Why Are You On Twitter?

A recent study conducted by Nielsen states that 60% of Twitter users who sign up, fail to return the following month.  Although this statistic is quite interesting, I’m not worried that you’ll fall into this category.  My fears are based on a much more dismal result.  I fear that you’ll stay active on Twitter, and you’ll have no idea why.  I fear you’ll spend countless hours sending unrelated tweets, amass a completely random group of followers that have no benefit of your product or service, and you’ll ultimately receive absolutely no measurable benefits from Twitter.  And no, “showing our customers we’re hip and involved in social media” is not a real benefit.

I fear you’ll become one in the long long list of companies/brands on Twitter that no one cares about and offers no value.

I think the first fundamental mistake a company/brand makes on Twitter is not taking the time to think about why they are on Twitter.  Without that discussion and thought process, a proper strategy cannot be created.  First impressions are made once, don’t fail to think through this process.

If you are representing yourself and simply use Twitter as a way to connect with friends, then do anything you like.  However, if you are representing a brand or company, or you want to position yourself as a brand or an authority…then I think it’s about time you asked yourself…why am I on Twitter?  Playtime is over.

Common Bad Reasons Companies Are On Twitter:

  • We Didn’t Want to Be The Only Ones Not At The Party:  Because all of your competitors are on Twitter, it doesn’t offer a compelling reason to sign up without a strategy.
  • Another Way To Push Press Releases:  While Twitter can be a good way to get new information about your products to a new audience and current fans, Twitter is meant to be a two-way dialogue.  You need to tweet solid content and interact, not just tweet one-way press releases.
  • Because Our Facebook Page Isn’t Working:  Lack of success with other social media networks doesn’t mean that Twitter will be your saving grace.  Lack of success with other social networks could be an indication that you need more work perfecting your strategy in social media.

Good Reasons Your Company Should Be on Twitter:

  • We want to join in real-time conversations with our customers:  Twitter has quickly become one of the best and least expensive places for companies to have real-time conversations with their customers.
  • Looking to connect with folks in my field:  Twitter is a wonderful way to connect with peers in your industry.  These connections help to keep you up to date in your industry, and even partnerships can be formed.
  • Looking for sales prospects:  Twitter is a great way to find new prospects.  Firing a few keywords into twitter search or search engines like Bing or Icerocket can immediately find you new leads of people looking for your product or service.
  • Contribute to Conversations With Customers:  Whether you like it or not, your customers are talking about you.  So rather than simply stressing about it, join in!  Your customers want and now even expect to hear from you.  Don’t disappoint.
  • And on and on…I’ll adds to this list in another post.

How Do Companies Focus on Why They’re on Twitter?

It all comes down to strategy.  Your time and actions spent on social media should be treated no differently than any other aspect of your sales or marketing.  That means you need a solid well thought out strategy.

I want to stay consistent with terms organizations are familiar with, so I label it a “Twitter Mission Statement”.

Don’t get caught up in the year-long meetings that hammer out perfect wording.  Just finish these statements:

  1. We are on Twitter because…
  2. We hope to accomplish these goals…
  3. We add value to our customers on Twitter…
  4. Potential customers will want to follow us because…

Without having a solid “mission statement” on Twitter, you may just be staying busy.  But being busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive.

So I challenge you and those in charge of your companies marketing to create a mission statement for your use of Twitter.  Only then you can begin to work backward to develop a strategy and action plan.  You may have several reasons for Twitter, the point is to get you thinking more strategically.

So…what did you come up with?  Why are you on Twitter?  Feel free to leave your reasons in the comments area.

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Scott S Bishop
Scott S. Bishop is editor for Real Time Marketer and a marketing strategist with a specialty in social media. He is an avid blogger and active across the net. He is @thescottbishop on Twitter
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