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 ___________!”
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.
A Concerned Twitter User Who Does Not Classify Herself as a Social-Media-Specialist