Anyone can post status updates on Facebook and Twitter. As marketing and PR professionals, however, we are responsible for creating a meaningful strategy that not only effectively promotes our brands, products and services, but also shows measurable ROI .

Instead of recreating the wheel, look to see what others have done well, and then determine how you can apply the same principles to your brand. Here’s a great example of a creative use of Twitter – a low-budget campaign that’s garnered global exposure for the police department, generating support for them after financial cutbacks, helping them increase productivity, and most importantly, reinforcing their key message.

According to Ad Age, last week a story in the U.K.’s Telegraph highlighted how a Manchester police department uses Twitter to detail inanity of 999 calls. (The 999 system is similar to 911 in the U.S.) As the paper reported, the Greater Manchester Police department took to Twitter to “demonstrate that most of their time is spent on ‘social work.'”

As Chief Constable Peter Fahy put it, “Policing is often seen in very simple terms, with cops chasing robbers and locking them up. However, the reality is that this accounts for only part of the work they have to deal with. A lot of what we do is dealing with social problems such as missing children, people with mental-health problems and domestic abuse. Often these incidents can be incredibly complex and need a lot of time, resource and expertise. I am not saying that we shouldn’t deal with these types of incidents — far from it. But what I am saying is that this work is not recognized in league tables and measurements — yet is a huge part of what we do.”

Thus the department’s clever Twitter campaign — undertaken, in part, to stave off budget cuts — which has surely succeeded beyond the chief constable’s wildest expectation, for this week they’ve landed in our Top 10. Twitterers around the world retweeted tweets from the department’s main feed, @gmpolice, as well as a special set of feeds in what it called its “24 Hour tweet experiment” (aggregated here), while fans of good police work tweeted messages of support (e.g., from Manchester student Jade Iqbal, who uses the Twitter handle @jiqbal: “@gmpolice: Thanks for all the hard work you do every day. Always polite, helpful and just generally amazing. Be safe!”).

Read the entire article.

The Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart is a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend.

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