With Twitter “going mainstream” and all, we’re seeing a lot of brands and companies create Twitter accounts. Some of them aren’t really contributing to the conversation – from very few updates to blasting advertisements and links to their Web sites – but others are embracing the Twitter community and reaching out to people who have expressed interest in the brand (thanks, Summize!).
I think this is great. Using Twitter to reach out on behalf of your brand demonstrates that you’re interested in what people are saying, that you’re listening. I love it; I really believe that many people are missing out on this great opportunity to connect with an audience and commend those brands that are using Twitter well.
Twitter is all about conversation. You can search for your brand name and direct responses to people who tweeted about it, but if you’re just going to ignore their responses, then you’ve failed to uphold your end of the conversation. That initial comment just seems like an empty gesture, and people’s responses were a waste of time, effort and thought.
We know how important it is to build relationships with the audience. Neglecting responses is not going to score any points. Even a packaged “@username Let me know if I can help with [whatever product]” is better than nothing at all, in my opinion. What do you think? Would you rather get something dumb on your “@Replies” page or nothing?
And if you’re interested in my train of thought here: Last week I joined a Twitter conversation about how a certain product (one with which all PR folks are very familiar) was causing trouble. Someone from the company responded to those of us who had mentioned the product by name with some facts and a few “tips” for use. I responded that I actually do like the product, was just joking around, but thanks for reaching out, how is social media working out for your company?, etc., etc., etc. and got nothing back. And you know, that bugs me.
*Photo by dlemieux