Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3 huge mistakes corporations make on Twitter

(1) Having a list of Links to Social Media Sites, but the Twitter logo is linked to the main Twitter home page, instead of their specific corporate Twitter account profile page.

WHY IT'S WRONG: People don't want to visit the Twitter home page, they want to visit the corporation's Twitter page, and perhaps Follow it. Often the Twitter account name of an organization is not intuitive. A company called XYZ might use "XYZDave" or "SpreadXYZ", not just the name of the company. Linking to Twitter's home page makes you look inept, amateur, disorganized.

(2) Putting the list of Links to Social Media Sites at the bottom of the corporate website home page, instead of up near the top so everyone can see it.

WHY IT'S WRONG: People are flocking to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks. By burying your social media links, putting them at the bottom of your corporate home page, many people will not see these links. Web users are in a hurry, distracted, multi-tasking, and not reading websites carefully. They skim, scan, and skip content that's not immediately relevant or sufficiently interesting. Often, they don't even scroll all the way to the bottom of a home page.

(3) Having only a Company XYZ News account on Twitter, perhaps with an email contact in their profile bio, rather than having an additional Company XYZ Support account on Twitter, so people can quickly contact them with problems, suggestions, questions, and other input.

WHY IT'S WRONG: News is somewhat self-centered, and while many customers are interested in your company's news items, many of them also want to contact you. Twitter news profiles generally don't Follow other Twitter users, nor do they tend to interact with them, so it's just another unilateral, one-way communication medium, violating web norms and social media expectations. Smart companies use Twitter for more than just news, like Comcast, they create a separate Twitter account for Support.

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