Don’t join the “follow us on Twitter” heat wave.

Arghh. . . Don’t just follow us on Twitter. . .

I got a 5K flyer in the mail yesterday, and the Twitter/Facebook logo duo caught my eye immediately. That’s probably strange to you, but I see them everywhere – and most of the time I take pictures of them or clip them out and put them in my ‘workshops example folder’. Don't Follow Us On Twitter

So the entire flyer was about a 5K race coming up. Great imagery, cool logo and art. Then they had the date, race starting times and the “Register at” statement. And then to finish up the flyer, the footer including the host organization’s mission statement and the Twitter/Facebook duo.

I didn’t include an image of the flyer itself. It’s a local event for charity and I really just thought they didn’t need to hear this at this point. But I’ll tell you this is a perfect lesson in Marketing that I think all small businesses should heed.

To be blunt “Nobody wants to follow you”. Or me. Or anyone else for that matter. We want information. We want discourse, tips, strategies, etc. . . We just don’t want to follow you on Twitter for the hell of it. That’s no incentive whatsoever.  And I have “liked” so many companies with poor Facebook pages, I’m not inclined to visit too many more.

On the flipside, their Facebook page is 1000% better than most. They’ve got actual social interaction going on. They’ve got videos of people talking about their race last year, race maps, updates on training run times and practice race days. Just great stuff. It’s too bad their flyer doesn’t say that.

On top of that, they ask you to register at right on the flyer, when they could easily have had you get the link to the Active registration page on their Facebook page. In fact, their fan page is so good, I bet it would even improve their conversion rate over the order page.

1 more missed opportunity.

So my charge to you is: Don’t ask anyone to follow your business on Twitter. Don’t set up a fan page on Facebook and don’t put that “Follow us on Facebook” sign on your company invoices. Nope. Resist. Don’t do it. In fact, don’t even start a social media strategy unless you know what you’re going to do.

The 5K folks had a great plan in mind for their Facebook page. They should have said, “Get up to date information about the race, get registered for door prizes and hear what past participants have had to say about the race – all on our Facebook page. Also, become a fan and then get all the Registration Information.”

How many more fans would a race of 700 people get to their page with that marketing plan?  With only a week to go – they have 114 fans. That’s 586 fans shy of the number who registered directly through

I would encourage you to jump over to this Social Media Examiner article where they interviewed the folks at Intel about how they manage their Facebook page. You can see here how important it is to have an objective – and how to drive people there using that objective.

Don’t ask people to “follow you on Twitter” – give them a reason.

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3 Responses to “Don’t join the “follow us on Twitter” heat wave.”

  1. August 7, 2010

    Ken Montville

    I’m on board for the winning lottery numbers! :-)

  2. August 7, 2010


    Twitter and Facebook marketing is still evolving. I agree most companies just want to be “socially with it”. But without a strategy, purpose and goal – these sites can languish, look outdated and become a liablity.

    Ever seen a commercial site whose last post was February (5 months prior)? What a drag that is.

    Have a reason, assign someone to take ownership of that – and then market the reason, not the location. Think about this. . . “Follow me” OR “Follow me and I’ll tell you what the winning lottery numbers are”.

    Who’s site gets the most attention?

  3. August 7, 2010

    Ken Montville

    I never quite got the “follow me on Twitter” thing except that it may show that you’re “with it” and know social media. I used to follow lots and lots of people based on their Twiiter badge but not so much anymore. I’m beginning to see both Twiiter and Facebook as a way to engage rather than just rack up the huge number of followers or friends s or “likers” (formerly “fans”)

    I just “cleaned up” my Twitter account by unfollowing most (not all) of the people who were not following me. That still leaves a ton of people who I don’t know and don’t engage with but, at least, it’s mutual. :-)

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