Sometimes, I read books. Boring books. Books that suck the life out of me. Books that claim to be New York Times bestsellers. Books that everyone else has read. Most times, I let them sit on my headboard, waiting for a second chance. Other times I let them sit on my shelf until the day I feel they might be interesting again because my understanding of them has changed with experience. Often times, I just give them out because it’s not good to hoard stuff that someone else might enjoy. I gave away The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I couldn’t stand it. Turns out my BFF’s mum loved it. I also gave away two John Grisham books: Sycamore Row and Gray Mountain. Honestly John bored me to death with these two. Bear in mind I’m a Grisham girl. Why would he bore me then, you ask? I have a theory.
I subscribe to a lot of superfluous newsletters and blogs, just because I can. If you are like me, you probably do too. Plus Gmail really came through for us and threw in those updates and promotions tabs. I ignore 90% of mail from them. Every once in a while though, a subject line will catch my eye and I will click. If the content therein delivers even more I will click through to the site. And that is what happened with this HubSpot post. I ignored it for days. (We all do that when we have no time. Okay. Lie. We always have time. We just have time to do something else.) It was what I needed. “11 Twitter “Tips” and “Tricks” That Don’t Actually Work” it read. I had to read this and it was very timely.
This is for you brands on Twitter. In Kenya and everywhere else. You should read the HubSpot post too.
1. Follow, breathe, unfollow
Whoever told you that gaining lots of followers entails following loads of folk then unfollowing them after they follow was either stupid or malicious. Brands have done that to me on Twitter. And somehow, they do not think it is odd to do that. They somehow assume you will never know. How in the world is getting followers who don’t care about you and losing some potential ones in the process helping your brand exactly? That is not what being on social is about. Ask Safaricom. They followed us, even if just for DMs and never ever unfollowed. Because we tight like that. And you wonder why we never hama. Also, sue that agency doing that for you. Probably why you should be keener about what’s happening on your accounts instead of leaving everything to an intern in another company that knows nothing about your inner workings, what you are trying to preach on Twitter. I will not even mention names.
2. Jump on the trending hashtag
Like seriously? Someone actually thinks that is a strategy that works? Why would you use a random hashtag to say something just so that it can appear to many more people who couldn’t care less about who you are? The only time jumping on a trend works is when it is relevant to your audience. Otherwise it makes you look vain and cheap. Even worse is jumping on one, then filling the #entire #tweet #with #nothing #but #hashtags. Does that even look legible to you? Did you know that you do not even have to hashtag a tweet for it to show up in that search you want to appear in? The recommended maximum number of hashtags is two. Yes. Two. It is not that hard. Try it and see people engage with you.
3. Sell products wherever someone mentions a keyword
Do you know what that looks like on first glance? Bot alert! You are a bot dear brand! Especially if I have never heard of you. Interjecting into a conversation only works if you are just talking and asking for opinion and whatnot, not selling your virgin human hair at me because I said my hair was bad. Jeez. What is virgin human hair? I thought we were still on weaves? Monitor relevant keywords alright, but don’t be a pain.
All you do is talk about yourself. Me this, me that. You don’t even retweet anyone or talk about anything else. Yawn. I will not even push this any further. I am bored.
5. Not responding to tweets
Okay, fine. You may be getting a lot of mentions that make no sense. I am not saying you should reply to everything. That would be weird. But why not reply to a genuine question? You might as well not be on Twitter then. In fact, the only reason I will walk into your store is because you are still awesome, social or not. You might not even need to be on Twitter anyway. We are not at that point in the country where your supermarket audience is majorly on Twitter. Yeah, being out of Twitter is an option. It’s better than having an account that tweeted in 2009 when Jack Dorsey was still trying to figure out whether Twitter was a messaging app or social network.
Do your thing
You know what, don’t listen to experts all the time. In fact, don’t even pay attention to me. You know why? Because you will Google and because Google is not human and whatnot, it will give you the most visited page from maybe back in 2010, when Twitter looked completely different and advice was completely different too. Like the customizable background picture that was a selling point with the old profiles. I am sure you know those are gone now with the new Facebook-like profile design. Recognize.
Do what you would like done to you and see how it works. If you wouldn’t like some other account doing that to you on a personal level, then don’t do it on a company account to another innocent citizen. Period. We will love you a little more and maybe even get interested in your product the day we need it. Think Durex. Some of us couldn’t care less about it because, you know, we don’t need it. But you know what, if I was ever to run into a situation where condoms were needed, like I don’t know, when I am married and don’t want kids or some other sane reason, I won’t go for a condom I have never heard of because hey, Durex popped into my Timeline all the time with its very interesting quips.
I am out.