Yeah, sounds like a bad bar tale, doesn’t it?
But it happened to me. About 2 years ago, I met an amazing dog on Twitter. I became an instant fan. I’ve been following @winecountrydog, a gorgeous Welsh Corgi, ever since. He is smart, funny and clever.
He tweets about wine (of course), animal and wildlife welfare issues, and human disaster response—with a sprinkling of observations on life. Like the day last spring when he tweeted that he was shedding and on his walk, little birds were swooping down to pick up bits of fur for their nests.
He knows how to use Twitter to show us who he is.
I got to meet him in person last April, in the lush green hills of Sonoma. Bob and I were in San Francisco for WordCamp and@winecountrydog (and his human) offered to help us figure out some of the best local wineries to visit.
As he lay snoozing at our feet, under a patio table overlooking the vineyards at the breathtakingly beautiful Michel Schlumberger wine estate, I talked for hours with this woman who had branded this tweeting dog with such a distinctive voice.
Within five minutes, I felt like she was an old friend. Because I already knew what she was about. What she stood for. What she (and @winecountrydog) cared about.
5 things @winecountrydog taught me about social media branding
Twitter can be a powerful brand builder and tool for attracting people to our blogs. And @winecountrydog can teach us how.
1. Show us the real you.
The Irish writer Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
@winecountrydog is a master at this. He is compassionate and clever.
The takeaway: Branding is all about showing us the authentic, multi-dimensional you. Twitter has immense power to connect you, your blog and your brand with the people you can help.
2. Stay in character—with the same voice.
Marketers call it your brand personality. With it, you develop trust with your followers and blog readers.
@winecountrydog has this down. He always tweets with the same unique voice. I wouldn’t expect to see a tweet from him on why puppy mills are a good thing. Because that would be completely out of character.
The takeaway: Be consistent. Who you are should not change. Because your followers and readers are paying attention. `And if you do change, then, well, which person are you?
3. Make us laugh (or at least smile) every once in a while.
You already know that humor is one of the best ways to connect emotionally with your readers. Making someone laugh brings them closer to you. It’s like laughter is the bridge.
@winecountrydog does this beautifully. He tempers the bad news he sometimes feels compelled to report (he calls himself a ‘pawlitical’ dog) with a purely fun observation here and there.
One tweet may be a BOL (barking out loud) at humans who drop their iPhone in their wine glass. Another time, he tweeted about Meezer, the resident cat, who got into the wrong food in the kitchen cupboard:
The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to throw out a light-hearted tweet every once in a while. Because when we laugh together, we have a bond.
4. Tell us what you care about.
I know without a doubt what @winecountrydog is passionate about. He is an advocate for helpless animals and a strong opponent of puppy mills. He reports on disasters from wildfires to earthquakes, informing and supporting the fundraising.
I know this because his tweets are full of compassion—for animals and for people. And sometimes they come with special ‘nosetaps.’
The takeaway: Let us see a spark of what you stand for every once in a while. What excites you so much you could stay up all night doing it? What cause are you passionate about?
5. Know that not everyone will love you. And be okay with that.
If @winecountrydog tweets about animals needing homes and someone tweets back, “I think it’s more important to find homes for people,” that’s a good thing. Because it helps him find his true audience: the people who have a heart for homeless pets and shelter animals.
The takeaway: Showing up as yourself means that some people will not necessarily be your biggest fans. That’s okay because you want to attract the right people—the ones who love who you are, what you do and what you sell. Your target market.
What about you?
If you are on Twitter, how closely do your tweets match your blog’s brand?
Do you think consistency is important?
Do you mix a little of the personal with your business tweets?