Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of anything having to do with automation when it comes to social media. It’s a matter of principle. To me, social media means being real. That means being there, in the moment, participating, engaging, learning, sharing – you know the drill. And, in my book, real and automation are, without question, oxymorons.
But branding, well, that’s a whole different ballgame. I’m a huge advocate of brand identity and being strategic when it comes to all things relative to your brand. And I also know that establishing brand identity takes resources, commitment and know-how. This is a message I preach to my clients on a daily basis, and no one needs to try twice to get my attention when it comes to a smart move relative to branding.
So, when a good friend recently introduced me to TweetBrand, a tool developed by the folks at @marketmetweets. I gave him the courtesy of listening. Then, when I did a little homework and saw that my friend @wchingya was also experimenting with and writing about TweetBrand, it further solidified the thought that it was, most definitely something that I wanted to know more about. And, as a final step, I went to some of my SEO friends and spent some time examining the TweetBrand app and its potential, with them. The verdict – TweetBrand is definitely worth exploring. Here’s an example from my Twitter stream of what the branded tweet looks like. Note that instead of saying “from web” or “from Tweetdeck” it has my url.
So now that I’ve done some of the legwork, here’s the skinny. TweetBrand is a free mini app that allows you to brand your tweets with your own name, a company name, a url or even a special message, depending on the situation. The cool thing about that is that instead of tweeting from Hootsuite or TweetDeck or Seesmic, etc. and having their respective links show up, what appears instead is your link. And in today’s day and age, it’s all about the links, baby. Or at least, that’s what my smarter-than-me SEO friends seem to think.
In a nutshell, some of the benefits to TweetBrand are:
– Establishing backlinks as a result of your interaction on Twitter
– Ability to establish brand awareness with each interaction
– Ability to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a classy manner
– Potential for increased traffic to your website
– Ability to identify special promotions or events via a specific message
I’m sure there are more potential benefits, these are just the ones that happen to come to mind right away.
TweetBrand is a first step in a larger application that is still in the development process. The as yet unnamed app, scheduled for launch in late January, will have the ability to schedule multiple tweets, organize groups, brand tweets from multiple users and brands as well as functionality like link shortening and other management tools, which we’ve all come to expect in any app. The folks at MarketMeTweets are excited about the app’s abilities to follow and track keyword (or key phrase) performance as well as utilize the app to auto respond. Personally, I’m on the fence about the auto-responder business – but I already admitted to being a snotty purist, so don’t hate me on that front. However, I’m not so naïve as to think there are not many others out there, major brands included, who think this will be a stellar feature of the application. And, who knows, I might even change my mind about it once I see the app in action. I can see a lot of upside, especially if used ethically, and it might even give entrenched apps like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, etc., a run for their money.
For the record, this new app will come with a monthly price tag that will probably start at about $15 for a personal account, with the price going up for more sophisticated professional accounts. Definitely not a huge investment if it turns out to be a bona fide traffic driver. But, as we all know, getting people interested in paying for anything is often a challenge, so the jury is out on that one.
Bottom line, I think, as a first step, TweetBrand is definitely worth checking out. As we know, both Google and Bing are in the process of rolling out Twitter integration, so the number of sites who aggregate the content is likely to go through the roof. I don’t know how many of those will include links, but to my way of thinking, if you have the opportunity to use your own, branded link when it comes to your engagement on Twitter, doesn’t it only make sense to do that, rather than promoting someone else’s link?
If you’re interested, sign up here to get a free download file. Watch the video tutorial that takes you through the set up (and even I managed it in record time), and then test it out. I will warn you in advance – it is still in beta format, so it’s a tiny little mini app, not something all-inclusive (yet) like TweetDeck. So you download and keep it on your desktop, and use it that way. For me, I am still using TweetDeck, but using TweetBrand, too, and just switching back and forth. I’ll be very interested to see what the larger app looks like once it’s rolled out.
Love it? Hate it? Have an idea that would make it better? Bring it – as always, I would love to know your thoughts.