If…Then Twitter May Not Be For You9th July 2014 • 2 comments
As important as social media is in today’s interactive world, it’s only useful if you actually use it properly. While many people care only about how many followers they have, those people are missing entirely the sole purpose of Twitter: Engagement.
It has been pointed out to me by the world’s coolest 12 year old that I’m “weird” about how people interact on social media. A few examples of this? After we saw Lo-Fang open for Lorde I refused to follow him on Twitter because he only follows 36 people and doesn’t engage as well as he might. Example #2- Recently I was quite exited to buy a bag from Herschel Supply Co.. They have a wide variety of bags in all shapes and sizes in all sorts of fun patterns and colors. For a girl like me who LOVES bags, the biggest issue was choosing between all of them! Then I checked out their Twitter page and found they follow 0 people. No one, not a single person. No loyal customers, no stores with whom they do business, no sales representatives, none of their employees, none of their executives….not a single person. I Tweeted about this, as I’m wont to do…and a few music industry and social media experts joined me in conversation. They agreed with my take on it; that it gave the appearance of poor customer service, even if this may not be the case. Eventually Herschel Supply Co. jumped in and said that they tweet more from, not their main company Twitter account, but from a customer service Twitter account. (I hope you see the complete lack of logic in this.) As much as my 12 year old associate may think these grievances make me “weird,” the fact remains that people will ALWAYS go to a main brand/band/film/actor/actress/etc page first and that should be where the main engagement takes place. Operating under the presupposition that your audience would think to (or should have to) take time to seek out an additional way to find you is asinine. You certainly don’t have to follow everyone who follows you, and you certainly don’t have to follow gratuitous amounts of people, but if you don’t want to follow anyone, Twitter may not be for you.
Along the same lines, remember that the point of social media is socializing, engaging, and interacting. There are few things more irritating than people whose Twitter feed is entirely about them, them, them.. As hard as the Arctic Monkeys may have worked, and as great a band as they may be, their Twitter feed reads like a late night infomercial. ‘Buy this on iTunes,’ ‘Tickets for this gig available now,’ ‘Appearing on this television show….’ It’s all about them, all the time. There’s no retweeting fans, there’s no talking about other artists they like, no minutiae about the band, no candid photos of the tour or studio, nothing but the band selling to their audience all. the. time. I’m not suggesting the band owe their fans personal family photos and home addresses, but they do owe their fans something other than a hard sell. All entertainers owe their audience something other than a hard sell on occasion. Even if the ultimate goal is to promote a project, it should be done with some kind of savvy and mixed in with something of an anecdote to soften it a bit. No one wants to be sold all the time, not even the most devoted fan.
While Radiohead only follow a handful of people, the thing they do very differently is tweet about charity events, books they’re reading, different music the band are into, films they like, news events, etc. Do they follow 400 people or tweet all the time? No, but what they do share gives their audience something to talk about and isn’t all about them making more money. It also usually promotes a cause or a little or unknown artist, author, or film. If you don’t want to follow a lot of people, that’s fine, but use the time you have with your followers wisely. If you don’t want to interact and actively engage with those who follow you and whom you follow, Twitter may not be for you.
A lot of the time people simply don’t get Twitter, and I understand that. The problem I have with major artists and companies who fail miserably at Twitter (or any social media) is that they’re paying large sums of money (most of the time) for people to be so incompetent. While I do think it’s crucial to have a presence on Twitter, I think it’s more important to do so the right way. If you’re more into one way narcissism then Facebook is probably more your cup o’ tea. If you love photos, Instagram is definitely for you, but keep in mind, you can tweet all of your Instagram photos! The key to all of it is being open to interaction and being social. If you aren’t up for that, then really none of it is for you.