Don’t Be a Creeper – Engage!

You’ve heard all the buzz about this social media stuff and how important it is to be out there and listening.  So, you set up a Twitter account to monitor tweets and see what’s being said about your company or industry.

But how long are you planning on being a wallflower before you decide to get out there and join the party?

I’m not looking to point fingers or anything, but how long is too long – especially when you have followers?

DSW has had a Twitter account since March 2009, and has over 400 followers, without a single tweet.  Same thing with Target.  Their account was created in May 2009 and are approaching 1,500 followers without answering that ever so simple (and yet sometimes complicated) question “What are you doing?”  And these are just two large brands that I found in a quick search.

If two bigger brands like these are sitting on the sidelines, I can only imagine the number of small to medium size businesses that are doing the same.  At the very least, engage and post specials, deals, or sales for the upcoming week.  You don’t have to start out engaging right from the start, but at least utilize the tool for broadcasting messages to followers, especially if you have them by the hundreds without ever needing a single tweet.  Clearly, with a follower list, customers or potential customers are interested in hearing from you, even if you haven’t said anything yet.  Why not give them what they are looking for?

Don’t be that company that waits too long to get involved.  Don’t be a creeper.

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Posted on October 27, 2009, in Engagement, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The problems with being active on Twitter for companies may be

    1. conern for inability to control buzz if it gets out of hand
    2. absence of clear indicators that it will provide positive results
    3. uncertainly whether it will survive, compared to much more established, accepted, and cash-positive other social sites

    e.g. see this

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/twitter_is_no_threat_at_all_to_facebook_traffic_an.php

  2. Thanks for the link, Dr. Pentina. I think that if companies were skeptical at all about their engagement on Twitter, they should have set up their profiles as being private. However, both DSW and Target have public profiles, with a following. The presence alone of followers without receiving any kind of content in return should be the tipping point to show value to the company. I’m not saying that they should jump out and start tweeting every 10 minutes, but at least utilize the space as a broadcast mechanism. I think it would be an entirely different conversation if these companies had accounts without any followers.

  3. I find it very funny that the two companies have such a large following without a single engagement and I am assuming they are not promoting their accounts either. Where I am currently working, we are working on potentially joining the twitter world and that is my biggest fear, getting stale and not having the time or info to keep it interesting. It goes to show how strong the brands are that they don’t even have to promote or even utilize the sites to gain followers.

    Thanks Amy!

    Sara

    • Thanks Sara! How much time you have to dedicate to upkeep is definitely a consideration when looking to jump into a social media platform. However, with the right person and little time management, you can still maintain a presence without feeling the need to respond to every little item in less time than most people spend taking coffee breaks or chatting with coworkers. And yes, this is a great example of brands that don’t need content to still garner followers – an interesting perspective to take on the situation, thanks!

  4. ON Twitter !!

    They are looking for thousands of different options to start their revenue stream.

    1. Selling corporate accounts.
    2. Charging from businesses
    3. Sponsored Tweets.
    4. Corporate tie ups with Google search, Bing
    5. Twitter desktop clients providers
    6. Third party providers
    7. Twitter partner sites

    The reason they are not experimenting them right away is due to their user base. Its so large they dont want to experiment with something that will alienate those masssive userbase(Remember backlash whenever facebook changes anything home page). Because it is far behind facebook.

    But Twitter has extreme potential of being cash positive.

    Thank you for replying on my post at
    http://interactiveinternet.wordpress.com/

    Please have a look at my new page on my site related to Google Reader
    http://sites.google.com/site/interactiveinternetmedia/google-reader

    • Thanks for the feedback Mitul.

      You made the point of companies not wanting to alienate their user base – but wouldn’t this be the very reason to engage in social media in the first place? For these two particular organizations, having an account that goes unanswered and without any content is alienating those who have decided to follow. I think that in this case, alienating the few outweighs the many. A small collection of dissatisfied users has the power of “mouse” (instead of mouth) to get the word out and spread bad buzz throughout the Twitter community.

  5. Hey Amy that is a good point.

    Those few are very important to any company.

    Few who can spread the word, few who can spread the idea like virus.

    They help reduce marketing dollars for companies like apple through word of mouth.

    Every company should take care of those few but in a way that would not dissatisfy many who aren’t willing to accept changes.

    Hence you have Google Labs for gmail, where users can select what they want. Advance users will have access to great widgets that they themselves selected. And if they don’t like well its their fault.

    I think Twitter and many companies greatly follow this model. Like you have access to whom you want to follow and recently launched twitter lists.

    I am just wondering when twitter will break – even.

    I recommend you reading “Tribes” by Seth Godin, you must be knowing other great reads by Seth.

    Mitul

    • Thanks for the recommendation of “Tribes” by Seth Godin. I’ve heard wonderful things about that and have it added to my list of items to read after the semester is over. I’ve read several of his other books (Meatball Sundae and Small is the New Big) and found them to be very valuable. I could go on and on about some of the other great ones that I’ve picked up lately, but maybe a book review or two should be my next blog entries. 😉

  6. OH Seth Godin is awesome.

    I am a great fan of Seth.

    I follow his blog religious Amy. http://www.sethgodin.com

    “Purple cow”. “Unleashing the Ideavirus” are his best sellers of all time.

    The later one he promoted free and you to can download it for free.

    • I wasn’t aware of the free download for Unleashing the Ideavirus. Will definitely have to check it out. I, too, follow his blog with regularity. If you’re on Twitter, definitely give @NotGodinREPOSTs a follow. Same wonderful Godin-knowledge in bite size formats for quick reads.

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