Exora, the newly launched MPV by Malaysian carmaker Proton, has two ‘voices’ on Twitter – @ProtonExora and @YouWillBeAmazed. The former is managed by Proton with first tweet dated April 13 2009; the latter is an unofficial voice and started on April 29 2009. To date, the ‘unofficial’ one has more of Updates and Followers.
Both using different tweeting styles. @ProtonExora is tweeting from first-person perspective (tweeting as Exora, the car) whereas @YouWillBeAmazed tweeting as third-person.
Twitter Pages of @ProtonExora and @YouWillBeAmazed
- @YouWillBeAmazed is a better conversationalist.
- The ‘unofficial’ tweets are far more engaging and informative. Out of 8 updates so far, none of @ProtonExora tweets starts with ‘@’. For @YouWillBeAmazed, 43% of its total number of tweets start with ‘@’. It’s broadcast versus conversation
- There’s nothing wrong of using Twitter as broadcast medium. The hugely popular @CNNbrk (and many others) are broadcastweets. But in the case of Proton Exora (as a newly launched product and new brand), conversation would be a better mode of engagement.
- In the laissez-faire land of Twitter, any voice can be as loud as the ‘official’ one. Unless a brand ‘owner’ initiate and manage conversations on Twitter (or in any social networks), others will fill the void and potentially become the ‘official’ voice of the brand.
- For example, Coca-Cola Facebook Page is not originally created by the sugar water company but by two ‘fans’, Dusty Sorg (an actor) and Michael Jedrzejewski (a writer). The Page attracted 3.3 million fans and became the top brand on Facebook Page. It is only second behind Barack Obama, in terms of Fans. Now, the Page is co-managed by Coca Cola and the Page creators.
- Currently, @YouWillBeAmazed is doing a better job in evangelizing the Exora brand and engaging Followers; Proton can learn a lot from it.
- Comparatively, @YouWillBeAmazed page is aesthetically more appealing than @ProtonExora. If it wasn’t for the tweet that says ‘technically’ i am not the official tweet for proton!, probably many would have thought @YouWillBeAmazed is official voice of Proton Exora on Twitter.
- For Proton, Facebook Page trumped Twitter. Fans on Proton Exora Facebook Page are ‘engaging’ the brand. To date, the Page has over 900 fans. The Page is populated by Proton-contributed updates, videos and photos together with Fans-generated contents.
- Lastly, both ‘real’ and ‘fake’ voices of Proton Exora need to craft better ‘bio’. With the omnipresence of URL shorteners in Twitterville, posting full Facebook Page URL looks amateurish.
For Proton, it seems relatively easier to assimilate Facebook Page into its brand-building infrastructure, compared to Twitter. On Facebook, fans can communicate among themselves around a brand. On Twitter, its true potential is realized once the brand starts to engage actively in conversations. It’s about building and nurturing emotional attachment to the company through conversations. And it is quite challenging to achieve such goal if companies perceive social media as short-term episodic bursts of campaigns.
Let’s continue the discourse
Is building and sustaining a community on Twitter is harder compared to on Facebook Page? In the Malaysian context, considering there are over a million Facebook users in Malaysia compared to significantly lesser number of Twitter users
compared to only less than 100,000 users in Malaysia (more 77,000 with with #malaysia in WeFollow directory). Is number of Followers or Fans the right metric to measure the effectiveness of social web initiative? If no, what other aspects should we measure engagements on social web? Leave your thoughts here or let’s converse on Twitter @limyh.