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Rumored Twitter Branded Profile Pages: A Good Fit for Your Small Business?

April 10, 2011
Marketing Magazine recently announced that, according to anonymous sources, Twitter plans to release branded profile pages with functionality similar to those found on Facebook. The new profiles would offer brands promotional opportunities and capabilities not currently found on Twitter, which still limits brands to the basic user-lever profile information showing information on followers, connections and similar individuals/companies to follow.

The current profile and information for @nytimesbusiness on Twitter

Additional functionality is great, but would such a profile be a good fit for your small business? A couple of points to consider:
  • Twitter is considered to be very personal. The fact that Twitter has largely restricted brands to tweets in terms of the ways that they communicate with their followers has kept it a very personal platform – even more so that Facebook, in my opinion. This new functionality, if implemented, may shift the efforts of small businesses with their limited resources to managing their profiles rather than sending out actual tweets – what your Twitter followers have come to expect in following your brand.
  • Considering that Facebook is such a personal platform, it makes sense that many users currently choose to brand their company from their own perspective. For example, the Twitter account @copyblogger is clearly run by Brian Clark. The fact that the account is named @copyblogger but is under Brian’s personal account is his way of saying “this is me and this my brand”, which is a great way to utilize the platform in a personal, likable and approachable manner that promotes socialization. The @nytimesbusiness account, on the other hand, is an example of branding without as much of a personal element. The writers of the various tweets produced by the account are unknown and you will likely not find any retweets, tweets giving thanks or personal banter coming from accounts such as this, which are likely the accounts that the new profiles would cater to more.
Whether or not this rumor holds any water is something for which we will have to wait and see. Twitter is a different animal than Facebook. As such, any branded profiles lending to additional functionality and marketing options would need to strive to maintain the sense of personality that twitter accounts currently have. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, keep in mind that people highly value the personal element and the opportunity to communicate that Twitter currently provides. Should you invest time in maintaining a detailed branded profile down the road, the key is to ensure that any such efforts do not detract from your ability to maintain that relationship and keep producing those tweets.
  1. I quite agree that twitter has a high degree of personal touch and it’s readily apparent when a twitter stream is being put out by a robot or just blasting random notes.

    I’m curious to see what the new features might add but I personally would approach their use very catiously.

    • I agree Chris. I think that you should hold on to maintaining that personal touch that social business branding provides for as long as possible. Thanks for the comment!

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