Spam is spreading like cancer on Twitter faster and faster each day. (See this post from Mashable for some examples.)
It’s to the point where I’m sceptical of every new follower I get. Out of every 10 new followers of my Twitter account, I’d estimate that 5 or 6 of them are trying to con me into buying their junk.
If you’re a business with a Twitter presence, make sure you’re not using the medium to try to directly sell your products/services. You can still use Twitter to help your business achieve greater levels of success, but NOT THROUGH DIRECT SELLING. Instead, use Twitter to listen, answer questions, and let your company’s personality shine through.
How can you make sure that the tweeple you follow don’t mistake you for a spammer? The answer is to simply follow good Twitter etiquette. Here are a couple tips.
1. ENGAGE! Talk to people. Spend some time commenting on their tweets. Let the twitterverse know that you’re there to chat and meet interesting people — NOT to sell them anything.
2. INFORM AND ENTERTAIN! Provide links to things other than your company’s products and services. Show people important industry news or helpful tips or fascinating photos or entertaining websites. If all you’re doing is linking out to your own stuff, you’ll be perceived as short sighted, narcissistic and spammy.
3. RETWEET! A great way to show the world that you’re not self-centered and just out to make a buck is to retweet other peoples’ interesting thoughts. Show people that you appreciate their contributions to Twitter.
These are the minimum characteristics I look for when deciding which of my new followers are worth following back, and which ones should be ignored — or worse, blocked.
(For all PEOs)
My last post focused on how HR Consultants can give their PEO a competitive edge by turning clients into loyal fans through social media. But even if your PEO doesn’t employ fulltime HR Consultants, there’s plenty you can do to connect with your clients and form deeper relationships with them.
Stop sitting on the blogging fence.
Are you a PEO exec who’s resisting the blogging suggestion that everyone in your marketing department keeps bringing up? Yes, it takes time and effort to maintain a blog, but think of the benefits. Blogging promotes two-way conversations between you and your clients, and even helps give your PEO more of a personality (if done right).
What would your PEO blog about? Your clients would certainly be interested in reading timely updates about new HR laws and compliance issues, how-to’s about employment best practices, and a jillion other HR-related things. If it’s valuable information your clients would thank you for, and if it would help position you as an indispensible resource that clients couldn’t get with your competitors, it’s fair game. (You could also use your blog to show prospects that you’re a thought leader in the industry. It just might help your Business Development Managers close a few more deals.)
Join the rest of the world and TWEET already!
PEO’s that resist Twitter are simply out of sight and out of mind. If you’re not tweeting, your clients who have Twitter accounts may be looking at other PEOs’ Twitter accounts. (Including Trinet’s.) The last thing you want is for your clients to think your competitors are more in-touch with clients than you are.
What would you tweet about? Links to HR news and notifications about new laws are a good start. But you’ll also want to use Twitter to keep the lines of communication open to client questions that arise or business challenges they want you to solve. Remember: social media should also be used as a listening tool.
Facebook: Resistance is futile.
Does your PEO still not have a Facebook “Page?” This is different from a typical Facebook profile. A Facebook Page enables businesses to share their products and services with the world. Users of a particular brand or business view the company’s Page and become fans. (Here’s Trinet’s page. It could use some work, but just having a presence on Facebook gives them an advantage over PEOs with no web presence.)
As an exec at a PEO, ask yourself:
“What am I waiting for?”
Then, stop waiting. Blog, tweet, and get on Facebook.