How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition)

How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition)

frozen yogurtJust Because It’s New Doesn’t Mean You Need It

I was a rabid frozen yogurt fan when it was all the rage in the 1980s. Then, like all good things I loved, it was sent out to pasture with my severely wide-legged pants, sweaters with shoulder pads and my Lionel Richie records. The period of mourning has long since passed, but imagine my delight to see that frozen yogurt is now *in* once again. I was thrilled to see a new frozen yogurt shop open within walking distance of my home. OK, so it is wildly overpriced, but it’s there and that’s all that matters when I want a fix.

It’s not the same old frozen yogurt shop. It’s shiny new and modern. In fact, the shop is even leveraging social networking tools. I know this because I saw the big “Follow Us on Twitter” sign on the cash register. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the employees are unhelpful, consistently unhelpful. And, now that they’ve armed me with the news that they’re using Twitter, I went online after my last visit to share my thoughts about their level of customer service. Then, I waited; and I waited some more. When I had given up all hope of receiving a reply, I dug a little deeper.

Don’t Use Tools You Don’t Understand

I quickly discovered that the frozen yogurt shop was *on* Twitter, but not *using* Twitter. There is a huge difference. Yes, they had an account on Twitter and it seemed to be active. However, their Twitter account had only been linked to their Facebook fan page, meaning that all of their posts on Facebook were automatically broadcast to Twitter. They were not monitoring Twitter or responding to anyone who had sent them a message.

Using tools to broadcast only, without understanding that this gives your audience the impression that you’ll also be there to answer questions and reply to concerns, is tremendously short-sighted. It seems like the cool thing to do, sure, but does that make it smart? In short, no. In fact, the net result is that the business comes off looking disconnected and less interested in their community than they are in hawking their wares. Bad form all around.

Before jumping in feet first and adopting the latest tool to represent your business or brand, it might be worth your while to take some time to understand the pros and cons in order to determine whether or not it will be a good fit for you.

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19 Comments

  1. IreneKoehler August 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://goo.gl/fb/KC6JB

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Irene Koehler, Irene Koehler and RT Dragon Warrior, Irene Koehler. Irene Koehler said: How *not* use Twitter for business (get to know the tools before you use them) http://j.mp/avjsCH […]

  3. techliminal August 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    RT @AlmostSavvy: How *not* use Twitter for business (get to know the tools before you use them) http://j.mp/avjsCH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. emeyerson August 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Good post. (And that’s FroYo the snack, not OS) RT @IreneKoehler: How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://goo.gl/fb/KC6JB

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. FremontBusiness August 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. spicelyorganic August 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    RT @FremontBusiness: RT @irenekoehler How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Napoleon August 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Good post. Here are some things I have seen that have caused me to scratch my head and ask why is this business on Twitter at all?:
    Last post is over a year old.
    Spammy posts are all about them.
    No @ replies, no engagement.
    (Or I get the instant auto-DM robot reply)
    Twitter profile not complete (no bio, no URL, not even an avatar)

    Twitter gives you great opportunities for real interaction, if you spend the time to learn how.

    Keep up the good posts Irene, maybe shoulder pads will make a comeback too 🙂

    • Irene Koehler August 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      If shoulder pads do come back into fashion, I am unbelievably well prepared. 🙂

  8. spicelyorganic August 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    lol @FremontBusiness RT @irenekoehler How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  9. OliviaHill77 August 18, 2010 at 4:40 am - Reply

    How Not to Use Twitter for Business (FroYo Edition) http://ow.ly/2rbsB

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  10. IreneKoehler August 18, 2010 at 10:54 am - Reply

    How NOT to Use #Twitter for Business (Hint: Don’t use a tool you don’t yet understand) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  11. Fritinancy August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: How NOT to Use #Twitter for Business (Hint: Don’t use a tool you don’t yet understand) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  12. Ron Hori August 18, 2010 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Excellent comments. I wonder how long they’ll be in business. Especially with high prices, bad service, and no Twitter response. The food better be outstanding to make up for it.

  13. RaniaWreikat August 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    RT @NextMoon: RT @IreneKoehler: How NOT to Use #Twitter for Business (Hint: Don’t use a tool you don’t yet understand) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  14. OliverSiu August 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    RT @NextMoon: RT @IreneKoehler: How NOT to Use #Twitter for Business (Hint: Don’t use a tool you don’t yet understand) http://bit.ly/agafnH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. JustProfs August 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Always good advice – How Not to Use Twitter for Business http://bit.ly/daqLRR by @IreneKoehler

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  16. Foundora August 30, 2010 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Nice one By @IreneKoehler : How Not to Use #Twitter for #Business – http://ow.ly/2wKjK

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. IreneKoehler August 31, 2010 at 10:44 am - Reply

    RT @Foundora: Nice one By @IreneKoehler : How Not to Use #Twitter for #Business – http://ow.ly/2wKjK

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  18. KentBeatty September 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    How Not to Use Twitter http://su.pr/1h6EhB (get to know the tools before you use them)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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