It dawned on me the other day that I’ve actually recommended more clients not be on Twitter than join in on the fun. This is especially odd considering I put arguably more effort into Twitter than any other relationship-building tool (besides, of course, shaking hands and kissing babies). But everything seems to boil down to a saying I’ve become quite fond of over the past year – “Just being there is not a win.” Just this week a client asked me to review his brand new website and provide feedback. As expected, he had the gratuitous social media logos on each page. When I hit up his Twitter feed, I found long breaks in between tweets and virtually no conversation whatsoever. Again, “Just being there is not a win.” I may even take that further with “Being there in a half-assed manner is far worse than not being there at all!” So, here are five signs you might not be ready for Twitter just yet.
1. You don’t “get it” – let’s not pull any punches here; there are those who understand the power and true potential of social media and there are those who just use it as another vehicle for pushing out one-way messages. You need to ask yourself which one you are and if you’re willing to adapt to the most effective ways of doing business 140 characters at a time.
2. You’re already pulling 18 hour days – I work with mostly small businesses, and most of my clients are barely keeping their heads above water on a daily basis trying to run their operations efficiently. They wear every hat imaginable and rarely have the time to even begin to think strategically about marketing, never mind consistently manning various social media outposts. While I’m of the belief that you can effectively utilize Twitter with only minimal time dedicated to it, I also understand that the more time and energy you have for it, the more positive the outcomes will be. Half-assing it will undoubtedly yield half-assed results.
3. Your customer base is nowhere to be found – A client of mine runs a football camp for 5-14 year-olds and jumped on Twitter when everyone else did. When I asked him how many campers and/or parents followed him, the answer was none. Truth be told, it wasn’t because his content sucked – they simply were not on Twitter. It’s not for every industry or marketing segment. Do your homework first.
4. The word “content” first makes you think of “satisfied” – it’s the big buzz word nowadays. Successful marketers and business owners produce their own content as a way of establishing themselves as thought leaders and to increase inbound sales. But not everyone is fit for content production. For starters, if you don’t view yourself as an expert, then nobody else will. Start there and see how you feel. Are you prepared to author weekly blog posts, read and provide unique opinions on other industry content, etc.?
5. “Oh, great! What’s your next source for info, a Snapple bottle cap?!!” – a quote from one of my senior bosses, when I alerted him to a significant piece of industry news I just picked up on Twitter. It’s quite astonishing – to me, at least – that many high ranking and esteemed members of the brand marketing world still view Twitter as merely a forum for “what I ate for lunch today” updates. If you’re one of these cats, simply move along. It’s no coincidence that some of my favorite people to follow on Twitter are wildly passionate about it (and their involvement in it). If you don’t yet have the love for it, it’s not your time.