steve davis twitterA robotic reply to one of my ‘fun’ tweets last week brought home how important it is to adopt my ‘human first’ approach to social media marketing.

I will show you the tweets and ask for your thoughts on the right approach.

For the record, the person behind the twitter account I’m putting the spotlight on today, @lockoutadelaide, has already chatted with me and acknowledged they are just learning the ropes. We all have to start somewhere!

So please read today’s post NOT as an attack piece but rather one to keep us all on our toes as these tools can make it easy to forget there are people at the other end of most social media accounts.

Knocking but nobody home

Upon my return from Darwin, I arrived home before my family and had to wait outside for about 20 minutes (having left my keys at home).

So I tweeted the picture, above, and this caption:

When do you start missing the #NorthernTerritory? When you arrive on a cold #Adelaide day without house keys brrr

All in all, that was a light tweet that brought a smile to a few of my online friends.

Fourteen hours later, I received this mention in a tweet:

@stevedavis Lockouts #locksmiths 24hr Emergency #Lockout & Rekeying Service in #Adelaide. Ph 0435 481 838 Adelaide – locksmith.adelaidesouthaustralia.net

While I am chuffed that a small Adelaide business is using my favourite social network for its marketing, there are many aspects of the reply tweet that could be discussed. Let’s deal with the three main ones.

Beware of strangers

Yes, it’s true I preach and practice the virtues of connecting with strangers via twitter.

BUT ask any of my clients and workshop participants and they’ll tell you I am strict about the netiquette of such interactions.

The very first question I have clients ask themselves is, is the tweet actually asking for help or interaction?

If the answer is no and your tweet is not entertaining, then I believe to respond to a stranger should be considered SPAM.

Tweet unto others as you would want them to tweet unto you

If you reply, provide value.

I can’t stress how important that is because it shows respect to the other ‘human’.

In this case, I felt like I had just been walloped with an ad, crammed with hashtags.

None of the message referred to anything I said, leaving me bemused as to why they bothered tweeting me at all.

I wouldn’t have minded if they made a fun comment or shared solidarity with me for my plight, quipping about how common lockouts are.

Anything that picked up on the human tone of my tweet.

The coin dropped that it might be someone new to Twitter when I found out the account had been tweeting the same message to numerous accounts.

NOT better late than never

When it comes to replying to twitter users with marketing intent, it is vital to be timely.

It might have been useful to get this tweet within minutes of my tweet but 14 hours later is a bit too late for an emergency locksmith response.

In closing, it can be daunting starting on twitter and people can forget they are dealing with humans but it is vital for success in SOCIAL media.

Here’s hoping the locksmiths can UNLOCK their inner human.

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