As an increasing number of brands are using the social networking site Twitter to engage with their core consumers, brands need to choose whether their ideal approach to social media is broadcast or dialogue, according to PR agency Punch Communications.
A broadcast approach to Twitter is a one-way method of communication and generally seen to be the more traditional approach to brand statements. It refers to the way in which brands announce news and updates regarding the company. By not engaging in dialogue, brands can off-set the potential issues that may arise from consumer questions. Although brands might view this as being the best form of contact, the biggest benefit of social media is the unique opportunity to engage with supporters of the company.
A dialogue approach is more of an informal way of interacting with followers of a brand or business, a two-way method of communication. It is seen to be a more humanised method of conversing with potential consumers or clients. It can involve carrying out quick surveys, inviting discussions on the brand’s products or services, and asking questions and welcoming feedback is the key to successful engagement via Twitter. Encouraging conversation ensures the followers’ friends see the interest taken in the brand, which could result in the acquisition of more followers.
Philip Keightley, Account Director of online PR agency Punch Communications, commented; “Brands must have a clear strategy when using social media. Having an engagement plan will ensure that brands use a method of communication that reflects the personality of its products or services.
“A dialogue approach has a better fit with the ideal social media model of interaction but carries with it resourcing and management issues, compared to a broadcast model which minimises risk but ultimately is unlikely to generate the kind of interaction that the social media model promises. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses but what is clear is that whichever approach a brand embarks upon, it is essential that there is a clear strategy behind it.”
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