May 23, 2012 by Alisa Thwing
When I first joined Twitter in August of 2008, I was enamored with the social media channel. Chatting with actual friends and internet friends about sports, life and news was fun, however, I was really interested in how brands would use Twitter.
Petco was one of the first brands I started following - and my dog won a $10 Petco giftcard for tweeting a caption for a photo they posted. When Petco asked for the caption, I wasn't aware there was a $10 giftcard at stake. The photo was funny and fortunately, I had a clever caption to accompany the photo. I was thrilled that Petco was engaging with their consumers online in a new way. That interaction actually propelled me to shop more at Petco, rather than PetSmart. Yes, I changed my purchasing behavior because of that conversation on Twitter.
In the early days of Twitter, I started following several of the brands I am loyal to, and over time, as more joined the micro-blogging site, I started following those brands too. I didn't follow them for promo codes or contests - I get that information by subscribing to their email newsletters. I followed them to see how they would use Twitter and what content they would offer and if they were actually having conversations on Twitter or simply pushing their messages out to their followers.
Unfortunately, some of those brands joined Twitter to simply secure their Twitter handle and they didn't tweet messages at all or they waited to tweet for some time. Others just tweeted content that they sent to me in their email newsletters. But there were a few that actually understood Twitter. Petco for one, DSW Shoe Warehouse is another. They ask their followers questions. They respond to customer service inquiries. They make recommendations for their followers who seek information.
At the beginning of 2012, I started to review the accounts I follow on Twitter; the accounts of both people and brands. My Twitter feed had become inundated with too much information and I wanted to weed out the messages that were cluttering my feed. I ended up unfollowing nearly 250 accounts for a variety of reasons:
- The brand was not offering content that differed from their email newsletter or their Facebook page or any other platform that I had interactions with.
- The brand wasn't tweeting about their business. They were tweeting pop-culture information or links to articles that didn't resonate with their brand.
- The brand didn't reply or retweet any other messages. They simply just pushed their messages out to the Twitterverse and left the conversation unattended in cyberspace.
Over the past few months, I have been able to use Twitter in a way that works best for what I seek from using the social media channel. It's rather simple, my feed is more relevant to the things I am interested in and I am able to enjoy Twitter more.
Have you reviewed the accounts you follow lately? What reasons cause you to unfollow a brand?