In Defense of Ghost-Tweeting… with Caveats

Friday’s PR Week features an op-ed by Amy Dean titled “Five reasons why ghost Tweeting will come back to haunt you” [subscription required]. Dean makes a reasonable case against letting someone else use Twitter to speak for you and your brand: it’s misleading to customers, it destroys credibility with reporters, and it can cause you to lose followers in an instant.

But the heart of the issue is here:

Twitter is a new opportunity to have an engaging, ongoing dialogue with customers that breeds collaboration that leads to enhanced customer satisfaction. But that can only happen if there is an honest exchange.

There are lots of reasons it makes sense to put someone else in charge of maintaining your presence online – a ghost-tweeter may have more social media expertise than you do, an especially engaging writing style, or the superb organizational skills it takes to maintain a dialogue with your followers. This is certainly not a case for lying – if you’re going to have someone else tweet on your behalf, you’d better be ready to be completely transparent about that (see @RyanSeacrest for a great demonstration of transparency).

But the biggest drawback of bringing on a ghost-tweeter is that you’re depriving yourself of the benefits of one-on-one interaction with your audience, especially the opportunities you can discover and the business insight you can glean from those conversations. One of the most exciting aspects of social media is that it allows brands to remove a layer of mediation and affect consumers more personally. The more you’re able to participate personally, the more you’ll get out of it.

Besides, it can be quite a kick just to be yourself on Twitter. Who could have adequately imitated Shaq‘s reaction to experiencing a hailstorm for the first time?

shaqtweet

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2 Comments »

  1. Lillian said

    Crazy Shaq. He was the guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when I went to see it taped… it was him and “the incredible human garbage – the man who eats everything.” Shaq is beyond enormous.

  2. An enormous joy to behold, you mean!

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