The idea that Twitter is for engagement is nonsense. Twitter is for making money. <queue the raging social hordes> Don't believe me? Google "twitter success stories" and see how real businesses do it.
When a business -- be it a charity or a big fat Fortune 500 company -- is on Twitter its objective is and should be reaching a specific business target. The same way entertaining isn't advertisement's primary purpose, engagement isn't what a company does on Twitter.
There's no need to feel bad about that because the flip side is that besides some very strange characters, nobody on Twitter wants to "engage" with a company. You're nobody's best friend.
Real Reasons To Be On Twitter
- Causing an image of your company as funny, smart, hip, conservative, cheap, efficient, expensive, etc. in other words: branding.
- Generating leads.
- Generating sales.
- Finding talent to hire.
- Providing customer support.
- Point of Sale.
Those are some of the real things real companies do on Twitter. Dell sells. Tigerdirect sells. Comcast does customer service. Everybody has a good reason, a business reason: "engage" isn't it.
Be Authentic? Bullshit.
Sure, because that is what great brands are made of... Right?
Things can be authentic, real, genuine. People can be sincere. Brands, companies, businesses can create the illusion of authenticity but as you see from that sentence, it sort of defeats the purpose.
What would it mean for Betty Crocker -- who never existed as a person -- to be authentic on Twitter?
What does an authentic Dell look like?
"It's Not About..." - Oh really?
Fill in most anything you can actually measure. It's not about the money, the marketing, the numbers, etc. etc.
Seriously, it is about the money. And because it is, in business, it's also about the marketing and so it's definitely about the numbers.
- What other practice would you engage in for your business where it would specially and expressly not be about the money?
- What other one-to-many communication medium would you use for your company that is meant to be not about marketing?
- What other branding or marketing channel would you pay for where reach is not to be talked about?
Twitter Is Free / Costs Little
This usually comes from the same people who use the free version of everything Twitter related -- from HootSuite to Bufferapp -- because it hurts to fork over 7 bucks for added convenience and relaxed limitations.
Figure out what it would cost you or someone else in your company to maintain a presence on Twitter, then ask if anyone is willing to back up their words by funding the endeavor. Woodworks. Scuttle.
Twitter costs time. Time is money. If you do it right and you set goals you can meet by being on Twitter you'll recuperate those costs, yes. But costs they are. And don't forget for a moment that the better you are at Twitter, the more time is needed. The longer you are on Twitter, the more consistent your presence, the harder reducing time spend becomes.
- Ask: "How does this make my company money when, and how do we measure that?"
- If you can't quantify and measure it, it isn't a repeatable process
- A whole bunch of fuzzy stuff is being said about Twitter because:
- There are a whole bunch of people who have no business clue
- And so instead of offering processes they offer vague fluff (fluff to the 2nd degree)
- Because at the end of the day they aren't and don't feel responsible for that you and the people in your company go home with a decent income
My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.