Twitter can be the stuff of nightmares for PR departments of large companies, but get it right and your reputation can soar. Here is a selection of the best corporate tweeters.
7 – EasyJet (@easyJet)
One of Europe’s largest airlines, EasyJet’s twitter is brimming with updates, promotions, consumer advice for its 363,000 followers. The main account has tweeted more than 191,000 times while frequently retweeting customer images and providing important promotion to charitable organisations such as UNICEF. EasyJet is also responsive to customer queries, helping them to submit claims and even navigate particular European airports. It also holds #FlashSale competitions, pulling more Twitter users to interact with its brand.
6 – ITV (@ITV)
Home of iconic drama and hugely popular entertainment and talent shows, ITV interacts with some 1.8 million Twitter followers. Teasing potential TV viewers with GIFs and snippets of upcoming programmes, the media company is also keen to share the public’s enjoyment of its shows. The feed becomes particularly lively during X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, showing highlights of the best and worst of the auditions and live performances.
5 – Barclays (@Barclays)
Barclay’s corporate news Twitter account serves a following of 170,000 with its customer enquires feed (@BarclaysUKHelp) on hand 24 hours a day to provide assistance and support with compromising personal banking details. The company makes clever use of multiple accounts to reach as many followers as possible, retweeting and interacting through sharing news of activities in local branches and nationwide developments such as the move to Apple Pay.
4 – Facebook (@facebook)
Facebook does Twitter, and rather well too. Boasting more than 14 million followers, its feed is full of fun graphics and leads into content on its own social media platform. However, it does not purely promote Facebook via Twitter. It is also very responsive to customer enquiries and maintains a human feel by documenting the activities and whereabouts of owner Mark Zuckerberg, simply referring to him as Mark.
3 – National Grid UK (@nationalgriduk)
In a Harvard Business School study of 50 of the best and worst corporate tweeters carried out last year, the National Grid ranked as the 16th best overall. It’s 19,000 followers can expect to find updates on gas and electricity problems on the network as well as news on careers and company developments. It is serves as a pat on the back for staff, praising the hard work of its employees and promoting the work they do for the community.
2 – Next (@nextofficial)
The @nextofficial Twitter account has tweeted almost 100,000 times since joining in 2009, accumulating 218,000 followers along the way. As well as the obvious creative promotional activity, Next is keen to publicise the stories behind its latest lines of fashion by creating and tweeting content about the models in their advertising campaigns. It also, like many other successful businesses on Twitter, introduces humour in a way that doesn’t threaten to cross the line, the downfall of so many brands whose jokes backfire.
1 – Direct Line (@DirectLine_UK)
Despite a comparitively modest following of 9,400 tweeters, Direct Line was named by Harvard Business School as the best corporate tweeter in its 2015 study of 300 of the largest FTSE, NASDAQ and NYSE companies.
To Harvard, “social media isn’t merely a place for people to chat with each other and for brands to talk at their customers. For a new generation of consumers who get their news and form their views about the world primarily on social media, it is an essential proving ground”.
Empathy is another key emotion or trait which successful corporate Twitter accounts master, and this includes a gender neutral or even slightly female tone to tweets. Direct Line’s twitter feed certainly pulls this off with a degree of charm, wit and feeling of genuine concern towards those it interacts with. Whether it’s advice on dealing with hayfever or simply announcing that they are there to help, the company’s social media team is certainly doing an effective job.