Twitter on Cornucopia

It’s said that at least half of all 500 million Twitter accounts are unused.

I, myself, had an account for eons before I felt I could devote the appropriate attention to growing a follower base. (Of course, I wish I’d starter sooner, too!)

Back in the day b.d. (before digital), marketing campaigns and their accompanying advertisements were planned out well in advance of rollout. Research was conducted about appropriate target markets, and an assortment of assumptions were made in order to make the best guess about a campaign’s results. Of course, if the assumptions turned out to be wrong, it was considered a lesson learned, but there was no physical possibility of changing the campaign and advertising mid-run to adjust to what they had learned as it ran.

In fact, analysis of results took so long to assemble and review they may not have known at all what went wrong or if they targeted the wrong audience. That means money could have not only slipped down the drain, but it could have quite a gusher. But once the results were understood, marketers could then improve a campaign for next year and hope for the best again.

Ad Blitzes Made Big Impressions

Saturating the marketplace with lots of advertising meant full page ads in many magazines and newspapers. It might include a blitz of the same ad repeating on TV and radio. If that didn’t pummel the message into the target market’s head, what could they do? Change it? I don’t think so! It was as fast as the world operated then.

Think of it as Wayne Newton doing the same show in Las Vegas two or three times a day, six or seven days a week.

How Repetition Has Changed Modern Marketing

These days not only are our media channels on 24/7/365, but so are the audiences. Repeating the same marketing message or the same offer day in and day out on Facebook, Twitter and other channels now begins to bore our audiences. They need variety.

I mention all this because I am out there on social media sites all day long. Of course, I can’t be watching every minute like an air traffic controller. I’d go insane. Nor do I expect that the consumer is watching every moment. But they sure are exposed to far more messages than before.

Opportunity to Educate Your Prospects

The opportunity to learn so much more about a brand today than ten years ago is enormous. Facebook has made it possible to post a company’s entire history in its timeline (Milestones). Twitter functions much like a ticker stream or banner, constantly relaying lots of messages about all sorts of business and individuals. Reviewing a history of a company’s tweets should tell a complete story about them, their products and about their customers and customer care.

With iPads, mobile and more, that ticker stream is completely portable; it goes wherever your audience is at the moment. Don’t you want to be seen when their eyes look up for a moment at that stream?

Is Your Business PBS, The History Channel or The Home Shopping Network?

Chris Brogan’s got a rather demanding post about Our Responsibility as Media Channels. He asks us, his readers, to think pretty hard about what we put out there: our blog posts, tweets, Facebook comments – all of it. Sure enough, it’s got me thinking at cruising speed. In fact, I rather marvel at the diversity I see on all the social mediums.

Before each and every tweet and retweet I make on Twitter I consider how the message fits into the image or persona I want to project in the world. It’s not like I’m out there tweeting because it’s boatloads of fun. LOL But it’s all part of business-building.

Create a Persona on Social Media

This isn’t to say it’s all serious. On the contrary, it’s absolutely necessary to provide humor, satire and some goofy self-reflection from time to time in order to appear to be actually human. (You may be surprised at how many Tweeters appear to be robots.) At the same time I must consider if I’ve done too many lighthearted comments in a row. Or have I made far too many comments about the wine industry (a favorite) and not enough about general marketing? The balancing act is delicate.

Personas are characters…for your brand. Y’all know if it was just me I’d post every dachshund picture and blog post I could find, but that wouldn’t exactly be wise for my business (unless I sold doggie products!)

I don’t want to waste a tweet, or rather, I don’t want to waste a Follower’s three seconds of attention (if I get that much). If I say something contrary to their interests, I don’t want to lose the Follow due to disinterest if I repeat the same message too often. Choose your content carefully to match your persona.

Choose What Type Media Channel Represents Your Brand

So now we’re all Media Channels– just like communications to the masses used to be limited to radio, TV, or a Letter to the Editor. And now there are a jillion of us all vying for reader eyes and ears.

Each of us will decide how we want our own Media Channel to project our personas. Do we have to be on 24/7? Does Facebook serve our business better than LinkedIn or Twitter? I mention this because you want to have a strong grip on one channel before digging into learning the next one.

The biggest mistake most businesses make is starting an account on one social media channel and then abandoning it or not updating for weeks or months. It’s better not to use the channel at all. Starting and stopping looks sloppy. And the assumption will be that you run your business the same way.

So before you jump on the Twitter bandwagon, ensure you’re ready to give it a go! I find Twitter to be a great medium of communication with friends and fans. More importantly, it’s a lot easier for building a following than Facebook. Viral connections are easy to spread on Twitter. If you are, check out my 10 Tips to Twitter Success for Beginners to get your beak in shape for tweeting!