Is Twitter the Home of "Spray and Pray" Marketing?

Posted by Matt Hodkinson
31-Mar-2014 16:53:00

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Twitter_circleTwitter has long seemed a staple of social media marketing for just about any business.  For many in B2B, the thought of Facebook forming part of the mix is taking things a little too far, whilst for many in B2B, LinkedIn just doesn't cut the mustard.  Twitter, though, is a constant - but there are rumblings of discontent from marketers and business owners alike, that the results just aren't coming.  Sure, there's always the story of serendipity - a chance connection turning into a piece of work, a speaking opportunity, or a guest blogging spot - but for those who take a more strategic, goal-oriented approach to inbound marketing, serendipity ain't gonna pay the bills!

I've taken to calling Twitter the "spray and pray" option for a few reasons.  Firstly, did people start off on Twitter knowing the people they wanted to follow them?  In my experience, probably not, and consequenty many individuals have gathered an eclectic following that may offer up little in the way of engagement and reach, for the posts that really matter.  Couple with this the "life of a tweet" - the length of time during which a follower is likely to see a Tweet (currently rumoured to be ~8 minutes) - and it becomes even more difficult to reach the right sets of eyes.

Then there's the presence of businesses on Twitter in the first place.  There's no shortage of businesses on Twitter, but do people interact with the faceless, logo-toting profiles?  Cards on the table, my own Twitter account gets far-greater engagement than the @influenceagents profile, and consequently becomes the channel of choice for much of my ramblings here.  The business profile does go some way to ensuring more context and alignment in the follower, but the conviction to engage will be lower than with a smiling face at the helm.

Tribes

Communities and Tribes have a common interest or cause at their heart - on Twitter this is the hashtag.  Are hashtags being used effectively, and do the valuable, community-led hashtags exist in your target audience?  With Twitter threatening the death nell for hashtags, and the widespread misuse and abuse of anything trending on the platform, perhaps the community side of Twitter will become even less apparent - what a shame that would be.  

Ease of the Tweet

We're seeing better conversion results from just about any other platform, yet it's hard to escape the ease with which messages can be posted on Twitter.  Anyone with a Hootsuite bulk upload file can get their outbound messaging licked in next to no time!  So with so little effort required, the small investment of time could just give a greater comparable return.  For this reason alone, perhaps the "spray and pray" approach will reign for a little longer.

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