What do you think about someone tweeting on your behalf? For example someone tweeting with me @_Sians and then it’s not me answering, it’s someone I’ve employed to keep the chat going. For me Twitter is all about the personality with some business mixed in now and then – if you are promoting a business. I appreciate that with big corporates like Eircom, Vodafone, o2 to name a few then it’s understandable that different employees will be tweeting – but then they are supplying a service with their tweets. I posed this question on my Facebook business page a while ago and it created an interesting conversation. I’ve included a few of the comments below.
Barbara Edwards You’d need to trust the person 100% that they wouldn’t post anything that could ‘let you down’ if you know what I mean. Wouldn’t be a fan of it myself.
Maya Hanley I have done it on behalf of clients and found it can work quite well if you have a good and strong relationship with the client. That said, there is nothing like the personal voice of the real deal
Cathy Finnegan wouldn’t be a huge fan. As a customer, I’d want the actual supplier tweeting, not someone else! Plus doesn’t it build that personal rapport, if it is the supplier directly tweeting with customer?
Niall Devitt I think that it happens a lot more than we think and I’m not sure that there is a simple yes or no answer.
Barney Austen I’d say it depends. If you are tweeting as an individual then no – it’s your own space and your own language. If it is a “company” twitter account then this can be standardised in terms of language and content. Hope this makes sense
Frederique Murphy That’s a great question and I am with Niall on that one, not sure there is a clear yes/no answer. Personally, I don’t do it, but as you know I believe in tweeting my good vibes and reaching as many people as I can, so I am utilising some tools to ensure that while I sleep, people across the pond still get my messages (which in itself, is something that some people despise and others love, my followers love it); plus, they know that no matter, where they are around the world, I will always engage back, which for me is key. I would not be able to follow my mission should I not utilise extra help and even though it is not by employing someone, it is by utilising software. That’s for me and my business. I have heard of some people who are utilising ghost tweeters and it is their choice as some of you have said. I do believe it can work as long as the writing is in alignment with the company mission and values. I also think that it depends on the company size and on the objectives you have about your Twitter account. Twitter is a communication channel and before tweeting, particularly for business, a communication plan should be put in place with messages, goals, and responsibilities and resources.
Tori Hawthorne I agree with Niall, its not straight forward. Twitter has become part of the service we give, the only problem is finding time for another task (tweeting) on our ‘to do’ list. On behalf of yourself ie @BusinessTori (me) for example, it should be me (and is). On behalf of a business/brand I think there may be room for someone else to do ‘the job’. I’d rather employ someone to do the deliveries I have to do, so I can do the social media work 😉
Elaine Rogers I have an idea. What about tweeting yourself to inject your personality, and use software to schedule tweets (still your own language) AND using a ghost tweeter to research your industry and tweet to the same account interesting content and links?? This means you get to connect with your followers in realtime, keep them up to date and also provide them with researched quality content. A good professional relationship is vital and a strategy too of course 🙂
Ivan Walsh It’s fine if it’s for a biz a/c but if you were pretending to be someone else, then it gets a bit sticky. I know many people were offended when they found out Guy Kawasaki had a sweet little old lady doing some tweets for him. Oddly enough, no one cared until they found out which says something about his followers lol!
Michelle Gilstrap There are software instruments like Hootsuite that let a team work together, so if you are a business, then you can have team members tweeting on different responsibilities. This can be very effective. Customer Service, New Developments etc. Many companies can actually help customers quicker on Twitter than by phone. I do feel Twitter can be used in many ways and it can be effective personally, and corporately.
Frank Bradley I come down on the fence on this one. It simply depends on what you are trying to achieve. If your business grows to such an extent that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, then it might end up being an option. I think we’ve seen the same issue with ghost blogging, where certain people either don’t have the time, or the skill to put into words what they want to say, and ghost bloggers are brought in. I guess Tweeting isn’t as complex as blogging, however I guess it depends on what you are trying to do.
Christina Jennifer Giliberti I think it all depends – a large company may outsource or use a marketing dept in-house. Each will need to be clear on the strategy and approach and use a consistent voice. If outsourcing, both parties need to sign off content and the company should add personal message for use online. An agency will have experience that a business may not. Working together provides results. SM could link to a blog written by a company employee for the personal stamp. I agree with Barney however, that an individual is best tweeting themselves to connect.
Greg Fry Okay, I would say ideally no. But if the 3rd party truly understands your business and your objectives I’d say it is a better proposition than having no presence on Twitter at all.
Paula Flanagan I have to say it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Is it not a form of false advertising? The people you engage with on social media want to speak with you, not someone hired to speak on your behalf. I think a huge part of engagement is about personality, and it’s hard to hire someone to portray your personality.While I partly agree that it’s better than no presence at all, I also think that it corrupts the whole idea of social media. Who knows, maybe nobody on social media is actually who they say they are..
Sian From these comments the consensus seems that it’s acceptable if a big business but to get the strategy right. I still prefer the personal touch and until I become Sian’s Inc it will always be me that you’re tweeting with. What do you think?