7 Major Corporate and Business #Fails on Twitter

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Social media has changed the way people communicate, relate and even do business. The companies, small businesses and all kind of organizations  are now joining the party.  It is great to see them around but there are boundaries that businesses in particular should never cross. On twitter you can be easily be labeled  #Fail if there is perception that something is wrong or you are not getting it right.  For those who don’t know #Fail is a popular hash tag people use to  show their frustrations, failure of  companies or businesses, rants and many more. This is going to be part one of major #Fails on twitter by corporate and  businesses in Kenya. Part two will be about individuals:

1. #Fail:  Sounding like a robot

The fact is one should take care on what type of message or information being given out there to the public but social media is social. Being in social media means people interacting with other people and not  machines , when the person handling social media account for a company start sounding too controlled ..it bores people to death. At the end it sounds like a rebot programmed to respond in a certain manner. Recent example  @Safaricomltd, twitter account. When responding to tweets asking questions. They start Dearing everyone as if responding to official emails. By the way i must commend the person behind the account for learning fast and heeding the advice not to sound too rigid. I think now they are doing it right although people are still not satisfied by the answers they are giving.

2. #Fail: Joining twitter and leaving the account dormant

The truth most companies twitter accounts are dormant with only one or two tweets announcing how happy they are to join twitter. But that is where the problems of brandjacking and fake twitter accounts start from. Case in point the @capitalfmkenya and @Capitalfm_kenya on twitter. Mmmh which is which, @Capitalfm_kenya is the official Capitalfm twitter account while Capitalfmkenya is fake.  From the beginning many people did not realize that it is fake. Believe it, it is more popular than the official account. Capital FM neglected their official account on twitter and for that they have themselves to blame. At the same time, when someone try to use a company’s  brand name without authorization , it is important that company act immediately and warn the public about it.. Keeping quiet is a big mistake.

3. #Fail : Taking tweeps for granted, not responding to tweets asking something

So a tweep ask a question today and you take like a week to respond. For an individual taking that long would make sense, probably one is in vacation somewhere and can’t access the net or in a seminar or conference. But for a company or business that would mean complete break down in communication and a big #Fail. As we know it, business or company is not meant to be one man or woman show and if the person handling the account is not around then someone else should take over.  On top of that, when a company make a promise to follow up a given issue and get back to someone it is important that the promise be fulfilled.

4. #Fail. Tweeting links to another social network site..Facebook

This mostly affect the media houses, Nation media and standard group in particular. So you have a story on your website why tweet a link taking me to Facebook where again i have to clink the link which finally lead me to your site? Sometime back here we wrote about how media houses are marketing Facebook and at the same time they fear loosing ads business to Facebook. Why most media houses tell people to get them on Facebook for discussion instead of their websites or blogs is still beyond my basic understanding. Everyday we talk about locally generated contents on locally created media but i think Kenyan corporate still don’t get it..FACEBOOK IS NOT LOCAL.

5. #Fail : Tweeting just A link

When you see a shortened  link without any description or any preceding or following words, the chances that people will click on it is very low..  Something like this http://bit.ly/cBh6GA on twitter without any word is a complete miss. I have seen many corporate twitter accounts doing that, and i am like what the hell is this..just ignore them. The idea of tweeting links are for people to click on them and get full story. There so many links to many interesting stories on twitter to the extent that if yours is not interesting nobody would care about it

6. #Fail : Self Absorbed, Self centered

Yes i get it. You are so and so company or business and you are selling this or that. Well done, but does it mean it is the only thing you can talk to me about all the time.  As i have already mentioned, tweeps know that it is not the machine tweeting, there is somebody behind the machine. By all means the person is a decent human being, who have opinion about other stuffs going on around, why not talk about the other things on top of what the company is selling or is about. This can be done through retweets of interesting stories or tweets, replies or even asking questions

7. #Fail : Putting a very junior/intern member of the company to be in charge of twitter account

Any time somebody ask a question, the replies is we will get back to you. The person handling twitter account should be someone high enough to handle any complain or respond authoritatively to queries. And if he or she has to do consultation before giving a reply which is important then it should be occasionally and not all the time. You see most twitter accounts bear the name of the company like @kenyaairways, @nsekenya @safaricomltd, when mentioning such twitter account in terms of asking a question or comments, what it is the back your mind is your talking to the company and you expect the company or organization to know what you are talking about

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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