Alan See (@AlanSee), Vice President of Marketing at Berry Network Inc., an AT&T company and Local Search Association member, guests blogs today about the importance of personalization on Twitter.
Imagine two people entering a crowded room. The first person bursts in and announces:
The second person walks in, looks you in the eye and says:
Which person feels like they are engaging you at a personal level? Are you starting to feel a degree of rapport with one of them? My guess is that the second person already has you thinking that there might be some kind of special connection or shared interest. In fact, you’ve probably forgotten about the first person. Come on, admit it, you kind of like being the center of someone’s attention! Maybe not all of the time, but it does feel good when it happens for the right reason.
By definition the center of attention implies a focused awareness. So, if you’re customer-focused that must mean your customers are at the center of your attention, right? Well, you wouldn’t get that impression based on some of the automated direct messages hitting my Twitter inbox lately. Take a look:
- Thanks for the follow. Please check out our Website at http://xyxyxy or follow us on Facebook.
- Thank you for following. Please look me up on Facebook and LinkedIn to get a better sense of who I am and what I do.
- Thank you for following! Please check out our Fanpage http://xyxyxy, Website http://xyxyxy and Blog http://xyxyxy.
- Hey!! What’s up? Thanks for the follow. Check out our FB Fan Page.
OK, these examples are kind of over-the-top; but can you see how the focus is on the brand or individual self and not on their audience? Sure, they thank their audience for connecting, and are polite when they make their requests to visit the other sites. But it’s still all about them as the only thing I can hear is, “here I am, come visit me on another site.” Wow, I’m feeling kind of annoyed because what I’m thinking is; what’s your point and what’s in it for me? And by the way, I’m on Twitter because I like it, so why are you trying to immediately redirect me to another platform?
Is it really possible to be customer-focused with automated direct messages on Twitter? Well, it’s probably not impossible, but in my opinion I don’t believe automated direct messages will be perceived as valuable by most of your audience. And yes that includes the automated messages that thank people for following. OK, you’re being polite, but that still feels kind of spammy.
A “there you are” approach is relationship building because it’s centered on the audience, and that sets the stage for developing trust. Direct message strategies that capture attention without making a person feel like their being stocked are not easy to design. That’s why highly relevant and targeted communication strategies that nurture trust are a competitive advantage.