Are you living on a one-way Tweet – or are you responding to Twitter traffic in the opposite direction?
This question is primarily directed at companies that Tweet a fair amount and are happy to welcome followers – but don’t generally follow back. Ironically, those like this among the companies that I’m following may never read this post, because they won’t have seen the promotional Tweet (unless they are following somebody who happens to Retweet it).
As I have said in the past, I’m flattered to receive new followers on Twitter, but I am selective about following back because I don’t want my incoming stream clogged with Tweets that are irrelevant to my needs. I might add that my interpretation of ‘relevance’ is fairly generous, so rest assured I don’t lightly take a decision not to follow back .
Judging from the results recently when I once again invoked TwitCleaner* to scan the Twitter accounts that I’ve been following, there’s a lot of companies that routinely don’t follow back – and I’m not complaining about the ‘Breaking News’ and similar accounts that are obviously one-way.
Companies that don’t follow others are at risk of missing out on important sources of news, advice and – most significantly – business intelligence. There’s much superfluous information in Twitter, but there’s also much of potentially great value. And this is why I urge businesses to see Twitter as a two-way street.
Many companies, I suspect, have launched wildly into Twitter and other social media because it’s the thing to do, the place to be seen in. Many managers have grudgingly bowed to the advice of others and reluctantly allowed social media to become part of the corporate communication arsenal.
Sadly, the responsibility for maintaining the social media presence is often delegated to junior employees with insufficient time to do the job properly, and possibly not enough skill to recognise potentially valuable incoming information. Small companies might find it particularly difficult for any staff member to devote time to the Twitter account – but ignoring it could be to their cost.
Admittedly, Twitter can be addictive, but with disciplined use it can also be a powerful tool for sending and receiving messages. Make sure you are on a two-way Tweet!
*TwitCleaner categorises the less-than-perfect accounts you have been following, and enables you to selectively unfollow those that are no longer adding value. For more, click thetwitcleaner.com
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 16 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.