Social media continues to be the buzz around the world. From brands to marketers, everyone is in a race to figure out how to monetize it all. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, SnapChat, Tumblr, and many others. How do you make sense of all of these social networks? How do you track ROI from social media?

The answer to those questions is – YOU’RE LOOKING AT IT ALL WRONG! The problem with marketers aiming to monetize  social networks lies in the fact that they’re completely misunderstanding the target audience. Marketers seem to be shoving unwanted information to consumers. In most cases, irrelevant information that’s refused by social media users. Proper engagement on social media networks requires a solid understanding of the native content users adhere to. For example, posting a tweet from Twitter on any other social network is completely irrelevant. Why? Tweets are designated for Twitter only and not for any other social network. Why? Let me repeat that again. A tweet is classified as completely irrelevant on other social networks due to the fact that you’re attempting to marketing to a different audience. There’s a reason why each social network thrives on a specific audience.

Twitter – Marketers & Brands are Failing at It

When I signed up for Twitter in 2009 it seemed to me like a complete waste of time. Micro-blogging? Where was the value in that? How to make sense of it? As the years went by I started to see more and more marketers and brands aiming to monetize the social network. There was one problem though. They were doing it all wrong. Here’s why. Twitter isn’t about spamming someone else’s feed unless you’re forcing others to unfollow you. Twitter is about connecting with people on an emotional level. Sharing an experience or a common interest. Telling a story that resonates with tweeps in a way that provides value in some form or fashion.

The S**t You’re Doing Wrong on Twitter (and how to fix it)

Ok, so I’ve got to admit that there’s some marketers and brands out there that are leveraging Twitter the right way. Majority of them though are missing the point completely. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Sharing of industry-specific content – Building a voice on Twitter and thought leadership is definitely important. However, spamming my feed with nothing else but RTs or articles from around the web doesn’t necessarily portray value. Keep it to a moderate fashion!
  • Retweets – nothing is more frustrating than seeing a bunch of RTs coming thru on my stream from someone’s Twitter account. That tells me that you simply have nothing more interesting to add than RT someone else’s stuff.
  • Spammy Twitter chats – don’t get me wrong, there’s value in participating within chats. However, it’s absolutely frustrating when the context of a chat goes South, way South. Focus on engagement with users in a way that provides real value to them or their business.
  • Overall Engagement – Twitter is about storytelling. A matter of connecting with other users where there’s recognition of value. In order to engage with a tweep, you have to give value. Maybe sharing a link to an article that’s relevant to the user’s need. Perhaps offering advice on a specific situation. In the grand scheme of things, Twitter users leverage the network for value potential. They follow brands and individual users that adhere to their needs or points of interest.

Maximizing potential of Twitter takes time. Understanding of target audience and user demand is of critical importance.