Time magazine's list of the 140 (see what they did there?) best Twitter feeds of 2014 couldn't have come at a better time. Twitter has gone from microblogging upstart to viable competitor for customer engagement, now that Facebook's algorithm and pay-to-play posts have earned the ire of the business community and Google+'s future is up in the air. (Meanwhile, Twitter's adding more active users than ever before and has even gotten a Facebook-like makeover in recent weeks.)
Now that the social media site has become a major means of engagement for businesses—92 percent of top brands tweet at least once a day, according to industry experts—companies that haven't invested as much into Twitter could stand to take notes from the five brands Time included in its ranking this year. Being funny, loving puns and knowing its customer base is something each of these brands have in common, but they each have their own strategy that make them stand out on Twitter news feeds.
Lesson 1: Be Useful (Chobani)
Chobani's out-of-nowhere success started a Greek yogurt arms race with established and upstart dairy brands worth billions. Now other brands will have to take notice of the company, which, despite falling on harder times for reports of tainted yogurt in 2013, has a great social media strategy. Chobani's Twitter feed is filled with shareable photos and recipes, showing its 81.6K followers that there's more than one way to enjoy its products.
Weekend breakfast inspiration: Chobani + hazelnut spread + banana + almond + cinnamon. On toast. pic.twitter.com/OSdeFF0Ry3
— Chobani (@Chobani) May 3, 2014
And according to past reports, Chobani has a team dedicated to answering every one of its customers' tweets, making the brand incredibly engaging and an extension of its customer service team when it needed it most.
Lesson 2: Be True to Your Brand (Charmin)
— Charmin (@Charmin) May 7, 2014
Charmin has attracted a big following (34.7k and counting) on Twitter with those who appreciate the brand's constant use of earnest potty humor and puns. Using hashtags like #tweetfromtheseat and #CharminRelief, the toilet paper company has made jokes about number two its number one way of engaging with customers.
Lesson 3: Be Timely (Seamless)
Happy National Truffle Day! pic.twitter.com/hCWc0IoRfH
— Seamless (@Seamless) May 2, 2014
Food delivery app Seamless hasn't met a national holiday or food-related meme it doesn't like. Whether it's Cinco de Mayo, National Truffle Day or the 10-year anniversary of Mean Girls, Seamless is ready with a pithy comment and customized photo for its 106k followers.
Lesson 4: Be Kind to Your Customers (JetBlue)
@amattesi - It sounds like you were rebooked already. We're sorry you missed your flight. We hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly.
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) April 16, 2014
We know United Airlines coined the phrase "flying the friendly skies," but JetBlue has made it the company's MO on Twitter. It responds to its 1.81 million users' vents and praises, always taking a helpful and conciliatory tone when it's in the wrong and an "aw shucks" blush when receiving kudos.
Lesson 5: Be Conversant in Internet (DiGiorno Pizza)
#NationalHonestyDay Pizza is greatest food of all time. *drops mic*
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) April 30, 2014
Nothing gets people retweeting more than a joke that plays well with online sensibilities, and DiGiorno Pizza does just that with its Twitter feed. The brand's social media team knows what does well online, retweeting photos of kittens with frozen pizza, creating and jumping on trending hashtags and having funny, one-sided exchanges with other brands on Twitter.
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