As Twitter prepares for its hotly-anticipated initial public offering next month, FairWinds Partners took a look at how the world’s biggest brands use the popular social media platform to build communities and communicate with their fan bases.
The FairWinds study found widespread use of Twitter among the top 100 global brand-named companies: 82 percent own their eponymous Twitter handles; 15 percent don’t own an eponymous handle but do use variations or another username altogether; and 66 percent tweet daily to twice weekly. Only one brand in the top 100 – the luxury clothier Hermés – has no presence at all on Twitter.
Some of the 82 brands with eponymous handles draw more followers on handles specifically tailored to customers rather than the company’s trademarked name, focusing instead on regional markets or more tailored communications, the FairWinds study found.
“This survey confirms that the smartest companies know social media is global, cost-free, immediate, and effective,” said FairWinds Managing Partners Josh Bourne and Phil Lodico. “A creative social media strategy that includes an imaginative portfolio of Twitter handles can strengthen an existing digital strategy or launch a new, innovative one, just as the right portfolio of domain names in the right extensions can. Brands have adapted exceptionally well to the seven-year-old micro-blog.”
Twitter’s planned IPO has set off a media frenzy and speculation about its monetary worth. How successfully has Twitter translated its massive information and communication capabilities into a business model that generates revenue? Its market value has been estimated by some at $16 billion, although news reports that the company lost $69 million in the first half of 2013 could dampen some enthusiasm.
Brands that jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and experimented with the platform early on will benefit from the intuitive, consistent branding in their prime online real estate. Other brands may need to be more creative if intuitive handles have been taken. And still others will develop new naming conventions entirely.
No matter when a brand adapted to Twitter, its vision about which handles, domain names, and extensions to use as platforms for creative outreach – and how they all tie together – will create a foundation for a solid digital strategy that can grow and adapt as the Internet and business goals change.