Twitter profiles: what brands can learn from celebs like Khloe Kardashian

I better get the disclaimer out of the way first. I have no idea how I came across this. I checked into my personal computer around 11 yesterday morning to find this page staring me down on my browser:

If you must, check out this brazen masterpiece for yourself.

It could be I inadvertently clicked on some banner ad, or maybe in a semi-conscious flurry of activity, serendipitous surfing delivered me here, but for the sake of posterity, I’d like to blame my wife.

I actually had no idea who Khloe Kardashian was (honestly) and still only vaguely know: I understand she’s married to a renowned baller and comes with a pedigree only achievable from having a glamour model sister. The fact that she has a million and a half followers on Twitter makes me believe I live in a media-starved pit and need to get out more.

But that’s not why I’m writing. What caught my attention is how she deals with her fawning Twitterati. The esteemed Global Grind online gossip-mart hold her up as a paragon of tweeting. And this is where I realize I need to get off my lofty (read snobby) high horse and pay this article some attention. The report is crude and to the point, but I believe their analysis is fundamentally sound and bears some relation to the not-so-steamy world of big B2B business.

Let’s run through their criteria point-by-point, and draw comparisons with the B2B world:

Khloe responds to her fans. Do we, as B2B marketers monitor our Twitter @profiles and associated #hashtags for relevant queries and mentions with the same veracity? Or are we just seeing Twitter as another marketing broadcast channel?

Khloe sends pictures. Twitter is much more than a 140-character medium thanks to the humble ‘link’ which can grace any Tweet: a Twitter account is a showcase for your noteworthy content,  whether it be articles, audio, video or pictures (you may want to favor descriptive product screenshots over floss-bikini pool scenes).

Khloe chats with her family. Do you have an open conversation with your ecosystem, eg. suppliers, or even better, business partners? Show some of this intimacy on Twitter. You’ll display a strength that goes beyond your company walls, and also build the reputation of those nearest to you.

Khloe allows the world into her amazing life. This is pretty wide generalization, but there are a couple of takeaways here. Look over your Twitter channel and see if it gives a good representation of your brand: your personality, thoughts, aspirations and beliefs. Does the rich fabric of the life of your firm come across? Or do you appear as little more than a stream of press releases and marketing brochures?

Now I bring this up in light of a recent report by Wildfire, a UK PR agency, claiming that many companies are not as clued up as Khloe when it comes to Twitter:

“… only 3% of the tweets in the study were retweets and just 12% were replies. Shockingly, 43% of brands with a Twitter account had never replied to a tweet.”

The study they are referring to, believe it or not, consists of a sample of the fastest growing UK tech companies.

It looks like we as marketers have some way to go to really understand the rules of engagement on these emerging channels. The most clued-up celebs have realized that they need to break down the walls of PR agents and marketing hype and talk directly to their followers. How long will it take for us in the B2B tech industry to follow suit?

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