Twitter has become an incredibly popular social media darling, such that every time we talk about it, we can’t help but gush about how the microblogging service/social networking tool/greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread might positively impact our business.
(We know; we’ve been guilty of this gushing, too. Look at our Twitter articles.)
But what about the other end of the spectrum? The other side of Twitter’s double-edged sword? Or is it even possible that this acclaimed social media tool for business is indeed a double-edged sword? What if Twitter isn’t going to be – shucks! – good for your brand or business?
Let’s look at the ways that this can happen. Ladies and gentlemen, your top six reasons NOT to use Twitter.
Your targets don’t tweet. Just because everyone else is using Twitter doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Wait: is everyone really using Twitter? Maybe you’re in the industrial vibrators and compaction tables business. Or maybe you’re into diesel calibration or something. In which case: your most loyal customers and potential target audience might not even understand what Twitter is.
You’re addicted to celebrity. Some of Twitter’s earliest adopters and most notable supporters are also huge celebrities: Ashton Kutcher, Oprah, Shaquille O’Neal, Britney Spears – the list goes on. If you sign up and find yourself following these people all day, you’re not going to get anything done to boost your business. (And you’re not going to get an @mention from Britney, so stop tweet-harassing.)
You’re a ruthless advertiser. The temptation to advertise, spam, and self-promote is never so great as with a free service tool that lets you broadcast messages to the world. Don’t succumb!
There’s not enough time. Hey, we understand. So much to do, so little time. If you have too much on your plate as it is, then you might want to focus your energies elsewhere, like blogging, or networking on LinkedIn, or running the day-to-day operation such as your business requires. If your social media consultant thinks that Twitter is essential and worth finding the time to leverage – and if your targets do use Twitter – then hire a dedicated social media staff member to do the job.
Facebook is better. Yes, in a lot of cases, you’ll be better off with Facebook, which has 500 million users, and which just might be better at helping you engage in a community level. There is, not to mention, a myriad of targeted advertising and marketing possibilities on Facebook: something that Twitter sorely lacks (which is probably both a good thing and a bad thing).
Blogging is better. There are times when Twitter’s imposed limit of 140 characters just isn’t enough. So find out if you’d get a lot more out of business blogging than from tweeting. Besides, your blog posts and articles are archived in a way that can be read by your audience, months and years later – whereas old tweets are typically just buried under the constantly growing information overload.
Don’t get us wrong: we still love Twitter. But if you’re a business owner or brand manager, you want to make sure this social media tool will actually love you back. Sure, to love and to have lost sounds so romantic, but sometimes, especially in the case of Twitter, to never have loved at all is smarter for your bottom line.