Sure, some businesses (and even more celebrities) are seeing a nice return on the time they invest tweeting. But why are you wasting time on it? Out of the claimed 500 million Twitter accounts, about 200 million are considered active and of that, the majority are people tweeting a variety of nonsense to get reaction from their friends and groupies.
But shouldn’t I build a following on Twitter? I need those people to see my business!
People aren’t using Twitter to learn about new businesses and just like Facebook, people are starting to feel inundated with all the posts, tweets, and social media mumbo jumbo as anyone and everyone is trying to be heard. Do you really care what your buddy ate for dinner or what your aunt’s cat did today? I don’t.
Is Twitter the Best Place for Superfans?
If someone is following your business on Twitter, they are either there because they are a “superfan” (meaning they live and breathe what you do) or they are there to complain. These superfans don’t come from your presence on Twitter, they come from how you run your business. If you are doing it well, you will always have some of these people and make no mistake, they are one of your best assets. Your time is better spent nurturing their fandom through direct outreach than tweeting all over the place and seeing what sticks.
1) You are a very large corporation and you need better ways to handle customer service. Twitter is great for this because your customer can go to your Twitter page and get updates, complain, and get help practically in real time. Good stuff for companies like airlines and companies that provide real time services like utilities and web hosting, as long as they are monitoring it hourly.
2) You are a large retail organization and you use Twitter for branding. It’s a good place to talk about product releases and news. This works “OK” but again you are only tweeting out to your superfans. More people are likely to view a “New Products” section on your website than through Twitter, and you’re likely to have more success with email marketing to spread news and updates.
3) You are a celebrity/rock star in your industry. If you already have a large following and people are clamoring for you, then Twitter is your place. But before you say, “I’m definitely one of those people,” keep in mind that realistically there are only one or two of these in every industry. If you are a computer company and aren’t Bill Gates or in the medical industry and aren’t Dr. Oz, don’t waste your time.
If you don’t fit into one of the three above, you don’t need to be on Twitter. In my experience, really #1 is the only truly useful aspect of Twitter working well for a business. Save your marketing budget and scale back your social media budget for things that really work.