Branded Tweets? It’s All About The Links, Baby.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of anything having to do with automation when it comes to social media. It’s a matter of principle. To me, social media means being real. That means being there, in the moment, participating, engaging, learning, sharing – you know the drill. And, in my book, real and automation are, without question, oxymorons.

But branding, well, that’s a whole different ballgame. I’m a huge advocate of brand identity and being strategic when it comes to all things relative to your brand. And I also know that establishing brand identity takes resources, commitment and know-how. This is a message I preach to my clients on a daily basis, and no one needs to try twice to get my attention when it comes to a smart move relative to branding.

So, when a good friend recently introduced me to TweetBrand, a tool developed by the folks at @marketmetweets. I gave him the courtesy of listening. Then, when I did a little homework and saw that my friend @wchingya was also experimenting with and writing about TweetBrand, it further solidified the thought that it was, most definitely something that I wanted to know more about. And, as a final step, I went to some of my SEO friends and spent some time examining the TweetBrand app and its potential, with them. The verdict – TweetBrand is definitely worth exploring. Here’s an example from my Twitter stream of what the branded tweet looks like. Note that instead of saying “from web” or “from Tweetdeck” it has my url.

So now that I’ve done some of the legwork, here’s the skinny. TweetBrand is a free mini app that allows you to brand your tweets with your own name, a company name, a url or even a special message, depending on the situation. The cool thing about that is that instead of tweeting from Hootsuite or TweetDeck or Seesmic, etc. and having their respective links show up, what appears instead is your link. And in today’s day and age, it’s all about the links, baby. Or at least, that’s what my smarter-than-me SEO friends seem to think.

In a nutshell, some of the benefits to TweetBrand are:

– Establishing backlinks as a result of your interaction on Twitter
– Ability to establish brand awareness with each interaction
– Ability to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a classy manner
– Potential for increased traffic to your website
– Ability to identify special promotions or events via a specific message

I’m sure there are more potential benefits, these are just the ones that happen to come to mind right away.

TweetBrand is a first step in a larger application that is still in the development process. The as yet unnamed app, scheduled for launch in late January, will have the ability to schedule multiple tweets, organize groups, brand tweets from multiple users and brands as well as functionality like link shortening and other management tools, which we’ve all come to expect in any app. The folks at MarketMeTweets are excited about the app’s abilities to follow and track keyword (or key phrase) performance as well as utilize the app to auto respond. Personally, I’m on the fence about the auto-responder business – but I already admitted to being a snotty purist, so don’t hate me on that front. However, I’m not so naïve as to think there are not many others out there, major brands included, who think this will be a stellar feature of the application. And, who knows, I might even change my mind about it once I see the app in action. I can see a lot of upside, especially if used ethically, and it might even give entrenched apps like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, etc., a run for their money.

For the record, this new app will come with a monthly price tag that will probably start at about $15 for a personal account, with the price going up for more sophisticated professional accounts. Definitely not a huge investment if it turns out to be a bona fide traffic driver. But, as we all know, getting people interested in paying for anything is often a challenge, so the jury is out on that one.

Bottom line, I think, as a first step, TweetBrand is definitely worth checking out. As we know, both Google and Bing are in the process of rolling out Twitter integration, so the number of sites who aggregate the content is likely to go through the roof. I don’t know how many of those will include links, but to my way of thinking, if you have the opportunity to use your own, branded link when it comes to your engagement on Twitter, doesn’t it only make sense to do that, rather than promoting someone else’s link?

If you’re interested, sign up here to get a free download file. Watch the video tutorial that takes you through the set up (and even I managed it in record time), and then test it out. I will warn you in advance – it is still in beta format, so it’s a tiny little mini app, not something all-inclusive (yet) like TweetDeck. So you download and keep it on your desktop, and use it that way. For me, I am still using TweetDeck, but using TweetBrand, too, and just switching back and forth. I’ll be very interested to see what the larger app looks like once it’s rolled out.

Love it? Hate it? Have an idea that would make it better? Bring it – as always, I would love to know your thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/kbmckinney Kate McKinney

    Very interesting app, Shelly! Thanks for sharing your take. I'll be interested to see the other capabilities once TweetBrand rolls out of beta. Without any technical knowledge on my part, it seems like it might be fairly simple for TweetDeck to add the vanity URL functionality as well if that particular function proves popular.

  • http://twitter.com/mmangen Michelle Mangen

    Oh this looks totally awesome! I will totally be checking it out later!

  • http://twitter.com/ssmirnov Stephanie Smirnov

    Very interesting! Am not sure I'd love the back-and-forth between the app and my current, full-feature Twitter clients (TweetDeck and Seesmic, currently.) But great concept. I wonder if this were to take off what the other Twitter apps might do to counter? Losing their “sent from” tags means a lot less exposure for them, in theory.

  • http://twitter.com/Erroin Erroin Martin

    I have to agree with Stephanie. The other apps have a little more power to them and allow me to monitor numerous lists.

  • http://www.twitter.com/marketmetweets Tammy from TweetBrand

    Hey Shelly, If you or you readers have any questions about tweetbrand let me know! I'm so pleased that you like it and see the value in it. One tiny thing… our twitter name is @marketmetweets :) Looking forward to being able to tell you more about the still unnamed main app soon ;)

  • ShellyKramer

    The jury is still out, SS, but I actually have no trouble switching back and forth. But, when it's important to “brand” a tweet, it's nice to have that functionality. The full app is supposed to look very much like TweetDeck, Seesmic, etc., so it will be interesting to see that when it's rolled out. But, in the meantime, nice to experiment with something new in this ever-changing world in which we live. Especially if it could, ultimately, be of interest to clients. Thanks for the read, sistah. Did you notice you're on my blog roll? Because, of course, I think you're pretty peachy keen.

  • ShellyKramer

    I agree, Kate. It will be interesting to see what evolves with the existing Twitter client apps as a result of this. For clients, I can definitely see the value of branded tweets … and shall be paying attention.

  • ShellyKramer

    E, I don't use this in lieu of TweetDeck, as am a complete and total devotee. I use it in addition to the 'Deck, when I want to experiment with the branding concept. Time will tell, though. Doesn't it always? Thanks for the read and comment.

  • sarahrobinson

    Hey Shelly – I have spent the day with TweetBrand open on top of the love of my life, Tweetdeck and for the most part it is REALLY simple to use simultaneously. And truly, for the extra ba-da-bing of a branded tweet, I'm willing to add a couple of clicks to to my tweeting efforts. I can't WAIT for the roll out!!
    Sarah

  • ShellyKramer

    Glad you like it, Sarah. That's exactly how I use it!

  • http://www.marketlikeachick.com Coree

    Pretty darn cool! I like the idea of the branded URL at the bottom. Not sure that it would make a huge difference in click-throughs but the look and feel of total brand domination for your tweets gives that extra professional look. Will the backlinks be enough to up your SEO standings?

    Wondering what the special promos will look like. That may be very interesting. Thanks, Shelly, for sharing.

  • ShellyKramer

    Sure thing, missy. I don't know the answers to any of those questions but, like you, I like the idea of my brand's name showing up at the end of my tweetage vis a vis that of TweetDeck or some other Twitter client. Bottom line, time will tell, right?

  • fjfonseca

    Damn you woman, you can write :-)))
    I hate the interface, it looks like something out of a Wii Japanese game and I would not show it to any of my clients: They would not take it seriously. Some UI work has to be done if they want to get into the business side of business. Integration with major apps like Tweetdeck, Seesmic and Hootsuite is also a must.

    Is this a good idea? Yes it is and you are right about the plus points that such a service might bring. But you know me, right? I would like to have more: I would like the service to be completely integrated with my website so that when I tweet something about AUTO-DMs the branded tweet link takes my followers directly to my post about AUTO-DMs, etc. Now that would be cool ;-)

  • ShellyKramer

    LOL, FF. I love the way your brain works. Knew you would have some thoughts and these are great. My understanding is that they are going to roll out a “big” app that works much like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, etc., which would solve the annoying functionality problems that we are dealing with now. The other cool thing about these folks is that it's a small company and they are always looking for feedback from users and are serious about letting users help make the interface better. I kind of like that – one of the reasons that Twitter is what it is today and all that jazz.

    Thanks for the read and for the comments – very insightful, as usual.

  • http://twitter.com/booksbelow Roger Hjulstrom

    I've been watching this with interest, but as someone else already mentioned, assume Seesmic and Tweetdeck will have to include it soon, or lose market share when Tweetbrand rolls out it's more inclusive app. Of course, right now, that space is providing free branding for Tweetdeck, Seesmic and other apps, so there might be some conflict in there willingness to give that up! :-)

  • fjfonseca

    Call me crazy but I think that Tweetdeck and Seesmic should think about having something similar to a itunes app store: these apps would be much like plugins that could bring added value to the user experience with a price tag on it. If done right this could bring revenue for the developers and for the main applications.
    If no one at Tweetdeck or Seesmic has thought of this yet I will be available to discuss my fees LOL

  • http://ww.marketmetweet.com/ Tammy

    Thanks Shelly for fixing the twitter name. This post is stellar – i love the comments too. And you're right about us being small and willing to take feedback – we're soaking it up!
    ~Tammy from Market Me Tweet LTD :)

  • http://twitter.com/booksbelow Roger Hjulstrom

    Excellent idea Fernando! You really should get in contact with them, I suspect they are trying to figure out right now how to handle this development! Oh oh, I just saw that I used the wrong 'there' in my comment above. I need to seek forgiveness from Shelly!

  • fjfonseca

    You do need to seek forgiveness or be faced with grammar hell forever Roger LOL

    I will try to structure that idea of mine in some way for sure.

  • Hein

    He Shelly,

    Nice app to compliment the set. I must agree that the full force app would be better, but it's a good start :-)
    Apart from what fjfonseca said, I'm a little worried about the Memory and CPU footprint. On my Mac it says it's using about 8% of the CPU (when not being used!) and about 60 Mb. I'm a sucker or small footprints, so there is my my 2 cents worth. Keep it up though! :-)

    Kind regards

    Hein

  • http://ww.marketmetweet.com/ Tammy

    fjfonseca ….. You have very interesting ideas… would you mind dropping me a line at tammy at marketmetweet.com? Thanks :)

  • fjfonseca

    Just did Tammy and sent you all my contacts.

  • http://ww.marketmetweet.com/ Tammy

    Awesome thanks!

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  • http://ww.marketmetweet.com/ Tammy

    Hey Shelly, i got an email through disquis that someone commented but i'm not seeing it here on the blog? Anyway, they asked what's to stop tweetdeck etc from doing it. Nothing is, but, they do get a LOT of exposure from that link back so i wonder if they'd do it really… Just to let you know the closed beta test will start next week. Will email you :) http://marketmetweet.com/blog/nearly-ready-to-s

  • ShellyKramer

    I don't see any comments now showing up, and nothing is unapproved. Very odd. Glad things are moving along :)

  • Michael Jacobs

    Your “If you’re interested, sign up here to get a free download file” has a link that doesn't resolve the Branded Tweets web site. It needs to be corrected to go here: http://marketmetweet.com/

    Thanks for the info though!

  • ShellyKramer

    Sorry Michael … I'll fix!

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    It’s open to everyone at all points of development and pulls from upstream open source projects. That’s why I like it much more than Android. shenanigans!! i have a g1 that runs fine on 2.2.1. Sure its not as smooth as my brand new g2 but it does

  • http://AffiliateMarketersCollege.com Catherine

    Hi Shelley,
    Thanks for the info on this cool little Twitter app. Will certainly be looking into it further.
    Regards
    Catherine

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome!!!

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