Despite Bill Keller’s belief that Twitter is destroying our ability to actually communicate and contemplate thought, if utilized properly, the social media network gives companies the opportunity to engage more potential consumers. The key to Twitter success is sharing relevant content, not just trying to push a sale.
According to Mark Fidelman, Jill Duffy, Kim Darst and Emily Price, the worst thing a brand could do on Twitter is push their products instead of pushing relevant content. Many tweeters suggest following the 80/20 rule (80 percent content, 20 percent sales), but as a consumer and a Twitter user, I would prefer a 90/10 ratio. Sure it’s great to be knowledgeable about promotions every once in awhile, but if a brand if constantly trying to get me to buy something, I’m going to unfollow them.
Pushing sales is a lot like walking into some clothing stores. I loathe the stores where as soon as I walk through the door, I’m bombarded with employees telling me all of the latest promotions. If I even so much as look at a shirt, an employee comes over to tell me what a great deal it is. Enough is enough! Constant pushing of sales is only going to push potential customers away, and the theory holds true for Twitter.
Sharing relevant content helps you appear like an industry expert. Even if your followers aren’t in the market to buy what you’re selling, the content you share will have them constantly engaged with your brand. When the customer is looking to buy, you will have already won their trust.
Aaron Lee, Garst, Duffy suggest that in order for a brand to be fully engaged, they must respond to the tweets they receive. Responding to your followers shows that you care about your customers. Many customers will retweet your responses because they’re pleasantly surprised that someone took the time to respond. Just this week, I noticed several of my classmates excitedly posting responses they received from big companies. My classmates’ excitement makes me wonder, how many larger companies are taking the time to build relationships through social media? Is it reasonable to expect large companies to respond to every single tweet?
Twitter not only allows you to have conversations with your customers, it allows you to see what customers are saying about your brand and your industry. Cheryl Conner and Michael Brito encourage brands to monitor what they’re customers are saying and how they’re using Twitter. Once you have a better understanding of what the customer wants, you’ll be able to engage them more successfully.
It’s important for both companies and professionals to know how to successfully use Twitter. Ryan Lytle explains that Twitter helps students and professionals create a brand for themselves. Good grades aren’t enough anymore, it’s important to have a social media presence.
Teaching students how to properly utilize Twitter will eventually allow companies to have less restrictive guidelines for their tweeters. If a professional knows how to use Twitter, and understands the company’s goals and audiences, shouldn’t they be trusted to carry out the brand’s goals without having their voice restricted?