Last December, Twitter announced brand pages in conjunction with the sites redesign. The brand pages were only open to mega corporations like Disney and General Electric among several others. The announcement was met with mixed reviews, including several that were concerned for the smaller brands using Twitter.
Yesterday as reported by Mashable, Twitter expanded the brand pages to additional business including National Public Radio, NBC News, and The Huffington Post. The pages feature a customizable banner and promoted tweets with additional functionality being left to the company.
So what does this mean for the little guys on Twitter? – The local businesses that don’t have enough clout to get their own brand page. This could spell disaster for small brands since they might be drowned out by the spectacle that these brand pages may bring to Twitter. Already HP and Intel hosted a live performance on Twitter featuring the insanely popular DJ Tiesto. However small businesses without brand pages might be able to find a silver lining.
The way I see it is Twitter has always been unique in it’s ability to make users feel connected on a personal level to the brands they love. With the introduction of these brand pages, fans are accessible to more content. However, the potential downside is that they might feel more separated from the companies. When I visit a Twitter page that it is vastly different from mine, it will only remind me that, “this is a mega brand, not my friend.” Whereas before, my homepage and Pepsi’s home page were not all that different, giving me a more personal feeling towards the brand.
Until Twitter allows all companies to have specialized pages, independent companies must maintain their personal connection with fans. As I stated before, the best part of Twitter marketing was any person’s ability to connect directly with the things they liked. As a custom barrier is put between users and the corporations they follow, Twitter users may start looking for that personal touch that Twitter harnessed so masterfully.
Now more than ever, it’s paramount importance that small brands respond to fan tweets and reach out to their followers who have questions, comments, or concerns. So don’t despair new media artists and businesses, this could be the boost in social media marketing you were looking for.