Brands are everywhere on Twitter.
A few brands are really really really really good (see @JetBlue) in terms of creating the right level of engagement and community building. But for most brands, they will never achieve Jet Blue status for this very simple reason:
THEY SEE TWITTER AS AN EXTENSION OF THEIR ONE-WAY PR MESSAGING INSTEAD OF SEE IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS: A TRUE COMMUNITY.
Case in point: @SearsLatino, the Twitter account of Sears’ efforts to capitalize on the growing Latino demographic in the United States.
As with any new Twitter account, @SearsLatino seemed to be doing Twitter somewhat right. They had some of the basics down. They shouted out other Twitter profiles. They thanked people for following them.
But when it came to true engagement, @SearsLatino missed the mark and for the we give them a Social Media F for their Twitter Strategy.
This assessment was confirmed after we read a blog post by Latino blogger Raúl Colón, who decided to call out @SearsLatino on its bluff. The blog post, which can be read in its entirety by clicking here, basically summarizes some very key points as to why the @SearsLatino Twitter strategy needs major improvement. Raúl does an excellent job on his blog post describing what @SearsLatino did, but we will share his summary here:
They started following random people. They are trying to harvest followers so they can look good on the number of followers side.
They followed me showing interest, offered to answer my questions and later retracted when they saw it was going to cause them work.
They sent mix messages and contradicted themselves on some tweets. You either want to engage with people or you just want people to follow you so you can push your products.
Overall I really think @SearsLatino needs to get on track. If they had a goal of reaching so many followers they should really consider engaging with the ones that are interested or have a low follower count like me.
I know of a few other individuals who reached out to them and since there follower count was high I guess they where more than willing to take their request.
I think I know what metrics they are using to measure influence!
This story could have just ended, but here is where it gets weird.
Comments on Raul’s blog that immediately criticized him came from URLS where Sears HQ is located.
Well, we asked @SearsLatino if indeed people associated with Sears or work for Sears were leaving extremely negative comments questioning Raul’s intentions. We got a simple DM back saying the following: “That is not accurate. We have nothing more to say.”
So instead of just facing the issue head on, @SearsLatino makes a few mistakes here:
- The easiest thing was to just give Raul a statement via email when he asked for it.
- The doubt that people associated with Sears were posting very negative and personal attacks on Raúl still lingers.
- Stop overthinking Twitter. Just be. That is the beauty of Twitter. It is organic, it is fluid and it cannot be approached as if it were traditional PR.
- All of us are now PUBLISHERS. By ignoring Raúl, @SearsLatino basically said that this prolific blogger from Puerto Rico doesn’t matter to them. There is the BIG MISTAKE. Instead of getting a nice little blog post about what @SearsLatino is doing on Twitter, Sears instead gets a critical blog that contains nasty comments that quite possibly come from people associated with the Sears brand.
- Stop tweeting about YOU. Really, no one cares about your products. Start engaging and be authentic. Don’t sell us. Connect with us.
The main reason I reached out to Sears Latino was to help them with their effort. I found it very disappointing that although I was willing to find more about them the did not have the time to answer my questions even when they started following me.