Hunting in the Twilderness

Free and Easy (or not)

It’s easy to imagine that for all the coverage social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook receive, that a business would be failing its online marketing strategy by not getting totally immersed. Woah there. Not so hasty.

Twitter accounts might be free, but that isn’t to say that it’s definitely the social networking site for you. Peer pressure from other companies might draw you in, but after registering and choosing an avatar that best captures your personality and sense of fun (but also your professionalism and endless abounding enthusiasm) there’s a gap.

0 followers. 0 posts. 0 following. Zero is not your friend. Zero wishes you’d never started this.

The point here is to take your time and acclimatise to this new way of communicating. Tweeting is simple, but firing off effective and engaging Tweets is a skill that takes time to hone and sharpen. You can throw as many arrows as you like, but like bow-hunting, you’ll only hit your target with a concentrated aim.

Of course, you could swap the bow and arrow for an AK47 and mow down everything in your path, but as any soldier (or gamer for that matter) will tell you, these aren’t very accurate over long-ranges and tend to scatter wasted bullets everywhere. That’s your information and content there, scattered all over the place. Not exactly an efficient way of working, is it?

You need a new way of working. You need a sniper (or at least a very accurately-thrown stick). Spewing out information can be damaging as well as ineffectual too – spam is never welcome, no matter what format it comes in.

Would your company really benefit from updating all day long? Is what you want constant contact with your customers, or are you joining Twitter because you heard that you probably should? Most companies and brands can get a lot out of signing up, but deciding what you want from your Twitter account is vital. Setting one up and updating it for a week before letting it go stale is social networking suicide – likewise, setting up an account and sharing a few asinine comments about the weather or the state of the roads in your area correlates directly with follower decline.

Think about what you need, and use the tools to make it happen. Adapt them if necessary – use twitter to broadcast your blogs; use blogger to generate content for your Facebook page; use Facebook to entice people to follow you on Twitter. It’s all there; you just have to work out what you stand to gain.