Whether a multibillion-dollar corporation or a local plumbing business, your brand looks woefully behind the times if you don't have a presence on social media, including Twitter.

Companies have hired armies of smart, hip, Web-savvy people to usher their brands into a new era of perpetual connectedness that allows them to reach their customers in new and interesting ways.

So why do brand tweets look like this?

That is no way to meaningfully communicate with people: It's smarmy, pointless, and ultimately devoid of any actual messaging. Why? Because we are focused on the tool and not the content. If you're thinking only about how to market with a computer, you're going to sound like one.

Luckily, it is possible to be better. I've constructed a few simple mantras for social media managers, and keeping these in mind will allow you to talk to people in a way that might actually result in their caring about what you say.

Repeat these to yourself the next time you're ready to tweet.

1. Every tweet is an advertisement

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Ed Morgan is a senior copywriter at Scout, a full-service advertising agency specializing in consumer/B2B and healthcare.

LinkedIn: Ed Morgan