Twitter can be a great tool for any business even if there is a danger that you spend all day using it and never get any real work done. My excuse is that I’m researching the best approaches to customer interaction, but I’m afraid that if you become addicted to Twitter, you’ll have to find your own.
Nevertheless, as with any other social media site, there is always the possibility that things will go very, very wrong. Here are a few dumb mistakes that other people have made so you don’t have to.
3: Trending Tragedies
One recommendation I used to see a lot of in ‘marketing on Twitter 101’ guides was to keep an eye on which hashtags are trending and then tweet something using that hashtag. The idea, of course, is that you will attract more attention if you are part of a trending conversation.
However, what you definitely don’t want to do is what mid-range fashion brand Kenneth Cole did when they tweeted the following during the Arab uprisings last January:
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is available online…”
Needless to say, after the reaction and outraged response to that tweet died down, Kenneth Cole both deleted the tweet and apologized. Too late. The damage was already done.
2: I’m Talking To You So Your Job Is To Listen
Let’s be honest: as small business owners, pretty much all of us are on Twitter to help promote our companies and to communicate with our customers and clients.However, you will soon alienate your followers if all that communication is strictly one way.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s perfectly fine to throw in a promotional tweet about new products or mention that you have a new post on your blog or whatever. What is likely to get you either ignored or un-followed in double quick time is if all your tweets are about you and your business. If you never respond to your followers either publically or via DM and it becomes clear you are only on Twitter to tell everyone how wonderful your company is then you are on a one way ticket to failure. There are far too many examples of this on Twitter so it would be unfair to single out any examples.
Keep in mind: Twitter is about two way communication. If people are reaching out to @yourcompany, then they deserve a response. Fail to do that and you #fail on Twitter.
1: Fallacious Followers and Fake Friendships
There are lots of tools and services out there that are designed to get you lots of followers very quickly. There is software out there automates the process of followingpeople based on criteria such as their location and interests. The aim is, of course, that if you follow them, then a certain percentage will follow you back.
Going one step further, there are even services that allow you to buy followers.
On one level, this works: your Twitter account looks like you have lots of people following you. In reality, though, none of these people are in the least bit interested in what you have to say and they are not monitoring your tweets. It is tempting to do this but you’ll only end up looking foolish. Real Twitter followers interact with you, fake ones don’t.
It’s far, far better to have an account with fewer followers where there is engagement and conversation taking place than to have an account with thousands of fake followers.
Hopefully, you will choose to avoid these three big Twitter marketing mistakes and will use the service to really speak to and listen to people who are interested in what your business offers.
This is a guest post from Matt Greene who, when he is not feeding his Twitter addiction, sources 50th birthday gift ideas for one of the UK’s top ten online gift stores, Find Me A Gift.