Differing approaches to Facebook and Twitter for Consumer Products. Do you need to keep it real?

11 November 2010

Dan Hawker

Dan Hawker

Former Head of Tobacco, Wholesale & Retail

I have a confession to make - I am friends with a boiler, a housewife of a certain age, and someone glamorous from marketing! But it's OK - it's all innocent fun!

  • The first is Worcester Bosch on Twitter
  • The second is Mrs Kipling on Facebook
  • The third is the United Biscuits Twitter feed

All three represent different ways of using Social Media, and differing approaches to the usual mantra of "keep it authentic".

Both Worcester Bosch and United Biscuits tend to keep it business like. They are open about using it to plug business events or publicity, and are an easy read because of it. They tend to get a bit of interaction, but probably from people that would interact with them anyway (installers, for Worcester Bosch, for example).

Most people I know, including my colleagues at Bluefin Solutions, tend to keep Twitter more professional, and Facebook personal. Some also tweet the odd personal item, but you know it's them and it's real. As an organisation we use our Twitter feed in the same sort of way - up front commentary about our business, or links to business-relevant news.

More interesting is Mrs Kipling. Initially, I didn't quite understand if ‘she’ was meant to be a real person, a fictional persona, or just someone that was paid to plug Mr Kipling products. On first glance, I reacted a bit against it, as it seemed to be a marketing machine passing itself off as a real person.

However, now I'm used to it, it's become less of an issue. I take each posting at face value, as a kind of "pop quiz". And that's one of the good things about Mrs Kipling - she often posts questions that are accessible to everyone - "what cake shall I have with my cup?". And that seems to engage consumers (unless the Facebook friends are actually Kipling employees!) I've responded myself a couple of times, and that surely is the point?

So - as a corporate, do you need to keep social media "real"?

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