FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-06-09
“We’re here primarily to listen, to learn, to engage with the Twitter community and, occasionally, to share information about our company and services.”–Wachovia Bank
The Wachovia bank bio on Twitter explains their strategy in using Twitter. Unfortunately they seem to be stuck in the same misunderstanding that many companies have wandered into blindly: they are missing their greatest opportunity to connect.
Wachovia’s Misunderstood Strategy:
According to Wachovia they are on Twitter to:
- Engage with the Twitter community
- Occasionally share information on their company and services
Wachovia’s Bio: Problematic
Listening, learning and engaging are exactly what works on Twitter. The first problem in this bio is the fact that you should never make the statement that you (company) “occasionally share information on our company and services.” The idea is to occasionally share company information and services without stating that is your intention.
Step#1: One of the strategies that best suits businesses on Twitter is to be a go-to source of information by varying the content to include more “outside” information than sales pitches for your own products or services. The “Hard Sell” is dead and gone.
Mixed Signals: Challenge #1
Wachovia wants to “engage with the Twitter community” yet they only follow 204 out of a possible 1,793 people that follow them.
Step #2: If you want to engage your audience, possible customers, or networking partners on Twitter then you must acknowledge their existence and importance by following all 1,793 of your followers.
Perception Challenge: Understanding Strategy
Wachovia’s challenge is that they are trying to fit two divergent strategies into one Twitter account. They say they want to listen, learn, and engage with their audience. At the same time, it appears that they are trying to learn, from prominent Twitterers, information that they can leverage in their own social media efforts. This leads to an ineffective campaign.
Danger of Perception:
The danger is that Wachovia’s audience could perceive them as attempting to build “authority” by accumulating a large number of followers while keeping the number of people or companies they follow to a minimum. This ratio of large tribes of people following you (company) to you (company) following a select few is often perceived by people as:
- The company or individual “must” be important and worthy of following for their brilliant content
- The company or individual “must” be uncaring in their attempt to be perceived as important and a “player” in the Twitter community
Step #3 Wachovia’s Options
- Keep the original account (we will call it #1) and make it your customer-audience engagement account
- Account #1 immediately follow everyone of the 1,793 followers
- Go to Tweetlater.com and set the “auto-follow” so that you automatically follow everyone that follows Wachovia
- Set up Account #2 your Learn and Listen account. On this account Wachovia ONLY follows those individuals and companies that provide the most relevant information. If you wish to follow your competition, social media strategists, industry pundits, then do so on this account. Don’t worry about anything else except the research of learning and gathering recon information
By creating two accounts you are able to satisfy all your needs, create better perception for your brand, specifically and strategically target sources of information, and appear to care about the very customers who represent the life line to your business in this or any other economy.