'Social Media'

Common pitfalls of Twitter marketing (Part II)

31 JAN 2011 4

Even though it was initially designed for social interactions much like texting from mobile phones, Twitter can be a powerful tool in the hands of a marketer. This article is the second part of the series and will outline a few more don’ts of Twitter marketing.

Being overly conservative

Don’t be overly serious, it will only complicate the lives of the small amount of followers who will actually try to read your tweets. Leave the conservative approach for LinkedIn. Twitter is all about witty and more personal comments that will make your followers interested in what you have to offer.

Say something funny every once in a while. Retweet a viral video, or make your followers smile. Create a bond that’s a bit less formal than the standard business relationship and turn your followers into friends.

Stating facts without engaging the community

Contrary to what site operators commonly think, the Internet doesn’t revolve around them and their company. Unless you are a well established company or a famous superstar, people won’t care about you. No one will be interested that you had your coffee at Starbucks that morning (unless you are Oprah,) nor that your expensive car broke down. Engage your followers in conversations. Rather than simply stating facts and personal experiences, ask them to do something.

Proper attitude? Dealing with the two examples above, you could try to

  • Invite some of your followers to have coffee with you on a certain morning. Make it sound like a contest and offer them some promotional gifts. An offline meeting with some of your followers could be grounds for a more solid business relationships once they get to meet “the person behind the Twitter account.”
  • Asking your followers where you can get a new tail pipe for your Buick. Your audience will see you are not just a robot, but a real person with real problems.

Discussing sales in the main stream

You can’t elaborate any sales proposal on Twitter. Period. You can’t convince anyone that your product is the best in 160 characters or less! If you have leads on Twitter, ask them for an email address, instant messenger or phone number and do the sale the old fashioned way. Otherwise the platform limitations will keep you from fully describing the benefits of your product and you will lose customers. Just like you wouldn’t do a sales pitch via SMS, stay away from Twitter.

Sales talk shouldn’t be mistaken for simply pointing @users to your product description page if they ask where they can buy product X. It’s alright to hint your followers on what you are selling, as long as they know what they want and they have their minds already made.

This wraps up our second episode on Twitter mistakes you should avoid when posting to your account.

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