Even though only 8% of Americans use Twitter (hey 25 million is nothing to sneeze at), most of the time I see companies doing it wrong. They go onto Twitter, start promoting their own products, and wonder why they don’t have as many followers as Justin Bieber. First off, you’re never going to have as many followers as Justin Bieber, unless you also happen to be a Canadian YouTube sensation who goes through a signing war with Justin Timberlake and Usher (wow, I know way too much about Bieber).
Second, nobody wants to follow an advertisement for one company. Think about other advertising: how much would you want to get status updates every time Ford airs a TV commercial? Unfortunately, that’s how most companies treat Twitter, as another way to advertise. Can Twitter be used for self-promotion? Absolutely. But no one is going to follow you if that’s all you do. Make your Twitter feed full of useful information, become a thought-leader in your industry, and I guarantee that people will follow you and yes, even buy more from you.
With that in mind, here’s the top 3 Twitter tips for corporate Twitter accounts:
1. Sound like a real person – Seems simple, but once the marketing or communications department has gotten a hold of normal language in most companies it ironically becomes unintelligible to the everyday person. Corporate speak might be okay, even required, for the website, but please keep it off Twitter. (see @JetBlue)
2. Respond to users — Positive or negative, if users are talking about you they need to know you are listening. If it’s a positive comment you can mention the user and say thanks. If it’s a negative comment, still mention the user, apologize that they didn’t receive the service/product they expected, and tell them you’re going to make it right. Other users will see this response and respect you more for it. Either way, it’s win-win. (see @ComcastCares)
3. Keep self-promotional Tweets to 1 in 5 — Really want to be a rock star? Make it 1 in 10. Again, Twitter users don’t want to hear your ads all day long. They are likely following so many people that they are begging for something useful and interesting to pop out of all of the clutter. Don’t become part of the noise; rise above it. (see @HRBlock)
That’s it. Customers want to know that you care about them, and totally ignoring their Tweets isn’t the best way to show that. Make the three above changes to your company Twitter account and you’re going to be miles ahead of most corporate Twitter accounts.
What have you found to be most successful for corporate Twitter profiles?