Throughout 2012, an average of +190 million tweets have been sent out daily and the number of users have grown from 106 millions end of 2010 to +500 millions during 2012. Just imagine that! And like Facebook users, 50% of the Twitter users access the network via mobile. This means that your Twitter followers will tweet and RT anywhere, anytime – and they’ll expect you to be ready. In the following blog post, I will share some pointers on the basics that brands will have to understand in order to engage successfully on Twitter.
The price of Twitter followers
In last year’s case on PhoneDog vs. former employee Noah Kravitz, the price of Twitter followers to a company was negotiated heavily. When Kravitz left PhoneDog for a rivalling company, he also took away the 17,000 followers connected to his Twitter account. Followers who were now receiving his tweets about the rival instead of PhoneDog. The court decided that Kravitz was entitled to his followers and was not to pay the suggested $2.50/follower to PhoneDog.
What does this tell us about the way some brands see followers on Twitter? Well, one thing is certain: PhoneDog understood the importance of having followers – but not the essence of interacting with potential customers on social media.
Understanding your customers
Following someone on Twitter or liking a brand on Facebook does not mean that you’re a potential customer of a brand’s product. If the news flow and content isn’t interesting or relevant, you will most likely unfollow, unlike or simply ignore the brand. What Kravitz probably had done, was to give the PhoneDog followers the information they were looking for, which is why his account became so popular. So, even if the court had ruled against Kravitz, PhoneDog would not actually have won the case, unless they understood how to carry on the flow of content and interaction Kravitz had provided.
As with any other social media channel, Twitter is all about providing relevant information in a way that speaks to your target group. Having only 140 characters at your service, you have to offer the information, response and interaction both appropriate to your brand’s tone of voice as well as your followers’ expectations.
A helping hand to brands
The following miniature infographic from Mediabistro (based on tips from Twitter) is quick and very helpful guide on how to navigate your brand account on Twitter in order to secure that you will not end up in the same situation as PhoneDog. To win this game, you, as a brand and company, have to bring your A-game. You have to care about your followers before they will start caring about you: