Don't Let a Rooster Guard the Henhouse: Who's Monitoring Your Business Twitter?


By: Tanya Wade

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new business looking to get things off the ground, or a seasoned vet ready to dip your toe into social media.

I’ve worked with both start-up companies and established firms that have been around for more than 20 years. And in both cases, I’ve noticed a real trepidation about getting involved in social media. But the scariest thing I’ve seen is companies who open social media accounts and do…nothing.

While the recent Wall Street Journal statistic that 44 percent of Twitter users never actually tweet may seem shocking, it doesn’t mean that you have to set up a homestead and abandon it.

Here’s what happens when you do nothing: you give squatters permission to take over your social media home. And you never know what they’re going to track in.

If you open a Twitter account for your business, make sure you put someone in charge who can monitor it on a daily basis. You’ll want them to check your invitations as well as any messages you may receive.

Although Twitter has done a lot to avoid spammers, they can still get through. I’ve seen companies with more than 1,000 followers, and most of them were spammers who glommed on to the account like barnacles years ago, and were never eliminated – scrape them off! The saddest thing was the company was missing chances to follow people in the actual industries they were attempting to serve.

Here’s what you can do: Use a site like Buffer (http://buffer.com) to monitor the best times a day to tweet. If most of your followers are engaging at 10 a.m., make that time the priority. Then, put your point person on it. Give them a set time limit and let them do their thing.

What should their “thing” entail? A good idea is to drive content. Make yourself the avatar of whatever industry you represent. Are you in real estate? How about scanning the internet for interesting articles on rental rates and buyers versus renters in the current market? Post the articles as a link, and make sure you shorten the URL using a site such as bitly (http://bitly.com)

Start the conversation or join the conversation. Engaging with your followers or, conversely, with those you want to follow, will help your presence grow on Twitter.

The bottom line is to find someone, whether it’s yourself or a colleague, to take control of your presence. Don’t let a rooster guard your internet hen house.