Brands on Twitter need to get their heads around a serious issue: They’ve become high-maintenance friends. They talk about themselves endlessly. They desperately want your attention. And they’ll manipulate you to get it.
Brand engagement is happening at the expense of good user experience, and it’s putting the relationship between brands and fans on Twitter in crisis.
Can’t live with it. Can’t live without it.
In most casual situations, you’d back off. But with Twitter, it’s different. We’ve entered the “can’t live without it” stage, and now, we’re afraid that we’ll be missing out if we call it quits. So we stay, despite these annoyances that are creeping into our relationship. A bad relationship can only last so long.
When you’re infatuated, it’s easy to overlook awkward behaviors. But even if you like a brand enough to follow (Twitter claims that over half its users follow six brands or more), it’s hard not to feel manipulated by the growing number of desperate attempts to turn your potential word-of-mouth into lip service on behalf of a business.
Call it what it is: Conditional love to gain popularity.
I’d like you better if you’d just __________.
When was the last time that worked? How different is “RT to win…” or “List 5 friends to earn… ” from these:
Tell everyone how great I am. Go on.
I’d like you better if you’d just do this one thing for me.
I’ll make this date really worthwhile if you bring your 5 friends along, too.
What all that’s really saying is, “Change for me.” Do something you hadn’t wanted to do in the first place, and you’ll be rewarded. It’s conditional, it’s manipulative, and it’s obviously not genuine.
Desperation is a turn-off.
Businesses are understandably clamoring for attention, trying to emulate something as organic and viral as word-of-mouth enthusiasm. Ironically, this struggle to build a likable online persona often results in a turn-off with a desperate edge: spam.
The Boost Needed.
Conversation, sharing, complaining and playing together are natural. Spam and promoted tweets are not.
What’s needed is a way to boost what comes naturally in the relationship between businesses and consumers, between brands and fans.
The introduction of Twitter Cards has the potential to make this boost possible. By creating more room for genuine involvement and interaction, Twitter might just deliver the space and variety every good relationship needs.
2paperdolls are social mobile game developers + makers of Twitter discovery game Mind of Man®. The 2paperdolls team has a history of building tools to improve the relationship between businesses and consumers: Tyrant (mobile field service workflow processing), iCommunicate (the first eCRM SaaS), Microsoft CRM and, currently, Boost.us.