Bot or not? Your image on Twitter
The world of Twitter (i.e., ‘Twittersphere’) remains flexible with regards to formulas for marketing success. Best practices and ‘tips and tricks’ have become common topics amongst blogs, online journals, and those who dare claim to be “social media experts”, but these all vary and –unlike Twitter etiquette– we all can’t seem to come to a consensus. I too have made many observations on the different writing styles and techniques to grasp readers’ attention on my own feed. During my recent experiences working for a social media firm and, although I cannot say I have solved our problem, I can say that there is one thing we should all watch out for: robot behavior.
As the dissemination of industry-relevant content from your own writing and from that of your trusted sources dominates inbound marketing strategies (especially for B2B companies), company handles run the risk of seeming robot-operated. When I say a ‘robot’ Twitter account, I mean an account that appears to publish the same pre-established template with every tweet, never giving any indication that there is a real person behind the operation. This annoys me. A lot.
I don’t want to follow a user that just regurgitates article titles and links as every tweet. I also don’t want to follow an account that will bombard my feed with 10 tweets in a row, one after the other. I want to follow a person or company who has an image I can clearly see and that can/will interact with their Twitter community freely. Looking at it from the other side, I want my brand’s Twitter handle to have a personality and be the living and breathing face of my company in social media, just as my personal one is for me.
The beauty of using Twitter for your company is precisely that. On Twitter, all users (people and companies) are created equal. This allows you to communicate your company’s real values, priorities, and even opinions; thus allowing your community to see who you are beyond commercials and reviews. At times, this goes to the extent that some people manage their company’s Twitter handle as their personal account. Don’t ruin this opportunity by building a program to manage your Twitter handle, or by refusing to put more than the minimal amount of work in you or your company’s social media efforts.
If this is what your social media image is, you might as well not even have one because it can even be damaging to your reputation. One of the first things I do when observing a profile for a possible follow is look at recent tweets and ask myself “bot or not?” Now, with this in mind, look at your page objectively and ask yourself the same question.