When you Twitter, you have to have a Plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a blue print, would you? Even if you are a most excellent engineer…c’mon. You wouldn’t design a process without a beginning, middle and end in mind. So when you use social media, you have to have a plan.
When you employ internet marketing for business development, you’d better have a plan.
I have to admit. I was Twittering the other day. The Search function on Twitter allows you to identify individuals with similar interests, and follow them. It’s a good way of finding out what folks in various technical fields are talking about.
I found a bunch of fellows, probably service technicians and marketing folks from a well-known manufacturer, Twittering away. They were all saying the same thing: talking about some great engineering conversion chart their company had just developed. The tone of each Twitter post was the same: same information, same words, with a somewhat sheepish apologetic spin. Sort of like: “They are making me do this.” Whoever “They” are.
It sounded like one of their bosses went out to the plant and basically found anyone with a Twitter account and said: “Thou shalt Twitter.” I guess this is grass roots buzz marketing?? It’s more like throwing Twitter spaghetti against the wall and hoping that it sticks. Perhaps there was even a bit of an internet marketing plan: generate some transient interest in this conversion chart, depending on the Twitter followers each Twitterer had amassed. Which can be all over the board. Think about it.
Your Twitter followers can be your local softball team, co-workers, thought leaders, even your mother-in-law. Not necessarily a targeted marketing opportunity.
Well, some of the Twitters had the link to the chart. And others didn’t tell me where to find this conversion chart, so like most folks I went to the company website. Oh boy. I tried to find this fantastic conversion chart. And tried… and tried. If I didn’t have that link to the chart, I couldn’t find it. So these buzz Twitters drove traffic to an ineffective website that didn’t reward me for the time I spent on their website… basically 2-5 seconds. Because that’s the amount of time you have to engage any visitor on your website. Really.
If the plan was to drive more traffic to their website (which I doubt) then the website was a dead end for finding information on the conversion chart. If the plan was to generate interest in the conversion chart, what was the calculated return on the Twitter investment? If this company felt that return on investment was high, because it costs nothing to Twitter, they need to think again.
It cost them plenty for that buzz Twitter campaign. Anyone seeking information on that conversion chart hit an Internet dead end. And if this company thought that interested parties were going to call, fax or email for this information, guess again. Who has time? Especially after going to an ineffective corporate website that delivers the message that they are going to make it hard to find information and therefore do business with me.
The question is: did they really have anything other than a short-term plan, if any? Or just a crazy “let’s try this” impulsive idea?
Be careful what you Twitter for. You just might get it. And have to live with it.