OK, hands up. When it comes to Twitter, agencies in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m not massively happy with our Twitter feed as it stands. It’s an odd mix of industry news, technical PHP tips, and a few random non-work things that amuse or interest me. I also find it hard to strike the balance between tweeting as “the company”, and tweeting as an individual (I think this is quite a common problem for small agencies). I’m working on it.
Having said that, these are the top five tweets from marketing agencies that always make me think, “Oh, come on — you really should get Twitter by now”.
1. “Morning! How was everyone’s weekend?!”
A schoolboy error: you have confused Twitter with “text messaging”, or perhaps, “greeting your co-workers”. What is the point of this tweet? Are you actually interested? Really? Are you expecting a hundred different replies? Mine was fine, thanks, quite busy running around after the kids but all good fun. You? Will you then reply with a summary of your own weekend? Nobody gains anything from this exchange. Nobody follows you in order to be asked how their weekend was, unless they’re extremely lonely.
Invariably, no-one replies to these tweets. I always want to respond after a few hours with a photo of some tumbleweeds, but never dare.
2. “Today’s Google Doodle”.
Last I checked, Google was the world’s most popular search engine by a huge margin, with about eight trillion searches a second. It’s probably the first page that 90% of your followers have looked at when getting online that morning. They have already seen the Google Doodle. Plus, Google have doodles all the time now, it’s not even news. You may as well tweet, “The sun is in the sky”. Yes, we know. We’re looking at it right now. Cheers.
3. A popular meme, posted about five days too late.
“Check out this baby being snatched by an eagle!!” Yeah, we checked that out on Monday, when every other man and his dog tweeted the same link. Then we found out on Wednesday that it was faked. It’s Friday now. This is the Internet. Today’s news is pretty much today’s fish-and-chip wrapper. You may as well retweet your equally pointless “How was everyone’s weekend?” tweet for all the relevance this has.
4. “Great week last week, two big client wins!”
This is maybe a bit of a harsh one — after all, what is Twitter for if not self-promotion? — but to me, this always just sounds a little too smug. If you’re working with some nice clients, or have started an interesting project, tell us what it is. Even if you can’t name names, you can add some substance. Whooping about your latest wins tells us nothing; for all we know, you’re making it up and you haven’t won anything for months.
Tweeting “Yay for us!” is the Twitter equivalent of the Facebook status “Rubbish day today :-(“. It’s designed purely to elicit a response (“U OK hun?”), to which you can tap your nose and appear mysterious, secretly hoping people will ask more. We won’t.
5. “Don’t miss our latest TV advert tonight!”
This one is baffling. “Make sure you tune in for our latest dog food commercial, 7:15 tonight during Cowboy Builders on Five“. Seriously? Newsflash, no-one enjoys watching TV adverts. I’m not sure people even enjoy watching TV much nowadays. One of the many benefits of downloading TV shows is that you’re not interrupted every 15 minutes by idiotic adverts for toothpaste. (Hey Sensodyne; if you’re going to pretend that you’re interviewing a dentist live, and wiggle the camera around as if it’s a handycam, that’s fine. Rapidly cutting through multiple camera angles is pushing it a little, though).
Either way, no-one — absolutely no-one — is going to purposely tune into a TV show halfway through, to watch an advert you have produced. OK, you will. Your colleagues will. And so you should, you’ve produced some work that you’re proud of. Really, though, this is an internal memo. Not a tweet.