Twitter and PR: Monitoring and Identity

After the conference re:publica in Berlin the Twitter hype has been reaching Germany, too. The number of users is rising faster than before and some days ago the first German Twitter charts (based on the number of followers) have been published. But this week two occurrences also showed to PR people that they should care about Twitter:

  • The Comcast-story showed that Twitter monitoring (and reacting on relevant Tweets) could be very reasonable (via). It is obvious, that Twitter can be used as an early stage warning system for organizations – in other words: If you talk about blog monitoring you should include Twitter monitoring, e.g. based on keyword searches. Even more since the story spreat from Twitter to blogs to mass media.
  • The second story concerns identity: Yesterday many German Twitterati and Bloggers reported a Hamburg based newspaper (Hamburger Morgenpost – MoPo) started to use Twitter. But today, we learned: It is a fake account. Someone grabbed the account and uses it as a tool of guerilla communication – including the logo of MoPo and a link to the official website. The background is a conflict between the publisher and the editorial staff of MoPo.

The MoPo story shows four things to me:

  1. Twitter can be used in campainging very well,
  2. information may spread very quick – not only within Twitter but also within further channels,
  3. many users trust their first and quick impression (concerning identity and content),
  4. and a similar story might happen to nearly every company which hasn’t registered an account with its name (and this problem doesn’t concern only Twitter). Ehm, I refrain from registering Twitter accounts for any company.

I have to admit: These cognitions aren’t new at all – but concerning services of the social web it would be useful if PR people won’t forget them…

If you wish to do so you can follow me on Twitter here. Without any fake.

12 Kommentare

  1. Thomas: The link to the supposedly fake MOPO-Account is broken. You missed the http://

    I think this is a quite interesting as you have mentioned in your post and as have others noted. If the account holder is an insider of MOPO the case would be even more interesting.

    If it should turn out that it is a guerilla thing of some whoever-pr-marketing-kind-of-junk-firm it still is interesting but would also piss me off big time :-) I love my twitter and I want it to stay SPAM-free, fakefree and all natural… wishful thinking i guess ;-)


  2. Steffen, thanks for the hint concerning the link.

    In contrast to some others I do not know the account holder but I interpret the story as a kind of private campaigning (of an individual or a small group). Anyway IMO it’s ok to do campaiging and to do it with aliases (if you’re not acting for a company) on Twitter. But you’re definitly right: using fake accounts disrupts the system of trust communities like Twitter base on. It’s very close to spam, I think.


  3. Hallo Herr Pleil,
    Sie haben in einem Beitrag neulichen eine Person erwähnt, die offensichtlich Ihre Bookmarks abonniert hatte.

    Können Sie mir sagen, wie das geht – das würde ich auch gerne machen. Ihr Blog ist einer der wenigen, die ich wirklich informativ finde, was auch daran liegt, dass Sie nicht alles kommentieren und vorsichtig in der Auswahl Ihrer Themen sind.
    Beste Grüße,
    Carten Wendt


  4. The problem is exactly how to monitor twitter. Unlike some blogs, twitter is a constant flow of information.

    My recent discovery is

    And I use techorati with to alert me of new links to my blog or new posts that will interest me at a given time.


  5. @Carsten Wendt: Danke für die nette Rückmeldung. Die Antwort habe ich gerade in einem Extra-Post gegeben.

    @Bruno: Monitoring Twitter seems to work quite well with This will produce a RSS-Feed. If you use Twitter on your mobile phone you can also track keywords directly. Therefore you send an SMS to Twitter like „Track keyword“. This is a function of Twitter itself. I played with both options a bit and feel informed….


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