Thursday, February 23, 2012

Personas on Twitter - Part 3

Closing out on the topic of personas on twitter, I wanted to talk about what never feels right to me or like it doesn't work. (You can read my previous two posts on what DOES work in Part 1 and Part 2 here)

Now, I personally get annoyed by some individuals on twitter, but this post isn't about individuals, it's about what can backfire in terms of getting a following and maintaining engagement.

To keep it simple, as a business, the last thing you want is for your twitter personas to feel like it's made up in the back cubicle in your marketing department. Sure, the account can be used as a marketing tool, but it's so easy to come off as doing nothing more than bragging about your company and nothing more.

Being upbeat about your products is great, but if that's the only layer you provide to your presence on twitter then it's not something which will get much engagement. It might get some eyeballs, but they'll stray quickly to more interesting or more useful personas.

I was going to put examples here, but let me instead explain a simple way I have of thinking about this: If you only tweet what you have already said/posted/documented elsewhere (eg, your website, your marketing pamphlet, YouTube, etc), then you're not building anything useful to you or to potential followers; you're simply creating noise. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with tweeting those things as part of your stream, but you've GOT to do something more.

Now this may seem quite obvious, but many times, I just feel like companies don't get it. They just want to be on twitter, but don't think anything more of it once the account is setup. Or they may overthink it: They send out tweets only after multiple rounds of review by people in marketing or legal or They setup robots to tweet out headlines. Or they just constrain what their twitter account could be used for.

I'm not going to call out any specific twitter accounts here since, to be honest, I just unfollow such accounts. However, I hope this helps explain what I feel doesn't work in an environment as dynamic as twitter.

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