I'd like you to humour me for just a minute whilst I tell you a quick story about something that happened this week. You have my word that I'll link it back to the overall theme of this blog before the end.
So. My 14 year old brother, Daniel, wants to be a chef. When he's not at school or doing homework he can virtually always be found dicing, slicing and foaming in the kitchen. He's particularly interested in molecular gastronomy, which does suggest that this is more than a just a passing phase. After some gentle cajoling he decided to sign up to Twitter so that he could follow his heroes (Blumenthal et al) and start to post pictures of the dishes he creates.
On Monday he tweeted that he had reached the 50 followers landmark. Former Michelin star winning chef Gordon Cartwright replied and mentioned to his 4,340 followers that they should try to get Daniel to 100 followers by the end of the day. What took Gordon just a few seconds of his life, as well as a couple of retweets, got Daniel to over 150 followers by midnight. What's more he's had three offers of work experience from leading chefs, as well as other interesting opportunities pushed his way.
Other than it being quite a nice story about someone making a 14 year old's day, what does this have to do with how brands should engage on Twitter?
Well I think the lesson is that sometimes it's the small things that count. It's all very well using it as a channel to advertise your latest shiny product, but it's far better reaching out and creating a personal connection.
As I've said in previous posts, brands like O2, Pepsi and eHarmony are great at this. It's not overly complicated to achieve so long as you give this essential channel the right time and resources. Hire yourself someone who is literate, interesting and has a sense of humour, and give them the freedom (after training) to get tweeting.
What are the seven most common social media mistakes made by brands? Learn more here.