Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category
Do you ever wonder why people don’t follow you back on Twitter? As I was perusing my Twitter accounts a few days ago, I saw some Twitter followers that I know personally, but do not follow back. And before you judge me, know that I am not one of those people who think they are too important to follow back (they do exist.)
Social media is about engagement, so if I know you, but see that you have a profile with no picture, no bio, and you’ve never Tweeted, I am going to assume you aren’t really there to engage, so I won’t follow you back. And a big part of this is because there are limitations on the number of people you can follow, so each connection should be with someone who is engaged in Twitter.
If I don’t know you, but I like what you’re about (based on your bio and/or tweets) I will very likely follow you. If I see that you like to rant and use profanity, there is a good likelihood that I will soon unfollow you. As I engage in social media, I like to connect with those who share my core values which doesn’t include publicly using profanity… unless it’s warranted.
What about you? Do you have rules for following or unfollowing people on Twitter? Let me know in the comments below.
If you have not heard, the Dallas Cowboys has forced one of it’s cheerleaders to close her Twitter account. She is Melissa Kellerman, the cheerleader who was blindsided by Tight End Jason Witten during a football game (he unintentionally ran into her at the end of a play.) It seems that she figured out how to attract an audience better than the team did, and of course like most good corporate entities, they simply don’t know how to handle the success of an employee and fear that they will somehow taint the organization.
When I first read it, I was tempted to be shocked that yet another large organization has not figured out how to use social media effectively. I did assume that an organization such as the Dallas Cowboys had a social media expert on staff and also that they had a social media policy in place given that it’s almost 2012.
Here is the missed opportunity. They should have simply played along and interacted with those that were drooling over, I mean following Melissa. It would have been good for the organization overall. Now they just look bad and have their fans, the media, and all of America (well, perhaps all of the men) watching to see what will their next move will be.
Over the weekend, I noticed that one of my websites was offline. It’s not a mission critical site which is why it was not monitored more closely (in case you are wondering), but it is a site that generates income and one that I was getting ready to upgrade.
I noticed that the web stats had dropped to zero for the past few days and I knew there was a problem. I tried to visit the site and it was down so I called the web hosting provider (I will be nice and not out them… but you can certainly see my Twitter history if you know how to find it) Anyhow, I was told that it was a known issue and being worked on and therefore I could not have a support ticket, but that I was welcome to call back and endure another 5+ minute hold time if I wanted an update. Let’s just say, it was less than stellar customer service.
Knowing the power of Social Media, I Tweeted about the issue and named the company in the Tweet, so they would see the message. After not getting a response, I followed up with another Tweet saying that I was surprised that they did not monitor Twitter, given how large of a company they were. Within a few minutes, I was contacted via Twitter asking for my ticket number. I told them the issue and that I was told a ticket could be created… at which time they created a support ticket and told me the issue would be resolved that day.
The next day the issue still persisted and I replied to the support ticket asking for an update because they did not meet the time frame they had said they would. I then Tweeted that I was still frustrated that after 4 days of a website outage (which is simply unacceptable), I still did not have a status. I am sure you can guess what happened next. I got a Twitter message saying that someone would call me to try to resolve the issue, and of course I got a phone call. No one could tell me what magically happened, but they were able to get my site back up within minutes of that call. They said they did a work around to get mine up but that the others on my shared server were still offline. I guess I am surprised that no one else had a problem with their website being down for days.
What’s the moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media. As you might imagine, a few web hosting competitors and affiliates saw my posts and contacted me via Twitter with hosting offers. I went to respond to one to thank them, but they failed to follow me (on Twitter) which means, I could not communicate with them. Well, at least they were on the right track…
Some people love Twitter and others still find no purpose for it. I get lots of questions from people about what they should do regarding Twitter, and this is what I say. Do not let the “hype” of Twitter distract you from your business or intentional marketing practices such as search engine optimization of paid search. Most businesses will do far better focusing on connecting with those people currently searching for their products or services because these are people who are looking to make buying decisions.
That said, Twitter does have tremendous value in terms of building your brand, connecting with others in your industry, and providing customer service (for those who are on Twitter already).
Here are my recommendations for anyone considering adding Twitter to their online marketing program:
1. Decide how you are going to use Twitter and let people know by putting this on your Twitter page. If you are simply providing customer service, then let people know. If you have limited staffing for Twitter, let people know the quickest way to reach you. If you are building community or having a contest, make that known as well so people know what to expect.
2. Make sure you have someone who can spend at least 30 minutes per day on Twitter. You can even break it down into two 15 minute tiem slots and make the focus on checking for direct messages or mentions of your company and responding. As you grow, you will eventually need to dedicate whatever time is needed to handle the inquiries so be prepared for that. Ideally, you should make time to see who is following you and decide if you want to follow them back.
3. Don’t feel compelled to spend time growing your followers if you are not using Twitter as a branding platform. The customers that want to find you on Twitter will find you because they will search for you. Ideally, you would want to use it for all of it’s value which includes branding and promoting your company, but people need to realize that the more you want to use Twitter for, the more internal resources you will need.
I hope that is helpful.
Happy Tweeting and have a great weekend!
P.S. – You can also find me on Twitter (Anthony Kirlew).
With Valentines Day just around the corner, I am sure you have seen those little candy hearts that come out around Valentine’s with the little messages on them such as “hug me” & “kiss me.” Well, now the Sweethearts candy will have a new message for this years batch – “tweet me”. Your odds of getting one of these is about one in 60, so I assume this will help boost sales of an already popular candy.
In addition, the company is launching an iphone app that allows you to send virtual Sweethearts boxes to your valentine. Read the full story at USA Today.