I follow people on Twitter for because they either have information or entertain me. Notice I said people. Not brands. Not companies. People.
I firmly believe all social media is about connecting with people online. The most massive social media networks, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, are all about connecting with other people. Companies are secondary. I like knowing that the avatar I’m communicating with is more than a mindless PR or marketing slave stuck behind a computer all day.
When I think of brands on Twitter, I want the same two things I want from people: information, entertainment and a connection with a person. Your brand fails because either you’re inhuman, you’re not informing me, or not entertaining me, and I consider myself easily entertained.
If you’re going for the information route, put up something more than just your PR releases and photos. I can easily see those on a bunch of other websites, and they’re more likely to grab my attention than a short tweet. Show me a neat fact or photo I’m not going to see anywhere else. Teach me something about your service I didn’t know. Find links that will be relevant to people interested in your products. If you really get into this, you’ll start bleeding into the category of entertainment.
Entertainment seems harder because you’ll need to bring a smile, but I’ve seen great people even make lightbulbs seem cool on Twitter. If someone can make lighting awesome, you can do it too. Find cool ways people are using your product. Show the fun side of life at your office. Show how your competitor’s product fails.
Most importantly, let me know there is a person behind the avatar. I want to connect with the person behind the logo. I don’t need to know their life story, but just the sparkling of a personality behind the corporate facade is enough to take your presence from ordinary to amazing.
Once you can do that, maybe then I’ll start following your company. Until then, I’ll just talk about you with my real friends.