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Twitter and brand perception

The CASE conference we attended this week devoted many sessions to social networking and media: To Twitter or not to Twitter? How effective is your Facebook page? More and more colleges and universities are adding these elements to their admissions and fundraising efforts, as they should — yet questions abound. Just how should you use social media for marketing? And how do you know whether or not this media is effective in the ways that you want it to be?

These are not easy questions to answer. Generally speaking, most people, companies and institutions are still figuring it out — what works, what doesn’t, what image they want to convey via Twitter vs. Facebook vs. YouTube vs. blogs. For example, both the New York Times and the Chicago Sun-Times have twitter pages, but the way in which they use those pages is very different. While the New York Times simply spits out its headlines with links to its articles, the Sun-Times infuses their tweets with personality and humor (while still providing the news). Is one more effective than the other? Which Twitter page would you rather read?

In a recent article in Advertising Age, “Using Twitter to Improve Brand Perception,” Tom Martin, president of Zehnder Communications, discusses the twitter experiment he conducted — to find out if one man and many tweets could change the perception of, in this instance, Mardi Gras.

His findings?


  • Relationships matter.

  • Consumers will follow you for content.

  • Content humanizes.

  • Things will go wrong.

  • It takes a village to tweet an event.

  • You can change brand perception using Twitter and embedded journalism.

Inquiring minds want to know: How is your institution using Twitter? Have you found it to be an effective marketing tool?

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