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Social media marketing – How Twitter could damage your business

Written by Brett Sidaway, February 15, 2011

Social media marketing – How Twitter could damage your business

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Social media marketing and Twitter

Twitter is hardly ever out of the news. This week, press reports of a possible takeover valued the business at $10billion dollars – not bad for a company that is just 5 years old. The Egyptian revolution also saw the use of Twitter to galvanise and direct action against the country’s leadership. It’s therefore no surprise that all kinds of business are trying to harness the power of Twitter. It can build brand recognition and help develop a loyal customer base. However, it could just as quickly harm an organisation or even destroy its reputation.  To make sure Twitter doesn’t damage your business make sure you avoid the following mistakes

1. Keep going

You’ve set up your Twitter account, got hundreds of loyal customers to follow you, tweeted ‘hi’ and then…..nothing. You are too busy, too tired or too lazy.

Unfortunately your ‘fans’ just think you have nothing to say or offer. They’ll soon find a brand/store/business that does. Before you even set up your account, plan what you are going to say AND WHEN. It’s very likely you’ll need to tweet at least once a day.

2. No tweet is an island

Usually tweets will be a link – in all senses – to other media especially your website or blog. So if your website looks bad, or is out of date or takes three weeks to upload get it sorted before you start tweeting. Customers’ patience will soon wear out if they cannot access the brilliant offers/support/insights that your tweet offers.

3. Think before you tweet – and think again

Cleverer people that you – well, politicians and sportsmen at least – have already discovered that the chance to tell the world what they think in just 140 characters can cause BIG problems. You may want the world to know your opinions about everyone from David Cameron to Jordan but its unlikely your customers do – and too easy to offend them. Keep your personal thoughts to your personal account

4. Being Boring

Bearing in mind the above, try to make sure you vary your content and do try to sound human, not some corporate spokesperson.  Build brand loyalty based on offering advice, insights and inspiration – not just freebies and discounts. Being different is what will get you noticed. It’s not easy – again you need to plan and work hard at developing your brand personality

5. Follow Me/Follow You

Sometimes the accounts you choose to ‘follow’ can say as much about you as your own tweets. Again make sure they are either relevant to the business [following other local businesses boosts them and creates a sense of community] or at least not likely to offend your ‘followers’, so avoid the political, religious or ….

6. That joke isn’t funny anymore

Never let it be said I want everything to be serious all the time, but humour can be a dangerous thing. Remember, when people read your tweet they don’t get tone – just the words. Don’t mistake creating a ‘personality’ for your business with trying to be funny. You’re friends might think you hilarious, but your customers may come to regard you as a joke. Don’t let me put you off. Twitter is full of success stories; businesses that have grown through building a loyal fan base. However, just because posting a ‘tweet’ is quick doesn’t make it easy. Fortunately, as ever, there are plenty of companies that can offer help  – from Twitter design and account setup to helping you to plan the social media services that are best suited to your business. They act a bit like stabilisers on a bike. Very soon you’ll be riding by yourself – and enjoying the journey. Opace Technology Solutions are a successful Birmingham Web Design company who specialise in delivering internet marketing services to clients, helping them on their journey to success. Author: Brett Sidaway – freelance writer who contributes to a number of websites on a range of topics from health, design and the internet.

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