By Rob Shaw, Managing Director, Epiphany Solutions Ltd

At a recent business seminar there were a number of speakers who touched on the use and value of twitter as part of the marketing mix and the benefits a whole range of businesses had seen from SME’s (small and medium enterprises) to large corporates.

What I took away from the day was a division in thinking on exactly who should be managing these twitter campaigns. A common question from the audience was who should be doing all this tweeting and how can they find the time? The responses from the speakers were again very mixed ranging from those who believe passionately that if it isn’t really you representing your brand then you can’t represent it correctly and you run the risk of a backlash from the on-line community when they find out the person running the twitter account isn’t (in their eyes at least) ‘genuine’.
A second school of thought is that in fact there is a valid and growing industry arising around companies that understand this space and can be employed to make the most of twitter on your companies’ behalf. They understand the necessary tools, they understand the community and know the techniques to making the most of a brands interaction with social media.

Prior to working in search marketing I had a career in call centre outsourcing and I understand what it takes to manage an operation on behalf of a client and make it your own and to manage it as if it were your own. I’d go further still and say that there is another emerging market where the customer management companies and customer management departments within larger organizations will begin to stake their claim on the use of twitter on behalf of a brand and wrestle control away from the marketing department.

I can understand both points of view on who should be managing your twitter campaign and I can see the benefits and weaknesses of both. I think much of it comes down to the fundamental question you need to ask before you start managing your brand on-line, namely “why are we doing this?”. Only when you know why you have decided to interact with the twitter community and what you hope to achieve from it can you then begin to formulate an approach for managing it in the long term.

As Managing Director of Epiphany Solutions Ltd, Rob Shaw is responsible for the operational delivery of PPC, SEO and Web development across the company, ensuring that Epiphany Solutions delivers world-class services and results to its clients. Rob's remit also involves directing the strategic growth of the company and enhancing its position as a pioneering and trusted brand within the search industry.

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