AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Corporate Twitter Accounts Are Stupid



Dear Social-Media-Bandwagon Jumpers,

Your restaurant, printing house, or engineering firm account on Twitter is stupid. Plus, most people I surveyed who actually know how to use Twitter generally think that your account is stupid too. Unless, of course, this person who knows how to use Twitter is a self-professed “social media specialist” who makes money off of your account’s stupidity.

Let me list some of the reasons as to why it’s stupid:

1. No one cares what the orange juice they drink has to say. A person who claims they care has no idea how to use the Internet.

2. It is really creepy when a restaurant tells you to “drive safely”.

3. Twitter is timely. Tweets are displayed on timelines the instant they are published, and then they disappear forever, unless someone checks your Twitter page on purpose. Thus, sharing offers, deals, etc. is counter intuitive (read: stupid) because it would make so much more sense to post these on a website that is designed to display offers, or on Facebook, which has an advanced algorithm that ensures that users actually see your offers.

4. Twitter is about conversations. It is not a one-way-stream of push media for your advertising purposes. If you want to advertise, Al-Waseet is probably a better medium.

5. Having a Twitter corporate account that is run by a social media company is really freakin’ lazy, and completely irrelevant to the idea of Twitter. Again, I repeat, Twitter is about conversations.

Now that you know why it’s stupid, let me give you a few ideas on how your business can make use of Twitter:

1. Get a Twitter account, but for heaven’s sake, tie it to a person: it could be the CEO of your company, the social media manager, the hot guy at the reception. I don’t care. But as Internet users, we want to talk to people, and we want to know their names, or at least, their nicknames.

And I’m not just pulling rules out of my ass. If you look at this list of best corporate Twitter accounts from Mashable, you will notice that many of them use real names:

Come on, it’s commonly accepted wisdom that we as humans like to talk to a person, and not an anonymous collective. “Hello, my name is Roba.”

2. I can think of a few exceptions to the above rule:

  • Your company or service provides constant, timely, and objective updates, like a news site or a newspaper. Then, you can just plug in your RSS feed.
  • Your Twitter account is actually maintained by several people who REALLY WORK WITH YOU, and then you can just use add the word “team” somewhere, but the account must be obviously your own, and not run by a third-party that has no knowledge of what you do.

I’m sure there are some other exceptions, but you know what they need? Lack of laziness from your part.

3. Once you tie your account to a real person, you must engage in conversations. Read what other people are saying. Say what’s on your mind. Make sure your “advertising” is relevant to people’s needs. Be human.

4. Don’t be cliché. Most corporate Twitter accounts post the same updates. I’m guessing they come from a masterlist of “fill in the blanks with company name”.

  • “Good morning, #CityName!”
  • “Come to ___________ today to do ___________.”
  • “Drive safely, ___________!”
  • “Beautiful weather in ___________ today!”
  • “Have you visited our ___________ this week? We have a new offer!”
  • “What is your favorite ___________ at our store/restaurant/etc.?”
  • “We are so proud of our country ___________!”

Urgh.

So, in a nut shell, if you’re going to:

a) be lazy (i.e. outsource your social media activity, post nothing but offers)

b) have nothing to say (i.e. beautiful weather!)

c) outsource your activity to a random social media company that has nothing to do with your office culture

d) have no time to tweet with meaning

Then for frack’s sake, just don’t get a Twitter account.

Thanks,
A Concerned Twitter User Who Does Not Classify Herself as a Social-Media-Specialist

Previous

Bring Back the Sun Again

Next

And We Grow Older: A Facebook Pictures Experimentation

17 Comments

  1. Guest

    If u don’t like them then don’t click the follow button and you won’t be bothered by them. I don’t agree with Fox news so I don’t watch it – as simple as. I’m sure the people who do watch or follow the stuff we don’t find something in it appealing or satisfying. Its hard for most but Live and Let be :D 

  2. Iit is a public service announcement. I hate waste, and such accounts are a waste of time, energy, and money.
    Plus, there is the beautiful word of RT, where all the “social media specialists” RT the BS of the companies they tweet for. I can unfollow these “social media specialists”, but I choose not to, because their other tweets are usually cool.
    So no, I won’t live and let live.

  3. Nice post Roba! Twitter accounts that churn out corporate junk are a waste of time. And unfortunately, there are plenty of them (many followed mainly by their own employees and agency staff!). However, the good news is that companies in the region do seem to be learning and we’ve seen a growing number of them doing quite a good job on Twitter. Now the challenge for brands is to not only do a reasonable job at the basics, but also to excite and engage in more effective and more meaningful ways. Let’s hope that the brands that get there first goad the others into doing better!

  4. Indeed, Carrington. I also have an issue with the many “social media consultancies” springing up. I think they are making everything worse.

  5. LOL Send a press release out to the media and the media can always choose not to run it, but you can get your agency to post whatever you like online as many times as you like! More is better, right? ;o)

  6. More. More. More! :P

  7. Khalidjarrar

    I still think that twitter all together is stupid:P

  8. In principle, a corporate Twitter account can be great, right?
    All it depends upon is

    – what is the purpose?
    – who is your target audience?
    – what type of content do they REALLY value?

    If you can answer the above, have a clear strategy and deliver what your target audience values, why not Twitter?

    Nevertheless, you list the cases that illustrate when one should not do it. Thanks for doing that
    Urs @Commetrics:twitter

  9. Nooo, I love Twitter. It’s so entertaining :)

  10. Indeed! Questions all marketers have to ask, regardless of medium.

  11. ” or on Facebook, which has an advanced algorithm that ensures that users actually see your offers.” 
    you ever actually tried to take advantage of that “advanced algorithm” you’re so convinced about? Hahahaha. Haha. here’s a tip: you’ve been scammed as bad as fb’s investors hope to scam retail stock buyers

  12. I run several accounts on FB and engagement is very high because they show up on stream.

  13. not_a

    i agree… if someone or a corporate body wants to say something it needs to represent some value to their public, or else its just noise 

  14. Yup. Value is always the bottom line.

  15. Great post. 
    I agree that there is lots of “noise” on social media, mostly because it’s thought of as free advertising, but it’s not just corporate. Small businesses and entrepreneurs make the same mistakes. It’s simply a lack of understanding of how social media works -“ignorance” in the true sense of the word – and these companies/individuals feel pressure to jump on the bandwagon, but just don’t know how to do it correctly (or don’t feel they have the time to learn).

    #4 – I know a cafe that does this :)

  16. Ignorance is a great way to put it… and then they don’t bother to learn. Lazy AND ignorant. Urgh.

  17. Ben G

    This is extremely short-sighted. There are many corporations that successfully use Twitter without following any of these rules. I actually think that Twitter is less about conversation that it is about personality. And giving a corporation or a business a personality is important in building brand loyalty and connecting with consumers/clients on another level.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén