Social Concepts

Why they won’t follow your brand on Twitter

Posted on: February 17, 2011

Here’s our blank stare news of the day: Consumers are not interested in following businesses on social media sites.

Ok, that’s not entirely true, I know. I mean, it’s fun following your favorite brand on twitter to learn about new products and to get discounts every once in a while. But when EVERY tweet or EVERY single Facebook post becomes a blatant advertisement, you have no choice but to shudder and hit the unfollow button.

It’s not a fun experience. Your timeline is full of friends and coworkers being social, sharing information about their days, uploading hilarious photos, or introducing you to some amazing story of the day from the New York Times. But then somewhere in the timeline, you feel like you’re getting spammed.

Ok, I admit, I did this once. It was a brief stint in real estate where I served as a sales agent, and as the newest to staff with no money to place ads in newspapers or on Craigslist, I capitalized on the success of Twitter and Facebook, and a few other free social marketplaces. But all of my tweets were pretty much the same thing in the span of one to two hours.

“GORGEOUS apt back on the market. You won’t find this ANYWHERE!!!”

“Lovely 2bd. It’s a steal!”

“Want to live in Bed Stuy for cheap? Take this $1300 3bd off my hands!”

Needless to say, I didn’t get a response off Twitter. I did get a few from Facebook, but those never closed.

Now that I’m studying social media, I realized that I made a HUGE mistake last year. One of the cardinal rules for the real estate industry being on social media is that individuals should NOT use their twitter handle as lists serve. It’s so much more than that – you have to engage with your audience, lend advice, and pit yourself as an expert or neighborhood guru! Corcoran’s got it right.

Corcoran group has a wonderful iPhone app that brings together a nearby feature, offering neighborhood tips and advice along with their listings wherever users check-in (with foursquare). Their twitter account is fun, lighthearted, and gives new bounds of information about New York City’s social scene. Their Tumblr account dives into the history of some of these neighborhood trends. So this is one of the few brands that people don’t mind following.


I just read an article the other day, and it gave some interesting statistics about the usefulness of businesses being on social media, thanks to research from Shoppercentric. Only nine percent of consumers are following brands on these sites, while only six percent actually make a purchase. 37 percent of the individuals polled said they didn’t see any point in brand using social media.

Clearly, these individuals have had horrible spamming experiences with the brands they followed, and that’s completely understandable. Because I’m verging on never wanting to follow an agent to prepare for my July move-in. But now that these industries are recognizing their faults, they may have some promise in their future. Who knows?


1 Response to "Why they won’t follow your brand on Twitter"

[…] businesses are now starting to benefit from these services. (See my last post about Corcoran and Foursquare, for […]

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