IBJNews

Six faces behind Indianapolis business Twitter handles

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Before Twitter, 140 characters didn’t amount to much when it came to corporate marketing plans.

But companies seizing the opportunity early, like Scotty’s Brewhouse (@brewhouse), with a whopping 7,626 followers, have made tweeting a full-time part of their business. Scotty’s owner Scott Wise recently hired a full-time employee to manage the chain’s social media, while Scotty’s employees are required to tweet from their store’s Twitter handle as a part of the social media policy within the employee handbook.

By encouraging personal interaction between Scotty’s and its followers, Wise has forged a clientele relationship he’s compared to an IV drip. A recent tweet: Thanks for the Foursquare check-ins, let me know how lunch is please.

“People tell me social media is a waste of time, which I think is a joke,” he said. (See IBJ's 2010 profile of Wise and videos of him in action here.)

Locally, it’s the smaller businesses that are tweeting from the rooftops, as Indianapolis’ largest companies either have a dinky Twitter account (WellPoint Inc.) or have surprisingly few followers relative to their corporate footprint (Eli Lilly and Co. has 3,119 followers).

Tweeting the wrong thing can be detrimental. Just ask the Chrysler employee who was let go recently for using a cuss word on Twitter, which is why Wise thinks larger companies haven’t taken full advantage of Twitter as a measured marketing tool.

“Smaller companies have less of a risk,” he said.

Inside are profiles of six local corporate employees in charge of establishing their company’s Twitter identity. With little precedent in the arena, they explain their strategies for navigating uncharted corporate skies.•

--------------------
 

kiki karau Kimi Karau (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Kimi Karau, 27

Company: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Handle: @Indy_Symphony

Followers: 2,701

Title: digital marketing manager

Sample Tweet: Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when Dennis DeYoung mixes the music of Styx with the ISO, next Thursday,... http://fb.me/TmEZAqqp (link to a You Tube video)

Strategy: Rather than another marketing strategy, Karau views Twitter as “another level of patron engagement,” and a way to show what the symphony is up to when it’s not putting on a performance. Karau, whose position was brand new when she accepted it in 2009, stresses it’s important not to be overly “salesy.” Rather, she tries to give the symphony a face and personality. When an intern brought in a cake on her last day, Karau tweeted a photo. “A tweet has such a small lifespan, it wouldn’t be beneficial to push out one sales pitch after another. People are immune to it.”•

--------------------
 

greg seiter Greg Seiter (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Greg Seiter, 43

Company: AAA Hoosier Motor Club

Handle: @AAAhoosier

Followers: 1,329

Title: public affairs manager

Sample Tweet: Sitting 2 close or far away from yr steering wheel? Sit no closer than 10 inches but close enough 2 maintain bend in elbows

Strategy: Seiter took it upon himself to start the @AAAhoosier account after talk of social media cropped up at a AAA conference two years ago. He figured he could make the intimidating and often-confusing world of car insurance a little more approachable. While the account is part of AAA Hoosier’s brand, Seiter rarely uses it to directly market the company, something he says followers are fond of. Instead, he uses the medium to preach tips on safe driving or gas saving. He’s even forwarded stranded drivers’ info to dispatch.

--------------------
 

michael kaltenmark Michael Kaltenmark (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Michael Kaltenmark, 31

Company: Butler University

Handle: @butleru

Followers: 4,707

Title: director of Web marketing and communications

Sample Tweet: Looks like we’ll be a No. 8 seed in the home “whites” on Saturday in Houston. Never had ram. Heard it’s good, Texas BBQ style. #godawgs

Strategy: As overseer of both @butleru and the mascot account, @ButlerBlue2, Kaltenmark’s phone buzzed almost nonstop during the NCAA tournament season. Butler’s basketball success has made gaining followers easy, but now Kaltenmark is faced with keeping them engaged. Interacting with followers is key. For example, he recently asked followers to identify themselves as students or alumni of Butler so he could follow them. “It’s all about the quality of your tweet.” Klout, an organization that measures Twitter accounts’ influence, ranked Butler the sixth-most-influential college on Twitter, but Kaltenmark is aiming for No. 1.

--------------------
 

john ban John Ban (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

John Ban, 31

Company: West Coast Tacos

Handle: @WestCoastTacos

Followers: 4,430

Title: co-owner

Sample Tweet: LUNCH at Illinois & Ohio (One America) 11am-1pm #GetYourFix....Try the New Fried Rice Burrito! & try our New Wasabi Salsa on your tacos!

Strategy: The food truck is mostly known for tweeting its location or asking followers where they’d like the taco truck to park for dinner, but Ban says that’s only part of his responsibilities as “main tweeter.” Ban no longer rides on the truck, but still keeps in close contact with clientele via Twitter. “I make sure I have conversations with people [on Twitter] every day,” he said. “And it doesn’t have to be about tacos.” Ban admits he has an easier time marketing his company on Twitter than other businesses. “Our business is fun, anyways, so the tweets are automatically fun, too,” he said.

--------------------
 

libby manship Libby Manship (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Libby Manship, 33

Company: IU Health

Handle: @IU_Health

Followers: 1,622

Title: director of e-marketing

Sample Tweet: Do #cellphones affect young brains? What the research says: http://iuh.me/gx2jKh (link to study)

Strategy: While Manship adapts IU Health’s tweets to what’s happening within the community, she’s careful not to let her personality shine through. “Our followers aren’t interested in Libby’s personality,” she said. Instead, she focuses on tweeting health information that make followers think. For example, during the Indiana State Fair last summer, @IU_Health tweeted what followers would have to do to burn off fair foods like deep-fried Twinkies.

--------------------
 

matt cooper Matt Cooper (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Matt Cooper, 28

Company: Indiana Pacers

Handle: @indianapacers

Followers: 20,736

Title: digital marketing manager

Sample Tweet: It’s final. The #Pacers knock off the @ChicagoBulls tonight in OT, 115-108.

Strategy: Cooper’s obvious busy hours are when he’s tweeting courtside during games, making his main challenge engaging fans while the Pacers are off the court. Most popular tweets include trivia questions or contests to win autographed pictures and other memorabilia. Cooper encourages followers to tweet any concerns they may have about the Pacers or Conseco Fieldhouse in general as he pays close attention to what they’re saying when the Fieldhouse is occupied. “Sometimes people are having trouble at will-call or want to know where the nearest rest room is. I can respond to that very quickly,” he said. He’s also been known to research Pacers trivia at the request of a follower.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT