Personalizing Twitter Account Key to Building Social Media Brand Following

A recent study on social media shows that taking the time to personalize your profile and targeting followers who are peers and influencers could yield better results than using your brand name and logo and waiting for consumers to come to you.

While the study focuses on insomnia and a fictitious pharmaceutical brand, the results really translate for any business looking to build awareness and/or educate consumers using social media.

In this case, Kru Research wanted to see if they could develop a prospects list for a fictitious insomnia drug, Restira.

They created four fictitious Twitter accounts:

1.       A regular person with no association to insomnia or a drug; this was our control

2.       A person who mentions they have insomnia in their profile; this was considered a patient-peer unaffiliated with any drug company

3.       A person with insomnia who is representing an unbranded insomnia website; this was our paid patient opinion leader profile

4.       An insomnia brand – Restira (a fictitious brand)

Researchers then targeted a list of people who had tweeted about insomnia, weeding out irrelevant tweets talking about songs, etc. by that same name. They followed 100 accounts, posted one tweet and then sat back and watched the number of followers who followed back each account.

The results showed people were more likely to follow back a fellow insomniac who discussed their problem than a generic person or a branded drug.

In the second phase, researchers looked at the effect a Twitter account profile photo or logo played in the number of follow-backs. This time, they created three accounts:

1. One used a professional head shot of woman

2. One used an image of a woman sleeping on her side in bed

3. The fake brand logo

In this case, the photo of the woman sleeping on her side yielded the most follow-backs, followed by the head shot. The logo came in last with a response rate half of the leading photo.

“The results of the first two phases of our research suggest that brand managers would be wise to use patient opinion leaders tied to an unbranded website to maximize their Twitter followers. If the preference is to tweet from the brand itself, the use of an interesting photo that is not the brand logo will get the best results.”

Thanks to Kru Research for sharing this study – it definitely raises ideas for how business can more effectively build their brand using social media. If you had to dump your carefully crafted logo and pick an image to represent your business – and I mean a photo of a consumer or influencer, what would you choose?

Share with us how you’re personalizing your business online and we’ll share your story on our blog!

(Thanks to Bakerella for the photo!)

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