Feature

Twitter WIN! The 8 best brands on the world's hottest microblog

LONDON - A savoury spread, a parcel delivery company, two mobile phone operators and an ISP top the chart of brands using Twitter in the most innovative ways. Revolution teamed up with i-level's Jam to find out what's working and why.

The best brands have already established a strategy on Twitter
The best brands have already established a strategy on Twitter

We've brought you the worst and the most mentioned brands on Twitter. Now for some of the best. The truth is that the number of brands getting it right on Twitter is growing by the day as marketers and agencies get to grips with this new platform. Others are, however, only now starting to give it some serious thought. For inspiration, here are eight of the best brands on Twitter, brought to you by Revolution and Jam:

Dell

@DellUK - full list available here

Dell has lots of touch-points in Twitter as its strategy is to provide a human face of the organisation rather than being a corporate backwater. Some of its presence is a series of basic RSS feeds while a lot of others are employees or specific Dell departments. Dell's presence on Twitter is generally well thought of and the computer manufacturer claims to have earned more than $1 million (£653,000) through the platform. This automatically puts Dell in the list of brands that are doing well on Twitter but there are some things it could improve on. For some, the sheer scale of Dell's presence could seem sprawling and a bit intimidating. Dell could improve its Twitter offering even more by consolidating or re-structuring its accounts, and providing a better guide to its website. The Dell UK feed is the latest attempt to reach out to local markets.

O2

@O2UKOfficial


O2 has won awards for its use of Facebook in its marketing and has been quick to use Twitter to good effect. O2UKOfficial is not a revolutionary idea but is a good example of customer service on Twitter in the UK. The people running the account employ a friendly, conversational tone, and most of its messages are @replies to users.  However, it'd be good to see the human side of this account. Who runs it?  Is it a team?  Who's part of this team?

Marmite

LoveHateMarmite

This is a good idea for the Unilever brand in a sector where new marketing strategies can be difficult to get off the ground. Continuing its love/hate theme used across all channels, this Marmite/Twitter mashup has created two hashtags (#lovemarmite and #hatemarmite) that it then collates. The key thing here is that Ollie Parsley and Paul Randall have matched Marmite to micro-blogging in a way that's appropriate for the brand, but that doesn't blindly follow the convention of having a Twitter account. Like Skittles, this uses Twitter without having to tweet about an FMCG brand - something that may be of limited interest. This is an unofficial Marmite campaign that Parsley says he and Randell created in four hours and demonstrates what FMCG brands could do if they devoted even a little time to social media.

Vodafone Live Guy

@vodafoneliveguy

Vodafone announced the launch of its free Lenovo laptop with a campaign that was Where's Wally? meets social media.  Consumers followed Liveguy through blogs and Twitter as he travelled through UK cities, blogging and Tweeting about his surroundings. The aim, for consumers, was to find him in real life to win a Lenovo laptop. This went beyond the standard Twitter models that most brands adhere to, and as a campaign, highlighted a new product in an innovative way. It was more daring than most Twitter brands and built a nice amount of buzz. Vodafone has now wrapped up Live Guy and has turned VodafoneUK into an interactive feed, suggesting that a conversational tone is set to become obvious throughout its Twitter presence.

Nissan

@NissanSports

Nissan sponsors extreme sport events, and has decided to focus on this in its Twitter activity. Instead of providing product information or support, Nissan has chosen instead to emphasise the ruggedness of some of its products by bringing news that's relevant to extreme sports. This is quite a simple strategy but works well, and offers Nissan the chance to get added value from its sports sponsorship. The internet is saturated with ads for cars and Nissan is proving that there are always new and engaging ways to improve the image of any car manufacturer. The Twitter feed is quite new, however, and for Nissan to gain a decent following it must use the retweet function and engage with customers instead of  a monologue.

UPS

@UPS


UPS, the delivery service, has integrated its product with Twitter by allowing users to track their packages. The brand also provides customer support for this integration, meaning that users can just send a Tweet to find out if there are any problems. UPS clearly identified that Twitter could offer something extra that wasn't part of its armoury and has been quick to establish itself as market leading in this area.  UPS has benefitted from being ahead of its competitors in social media - something that companies in other sectors should take note.

Comcast

@comcastcares

ComCast is a US based ISP which, thanks to Frank Ellison, did Twitter early and did it right. The brand has a human face on its customer service, and Frank has become a bit of a celebrity. Overall, this has given the brand a warmer, more human image and has set the benchmark for customer service on Twitter across all sectors. Comcast also has eight other customer service staff on Twitter and encourages people to get in touch with them. If the major UK ISPs are serious about increasing customer satisfaction they would do well to rely less on automated phone systems and more on personalised online services.

The Guardian

@guardiannews

There are several Guardian Twitter bots across various parts of the paper, like Environment or Technology. However, the strength of the Guardian's Twitter presence is in its journalists. Many of these tweet frequently and have large numbers of followers. This also allows users to follow people they're interested in and not receive all of the Guardian's content (which would be a bit overwhelming), while allowing the paper to extend its reach beyond the articles they publish everyday, and build and maintain relationships across the internet.