25 April, 2010

How Businesses Can Be Better Tweeters.

This post isn't really food-related, but it needs to be said.

Like it or not, Twitter is a big part of the internet landscape right now.  It's a great tool for microchats with friends and associates, and businesses have found that it is equally effective for communication with existing and potential customers.  Although I don't send out that many tweets myself, I get endless enjoyment out of following a bunch of friends and fellow bloggers.  And, most relevant to this post, I follow a few businesses as well.

As a consumer, I find commercial tweets to be informative.  They let me know about line introductions, brand extentions, new products, and special promotions.  As a blogger, I read commercial tweets as mini-press releases which tip me off to upcoming company news or interesting chatter I can pass along to my readers.  Most of it is good stuff.  But some of it is stupid, repetitive, utter crap, and businesses need to learn how to quit shitting into the tweet stream lest they start losing followers. 

So, here are a few suggested do's and don'ts to commercial tweeters, from one of the millions of people you're trying to reach through social media.  I'm not the only one who feels this way; business owners, you ignore these suggestions at your peril:

  • Do  keep a fairly active twitter stream.  Stay in the timeline and you'll  hold our attention.
  • Don't  keep tweeting the same damn thing over and over.  If I have to see "Taste our delicious new line of powdered soups!!" six times a day, guess what I'm NOT going to buy?  Your annoying soups, that's what.
  • Don't  treat Twitter like a free advertising conduit.  There's a reason it's called "social media."  People are following you because they already know your company and like your products. Do tell us about new stuff, or promotions, or interesting company news.  Don't  dun us with advertisements unless you want us to unfollow you or actively block you.
  • Don't  assume that all we want from you is tweets about stuff you're selling us.  Do give us links to interesting news relevant to your business - or links completely irrelevant to your business that you just think would be cool to share.
  • Do  feel free to RT compliments and comments followers send to you - we like recognition as much as you do.
  • Do  treat your followers as partners in your success.  We follow you because we beleive in you and want to see you succeed, and because Twitter gives us a more intimate  and immediate connection with you than we can get through traditional means.
There you have it.  Please, marketers:  take these suggestions to heart.

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