Twitter is certainly the talk of the town these days, but there's still a lot of resistance among marketers and non-marketers alike to joining Twitter. We always hear the same 5 excuses for not joining Twitter. But I'm here to tell you - enough with the excuses, Twitter can actually be a very valuable tool for your business.
Here at the Top 5 Excuses for Not Joining Twitter - and Why They're Wrong
1. It's a waste of time for businesses.
Probably the first excuse everyone always gives is that it's a waste of time and has no value for a business. Though, I admit, many of us at HubSpot have felt that way at one time or another, we have both gotten media coverage by connecting with bloggers and journalists directly, and also generated significant traffic and leads by getting found by potential customers and sharing valuable content that drives them to our website and self-select as leads. Marketers already recognize the value of networking in generating business - well, this is taking that networking online, and Twitter is one tool that
makes networking easy, painless, and powerful
. There are endless
we could actually talk about.
2. Why do I need to know this nonsense?
It's true, there is a lot of "noise" on Twitter with people talking about the spicy burrito they had at lunch, their sick cat, or how concerned they may be about their favorite MLB team. What's great about Twitter is that you don't have to follow (and thus get updates from) people whose tweets you don't enjoy. You can follow someone, and then choose to unfollow if you don't enjoy their tweets. And you don't have to follow every "noisy" person who follows you. With that said, don't write this off altogether - what is sometimes called "noise" is actually an integral part of engaging fully on Twitter, sharing a bit of yourself in order to connect and communicate with others. You don't need to make it all about business - after all, the lines between personal and business networks are blurring .
3. My customers aren't on Twitter. Or, my industry is too niche for Twitter.
The first thing I have to say to this is, have you checked? Have you checked if or who is already talking about you or your industry on Twitter? If not, head right over to Search.Twitter.com (once you finish reading this article, of course) and search for your company name, or product name, or even relevant keywords for your business. See if and who is talking about you. If you have a very niche market, perhaps a small audience of engineers or manufacturers, there is all the more reason to connect directly with these people wherever they choose to hang out, which may be Twitter.
4. It takes too much time.
OK, Twitter can definitely be a time-suck at times. You get lost in your twitterstream and before you know it the day could be over. But it doesn't have to be like that. For one, RSS makes it a lot easier to follow conversations that are directly relevant to you. Head back to Search.Twitter.com where you searched for your company or keywords. At the top right you'll see a link to "Feed for this query". Click on the link to subscribe and stay on top of your most important conversations. Beyond that, just check into your main twitterstream a couple times a day to see what's going on, check your @Replies to see who's directly replying to you, and you're done. Here are a few other ways to avoid the Twitter time-suck .
5. I don't want to give people an opportunity to say negative things about me and my company.
The truth is, people are already talking about you and the question is whether or not you will listen and respond. You need to get into that conversation to address your customers' feedback, even if it's just to say, hey, we hear you. Listening and responding early can have quite a significant impact in, for example, calming fires before they spread. A classic example is the publication of Dell's product and customer service issues triggered by Jeff Jarvis' "Dell Hell" blog posts back in 2005. The issues were originally ignored (after all, he's just one customer) and the story was picked up by numerous blogs, featured in whitepapers, and also chronicled by major publications including The New York Times and Business Week . On the other extreme, a great example from Comcast, where they saw a tweet from an upset customer, responded with a thoughtful, What's the problem? Can we help? and through a series of tweets turned that upset customer into a happy evangelist for their company.
We've held a webinar, presented by Rick Burnes ( @rickburnes ), Mike Volpe ( @mvolpe ), and myself ( @ellieeille ), all about how to use Twitter for Marketing & PR. You're hopefully convinced now that you need to stop making excuses and try out Twitter for yourself. You can watch the 30 minute webinar below to learn how to get started using Twitter for your business.
Do you hear more excuses for not joining Twitter? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and experiences.
Originally published Oct 13, 2008 10:44:00 AM, updated October 20 2016