares boasts high marks for the metrics that count for service-minded brands, strong @ replies, high Twitter Rank, an engaging conversation quotient (CQ), and a supportive community. The only opportunity for improvement is the bridging of the gap between incoming tweets and outgoing responses.

Using Tracking Twitter or Twibs as a looking glass into the brand adoption of and practice on Twitter can only help you garner intelligence, ideas, and effective engagement strategies.

The rest is up to you.

Will this help you or do we need a service that integrates a brand directory with TwitterFriends functionality?

Related Posts on PR 2.0:

- Comcast Cares and Why Your Business Should too
- Facebook Swims Its Way into Your Lifestream: What the Facebook news means to you
- Top Trends and Apps: How Do People Use Twitter?
- The Ties that Bind Us - Visualizing Relationships on Twitter and Social Networks
- Make Tweet Love – Top Tips for Building Twitter Relationships
- The Battle for Your Social Status
- How Dell Deals with Twitter
- Need a Dictionary for Twitter?
- Introducing MicroPR, A Resource for Journalists, Analysts, & Bloggers on Twitter
- Twitter Tools for Communication and Community Professionals
- Is Twitter a Viable Conversation Platform
- Is FriendFeed the Next Conversation Platform
- State of the Twittersphere

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  • DaveZatz

    Actually, I find many brands participating on Twitter to be intrusive – inserting themselves into conversations where they’re not welcome. Frank’s team provides another excellent example of butting in: http://twitter.com/davezatz/statuses/1230836926

  • ComcastCares

    Brian,
    As always excellent post. The tool is also very interesting. I have been reviewing it to see how we can continue to learn to improve how we reach out to our Customers. This is such a new space for businesses and the added tools will always help.

    Dave,
    Thank you for the feedback regarding your conversation with Bill. I always appreciate feedback, that is the best way to learn how to interact in this space. I reviewed the full interaction. It started with this original tweet: “@DaveEckert Excellent point. My broadband provider Comcast isn’t even capable of providing me stats on my usage against *their* data cap.” Bill should have first clarified that we are working on a bandwidth meter to track usage as you suggest. He then could have offered to see if we had information that could have provided additional clarity for you. I apologize that the flow was not as we normally strive for. I will share the feedback with Bill. Here is a link to the rest of the conversation:

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=davezatz+ComcastBill

    Thanks,
    Frank Eliason
    @ComcastCares

  • LDNDALLAS

    That’s a great way for businesses to connect and engage customers. Especially, those customers who are tech savy. It is also way for Comcast and maybe other companies who are involved with Twitter to express ideas in a new way.

  • Dan

    Great post, thanks Brian. I like how TrackingTwitter provides a little subjective review of each brand’s Twitter activity too – nice contrast to most Twitter analytics tools, which are purely driven by data and don’t seem to have a human touch!

    It’s fascinating to see how brands are adopting Twitter, and finally realising that customer engagement and dialogue are the the route to greater commercial visibility.

  • Brian Solis

    Dave, interesting. I think tho that if you can receive help, answers, or solutions to problems, then that is the standard for participation…otherwise, it may just be the same old marketing. In every meeting I attend, I have to start by convincing most teams that Twitter is not a broadcast tool.

    @comcastcares, thank you for always doing the right thing and for teaching others to do so as well.

    LDNDALLAS, indeed!

    Dan, great points. It’ll only get more interesting!

  • Phill Barufkin

    I leaned something new; I was not aware that such a tool existed. However, I want to elaborate on the brand conversation. From where I view the virtual world, there is an ongoing debate about brands using Twitters. While this could be a lengthy topic, I will boil it down to two general, effective uses of Twitter for brands. First, I think all brands can use Twitter to engage consumers. However, not all brands are suited to have an ongoing dialogue with consumers. In this case, Twitter could be used, as an example, for fun promotions and contests. For brands, such as lifestyle brands, where consumers are highly involved with the product or service, than this is a great resource for staying in touch. Regardless of the type of brand, companies will only earn the consumer’s approval, if they treat the end-user with respect.

    This is truly leading edge communication and a new frontier for businesses. I enjoyed the perspective and look forward to reading more about this topic.

    Phill Barufkin
    http://twitter.com/PhillBarufkin

  • Josh Damis

    Very good post! I’ve noticed a growing number of businesses in the last few weeks who’re using Twitter solely for publicity purposes. I wish more companies would realize why they should be on there rather than just using it to have a presence.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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