'Social Media'

Common pitfalls of Twitter marketing (Part I)

20 DEC 2010 1

Twitter is extremely popular these days, but to use it properly, you should be aware of some mistakes that can kill your campaign from the very start. This post is the beginning of a series of articles that will show you what you need to stay away from.

Tweeting as if the business itself could talk

Your followers want to interact with a human being, not some robot that announces what’s new with your company. Turn your Twitter account into a press release platform and your followers will soon lose interest in your company. Your followers want to know the people behind those fancy desks and shiny buildings. Add the @human touch to your Twitter business account so that people won’t fell they are talking to logos.

Common practices include:

  • Updating the Bio section to mention who is talking to followers at the moment (e.g. from @JetBlue: Have a question? Follow us and let us help! For official customer concerns, go to jetblue.com/speakup or call 1-800-jetblue Currently on duty: @JetBlue/team)
  • Mentioning that the account is handled by @someone (e.g. from @Ford: Drive One. This account is run by @ScottMonty (^SM) Digital Communications & @AHall32 (^AH) Technology Communications, with occasional help from our agency team.)
  • Ending up tweets with /initials (@Ford)

Of course, you can come up with your own personal way of showing that there is an actual human answering all queries.

Using automated tools to build your followers base

The Internet floods us with services offering free “surefire” ways to boost your followers. There are too many reasons why using such a service is plain wrong and no one in their right mind should resort to it:

  • You know the old saying There’s no free lunch, you have to pay the piper. Such programs will gain full access to your account and tweet on your behalf. While most of the tweets are self promoting (“WOW click here to get hundreds of followers for free!”), some may promote adult or illegal services. Your reputation could be easily ruined, not to mention the chance of having your account banned.
  • None of these services will provide targeted followers. They just follow random users in bulk and wait for them to follow you back. There is no classification based on their interests and what they’re tweeting about.
  • You end up following VIP users that are highly irrelevant to your business. Yes, run such a service with your financial advising Twitter account and you will follow Oprah, Justin Bieber and Mercedes Benz.

Just like you wouldn’t give your house keys to a complete stranger based solely on his word (let’s call it a Privacy policy) that he wouldn’t steal anything, you shouldn’t hand over your Twitter account to these services. Most account hijacks are done through users willingly giving their passwords to such shady websites.

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