Why Are So Many Businesses Ignoring Tweets?

As Shea shared last week, while 91% of online adults use social media regularly, just 22% of businesses have a dedicated social media manager.

This means that on average, companies respond to just 30% of all feedback they receive from their social media fans.

Not only that: confoundingly, Twitter seems to be alone among social networks in this inadequacy on behalf of users. As Ragan’s PR Daily points out, though fewer retailers are active on Pinterest and Instagram, most that have active accounts regularly interact with customers.

Why is it that, in a digital age of ultra-communication and ultra-connectivity, many major brands are falling short, not taking advantage of the opportunity to engage one-on-one with fans and customers? Not capitalizing on free viral marketing, or damage-control opportunities?

Let’s take a look at some reasons why so many brands are still ignoring tweets.

1. They’re Twitter-phobic. It may be hard to believe for Twitterholics like us and you, who write and read a site called AllTwitter.com, but many, many people – yes, even those with a registered Twitter account – are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with tweeting. And tweeting on behalf of a business can put pressure on the tweeter or tweeting team.

2. They don’t want to pull a KitchenAid. Remember back in October, when a KitchenAid tweeter mistakenly sent an insensitive tweet about President Obama to the KitchenAid followers rather than her own? Brands see screwups like that, along with the public backlash, and realize how high the stakes are when it comes to tweeting. Tweets are very public – unless your account is private, of course – and even scrutinized.

3. They don’t have time or resources. Some brands have yet to wake up and smell the bird poop. Twitter is imperative as a social dialogue tool, and using it on a daily basis is key to a company’s customer service toolkit. But there are many businesses that don’t have dedicated social media managers (see above) or, if they do, they’re inexperienced or ill-equipped. Plus, just 33% of social media marketers spend more than 11 hours per week implementing their digital strategies.

Whatever the reason behind a particular business’s neglect of its Twitter account, they’d do best to shape up.

As Lou Cimaglia, PR director at Grow Socially, puts it, “A Twitter account is an official corporate channel of communication. It is a reflection of the brand. Imagine having a half-finished website up and running. It is unthinkable for a large company.”

And heads up: 50% of customers give a business only a week to respond to an issue before dropping them. So get on it!

(Customer service image from Shutterstock)