How to be authentic on Twitter: Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Jim Cregan is the founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, a brand that’s rapidly establishing itself as one of London’s most cheerful and likeable. A massive part of this is down to their skill on social media, especially on Twitter. They’ve nailed the art of being approachable – a key part of this is that their personality shines through.

“We’re reliable, honest, fun and easy,” explains Jim. “That’s what people expect from us when dealing with our business – it’s who we are.”

We’ve picked Jim’s brains to get his top tips for being authentic on social media, thus making virtual stage fright a thing of the past.

Why Jim loves Twitter

“Social media is one of the most important things ever for us – it’s great and, best of all, it doesn’t cost anything,” enthuses Jimmy. “It lets you talk with your customers in real time, get feedback, gives you invaluable insight into what people are saying about you and helps you reach a wider audience both on or offline.”

What businesses do best on Twitter?

“Products that tend to do really well on Twitter are consumer-facing, selling products. Basically, brands that have an idea,” says Jimmy. “You can share snapshots from your lifestyle and what the day-to-day workings of your business involve, which makes your audience feel closer to you.”

For example, the team over at Jimmy’s HQ have had an ice cream machine in the office, experimenting with making some iced-coffee ice cream and sharing the results with their Twitter feed. It’s like we’re there in the office with them. Almost.

Keeping it real

“The most important thing you can do to stay authentic on social media is to keep things in-house, rather than outsourcing to an agency,” advises Jimmy. “Even if you feel nervous about social media, it’s important that your personality shines through – people will respond to this. Don’t make it all about promotion, either. Give your audience a taste of your everyday life. Share things that you like, your favourite shoes, what you’ve been doing. It gives your audience touch points; they realise that there are real people behind the business.”

Know your platform

“We use different social channels in different ways,” advises Jimmy. “On Twitter we’ll tweet a lot to customers, we’ll have conversations throughout the day. On Facebook, however, we’ll share longer updates, and on Instagram obviously we’ll share photos of the product and what adventures we’ve been getting up to.”

Don’t think that one size fits all when it comes to social media platforms. Use each one differently and try and establish what each audience wants and expects from you. Are people on Twitter generally hoping for a chat or for their customer service problems to be resolved? Are your Facebook fans hoping for a discount code or in-depth information? Figure it out!

Don’t cross the line

“We might be a bit cheeky sometimes but there are some things you should never do – like swearing, or getting nasty,” advises Jimmy. “We’ll make light-hearted jokes, but we’ll never slander people or be spiteful. To avoid crossing the line and offending people you have to know how far you can push it.”

Even if the person you’re interacting with is being difficult, ensure you’re respectful and polite at all times. Being rude or mean reflects badly on your brand, and once you’ve tweeted something into the ether you might never be able to get it back…

Just do it

“Just get busy and stop worrying,” says Jimmy. “Twitter is so quick – blink and it’s gone. Everyone makes mistakes, so just get talking to people, and don’t overthink it. Echo the things you’re doing already in real life when dealing with your customers, relax, and be yourself.”

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