Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sad Story of Supplier Tweets

Promotional Products suppliers stink at Twitter. 

It's a shame, as suppliers are missing an opportunity to feed promotional distributors great content to feed to buyers.  Instead, it's a random special or product of the day or worse, begging for votes on the latest award (yes, I got more than 20 tweets last week from a certain large CA supplier begging for votes.  I stopped following, they don't understand social media).

Just check out the clever infographic with meaningless statistics that I made up to prove a point (Hey, you don't question where other's numbers come from so don't question mine). (AND MORE OF MY RANT AFTER THE GRAPHIC)

I started a new twitter account to focus on industry news, @GeigerCIO, and I have yet to find a supplier who knows how to use twitter well.  I've found several distributors (@motivatorsPP, @rightsleeve, among others) that "get it" but I have not found a supplier who provides interesting tweets.   Some staff members at suppliers are doing some interesting things such as Dana Zezzo (I'm glad he has moved from hotel pictures to showing his products in use).

Some suppliers started tweeting and stopped over a year ago.  This is bad for their brand as anyone who looks at the account sees a "dead" account.  Spend 10 minutes a week posting something interesting or delete the account.

Suppliers need to do the following on social networks and stop wasting time (and the time of anyone who follows).  
  1. Write some original content at least once per week.
  2. Ensure the content can be tweeted/re-posted by distributors to their followers.
  3. Provide some truly special offers that are exclusive to your followers (and for best response, limit the response time).
  4. Have an interesting and useful pintrest page.
  5. Don't feel the need to tweet/post every day unless you have something worthwhile to say (but don't go too long without posting either).
  6. Engage your followers by retweeting them and talking to them on twitter.  
I know I'm one of the few industry people on twitter but all the more reason suppliers should either bail out of twitter altogether or do it right.  The people on twitter know better than to follow suppliers that blatantly sell with every tweet.

And last but not least, you should not care about the # of followers or Likes you have.  To quote the brilliant Mark Graham (@heymarkgraham): "Your Internet strategy should focus as much on engagement as on Ecommerce". So stop selling and start engaging.

Follow me on twitter @GeigerCIO and tell me which suppliers are tweeting something interesting.  Thanks for listening to this rant.

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