Twitter: 5 reasons not to tweet

Twitter gets a lot of hype. If you believe the propaganda you’ll be immediately rushing off to set up your Twitter profile and start publishing out little bits of wisdom to the world. Yes, it has many strengths and benefits, but it is not always the right choice for businesses promoting themselves online. Before you start, take time to consider whether Twitter should form part of your marketing strategy or not.

A recent marketing review for a client highlighted that businesses are taking to Twitter, when it is clearly not an appropriate marketing approach. Here’s 5 occasions when Twitter is not right for you.

1. Your target market is not on Twitter

All your marketing should be guided by consideration of your target market(s).  If you are trying to influence individuals who do not use, or are not influenced by Twitter then you will be wasting your time.  For instance, if you are trying to reach individuals over the age of 55, you are tweeting up the wrong tree.

2. You are trying to reach a specific audience

Tweet or email?

If you have a niche market or you are aiming to communicate with your current customer base Twitter is unlikely to be the best method of communication.  It will prove difficult for you to locate your niche customers within the Twitter user base, and direct marketing would be much more appropriate here.  Likewise, you will probably have contact details for your

current customers, therefore a more personal communication method would be more appropriate. If, on the other hand you are casting your net far and wide, then go for it.

3. You offer a ‘delicate’ product or service

If your product or service is something that customers aren’t going to publicise their use of, then Twitter is not the right tool for you. I applaud the efforts of voluntary organisations raising awareness of various medical conditions, but that is very different to John Smith the Twitter user choosing to follow your tweets on body odour for instance. Likewise if you are offering a service to defend those accused of fraud, for example. Few people will publicly follow you and your tweets as it makes a statement about them as an individual. It is unlikely that personal products or services will get many followers for that reason.

Don't Tweet if you have nothing to say

4. You have nothing  to say

Don’t set out to use Twitter unless you have something interesting to say or share.  If you are sharing opinion, humour or useful information then there is value in your 140 characters and you are likely to gain followers.  If, like one contact told me the other day, you think you ought to be on Twitter but don’t actually know what you are hoping to achieve with it, and don’t know what you’ll tweet about, then please refrain from setting up your profile at all.

5. You don’t have time for it

Any marketing strategy needs to be well planned and then carefully delivered. If you plan to use Twitter as part of your mix then you need to be aware of the time commitment associated with it.  If you know upfront that you don’t have time to maintain a regular dialogue with your followers then it is better never to start in the first place. It is without doubt better to concentrate on doing a few things well rather than many things poorly.

Sometimes too much credit is given to the 140 character microblogging service.  Any marketing approach should be carefully considered and well planned, then expertly executed and evaluated. Twitter is great in many ways, but it is simply not always appropriate for every marketing strategy.

If you’re currently using Twitter but aren’t sure that you should be, then give me a call and I can review your social media strategy for you.

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Filed under Digital, Social media, Strategy

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