There’s something really annoying going on in some of my favorite Twitter hashtag streams. There’s a lot of business owners who fancy themselves as being pretty savvy when it comes to social media. I wonder if their followers view them the same way.
Scenario: a person owns a business. The business has a Twitter account. The business owner has a personal Twitter account. Someone posts a tweet via the business Twitter account and uses the #Lkld hashtag. Then the business owner retweets the tweet and keeps the #Lkld hashtag.
Even if I lived under a rock and had no access to TV and newspapers (but had Internet access, obviously) I could tell you who owns what businesses in Lakeland simply by following the #Lkld hashtag.
Day after day, I see business postings, followed immediately by the owners of those businesses retweeting the posts. And if the person owns more than one business, Katy bar the door! Be prepared to read several identical posts, all in a neat little row.
Business owners who are on Twitter are all after the same thing. We want to get the word out about our businesses. We want clients and customers. Recently, I wrote about writing reviews for businesses and how if we’re not careful, those reviews come across as disingenuous. I feel like these retweets also can fall into that same category if we’re not careful.
The original intent of the retweet was to re-broadcast information that users felt would be of interest to their followers. Mark Evans over at Twitterrati has an interesting take on the value of the retweet.
I think we need to look at the value of our retweets. Business owners, when someone else retweets something you post, all who see that RT see it as coming from an objective third party. That has value, in my mind. I liken it to an advertisement vs. a mention in a newspaper article. Given enough money, you can say whatever you want to say about your business in an advertisement. But people are savvy and often won’t even read an ad. If you can get a reporter to write a story that says those same things about you, readers buy into that. Why? It’s seen as more objective.
So what’s the solution? As a business owner, of course you want your business to succeed and you absolutely should use every tool in your marketing/PR/publicity tool kit to help make that happen- particularly if the tool is free. And believe it or not, I’m not saying you should not RT the tweets posted by your business. But why not give those retweets some legs? If your business tweet uses the #lkld hashtag, why not change it to a different area when you RT it? That way, you help ensure that new eyes will read it, which is your goal in the first place, isn’t it?
If you don’t change your approach, here’s one thing that you’ll never accomplish- building “buzz” for your business (My apologies to Peter Shankman, whom I adore, and I know he despises that term)
These are just my thoughts on the topic. I’m sure there are those who disagree with me. I would love to hear your feedback on this, whether or not it aligns with my opinion.