A lot of PR people who are new to social media tell me they just don’t get Twitter. Then I take a look at who they’re following and have to agree – I’d be bored, too, if I had a similar group of ho-hum accounts to follow!
Here’s what I’m seeing. Since they’re in PR they think, “Wow, I’ll follow CNN, AP, The New York Times and the local newspaper and TV stations. To spice it up I’ll add Lance Armstrong, Oprah and Shaquille O’Neal.”
Guess what? All they’ve done is create another one-way newsfeed of information they were already getting through other sources. There’s little chance for any interaction with the “bots” behind the news accounts, and ditto for the celebs, who have hundreds of thousands of followers (as of this morning, Shaq had 1,906,352 followers!)
What they really need to do is invest the time in following a healthy number (at least 100-200) of people who are interesting. Real people who work in their town or industry, and have demonstrated they have something interesting to say. People with informative links to share, conference tidbits to tweet or news to report (so that means the actual beat reporters and editors, not just the newsroom’s Twitter bot).
So to those who don’t appreciate Twitter, take a look at who you’re following and that should offer a clue. It takes time to build a solid group, but that’s the first step to “getting” Twitter in my opinion.