When Twitter first burst onto the scene, everyone wanted to get in on the action and turn the social networking tool into a money generating marketing device. Very quickly Twitter went from a social scene and a cultural mash-up into a massive marketing vehicle that didn’t really live up to what the service was all about. The key here is that marketers ineffectively use Twitter and fail to deliver any real connection or derive any true value.
The purpose of Twitter at its core is really to connect to people and to share information with them. The service makes it very easy for people to quickly exchange short blurbs about themselves and of course this can be used to quickly spread on big news or to help promote a product or a service. But when all you do is promote without thinking about connecting with your audience you aren’t making good use out of your time and effort.
The facts are that the vast majority of people who are on Twitter do not make effective use of the service. Research has shown that the vast majority of accounts on Twitter are largely inactive, and that most of the Tweeting and communication is only performed by a select handful of users.
Marketers that go to Twitter to hop on the bandwagon of the latest new social networking trend fail to capitalize on the potential of the tool. The problem is they are short sighted and are only interested in producing immediate, short term effects. They have no long term strategy or vision for what they are doing on Twitter, and they don’t have any effective techniques for getting their message. All they did was follow the crowd, create an account and start sending messages urging people to buy this or that from them.
Your Twitter audience – if you are even able to develop one in this fashion – is not going to respond to your marketing attempts. People don’t buy things or try services just because they are told to. And when they are invaded in what they consider a private, social space or haven, they will be even less likely to respond the way you want them to. Because you are disturbing something they enjoy by pushing your products, they are going to actually have a backlash against you. Your audience will diminish, and the ones who remain won’t care about what you say.
You need to avoid this dark side of Twitter by developing a comprehensive strategy for how you can really capitalize on the service effectively. You have to think about ways you can really develop a connection with your audience. You have to share interesting, unique and useful information and you have to respond to what other people say to build relationships and your presence.
This doesn’t mean you can’t tell people about your sale that starts tomorrow or the release of your great new product, because you should. But you have to realize that Twitter is much different than just an avenue to release sales pitches. Avoid the dark side of Twitter by participating in the community and thinking about your long term strategy for building relationships and connections while spreading the word about your products, services or promotions.
This article was written by David Husnian, The Shameless (but Ethical) Marketer. David, the creator of the “3 Pillar of (Guaranteed) Success”, is a successful marketer who provides a unique perspective on marketing and Web traffic topics. You can get more great information, free products and a free online Web traffic course on Street Guide To Web Traffic.