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Twitter and brand control

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Twitter is a great tool.  Microblogging your heart out can attract customers, build brand equity, and destroy your brandcreate a buzz among the digital cognoscenti.  But Twitter also represents a fairly dramatic way to put your brand out there without much in the way of moment-to-moment control over what is actually being said in your name. 

Twitter only works if it is persistent and useful.  Persistent and useful microblogging requires the type of regular updates that largely preclude traditional legal review.   When you’re sending out a press release, counsel can easily review it before it goes public.  Major ad campaigns (and even minor ad campaigns) are subject to a fair amount of scrutiny by nameless and faceless lawyers toiling in skyscrapers across America.   But 14 Tweets each day? Not so much.

Twitter is rumored to be working on a solution, permitting multiple, individually bylined tweets by different folks within an organization. This would be a great improvement, but still doesn’t change the fact that a variety of people may be —  in real time — using your microphone to talk to millions of people in your name.

So what should you be doing? First, you should make sure that you understand what your own brand(s) actually represent before you send someone out into the public eye to talk about them.  Then, craft a consistent message.  You need to make sure that your tweets don’t act to destabilize your other commercial messages.  Finally, create a set of limits on what can and cannot be said.  If everyone is on the same page from the start, then confusion (and errors) are far less likely to plague your adventures in microblogging.