Twitter in agency hunt to boost consumer appeal

Twitter has fired the starting gun on a major pitch process as it attempts to become a more mainstream consumer brand. The social network is looking for its first UK PR agency to position it as a people-focused brand and challenge Facebook.

Human interest: Twitter wants to appear more people-focused
Human interest: Twitter wants to appear more people-focused

The pitch process, which coincides with an agency search by rival LinkedIn, has seen the site hold talks with a number of consumer agencies with the aim of rapidly boosting user numbers.

Although it is viewed as an important site by journalists, brands and celebrities, Twitter has just ten million active UK users. Facebook has 30 million registered UK users.

Twitter’s chosen agency will be charged with making the site’s content more relevant to consumers by creating media outreach programmes using human interest stories about its users.

The search is not expected to cover corporate or crisis comms work, despite the brand being at the centre of a number of controversies over the past year.

The site’s use by rioters during last summer’s civil unrest across the country was much debated, as was its use to undermine super-injunctions.

In March, a student who posted racially offensive comments on the site about footballer Fabrice Muamba was jailed for 56 days.

The pitch comes after newly appointed European comms manager Rachel Bremer revealed in PRWeek last June: ‘I’ll be looking at promoting Twitter to UK consumers.’

Twitter declined to comment on the agency search, but it is understood to have met a shortlist of agencies.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn has also started talks with agencies, putting its UK agency Edelman on alert.

The social networking site, used by more than nine million members in the UK, confirmed the process but stated Edelman would still be used on a European and global basis.

Twitter in the UK

  • Twitter opened its London office in June 2011 and now employs 30 people.
  • More than 32,000 tweets a minute were sent during the Champions League Final on 19 May.
  • The UK is the fourth most active nation of tweeters, according to Semiocast.
  • Twitter has 24 million registrations but only ten million active members.

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