Too cool!  I gained some new Twitter followers due to my sweet tweeting.  Should I follow them back?  Well, let me see ‘how popular’ they are first; surely, I can’t be seen walking the halls of Twitter, following those who aren’t cool; I wouldn’t be making a good impression. That rationale worked(?) in high school; it can work in the professional world too, right?  I don’t think so.

I frequently pass by McDonald’s.  I think the brand served enough people to provide every soul on the planet with (at least) three meals per day for a week.  I’m impressed (using the marketing meaning of the term only).  McDonald’s is kind of a big deal, yet not in my life.  I think I was donning my little league baseball uniform the last time I (purposely) headed the brand’s way (1991?)

But who am I to speak upon McDonald’s?  The long-standing brand has over 360,000 Twitter followers ( I only have about 250).  If you were passing me by on Twitter, you may feel ‘too cool for school’ to follow me.  Only 250? Pfft.  However, you may be impressed by those with many ‘followers.’  Who provides better value to their community?  I think it depends on how a brand wants to ‘impress’ you.

Twitter is a leveraged social media implementation of the online marketing world.  I’m an online marketing professional as well as a consumer.  Being in the former party helps me make ‘educated’ decisions as a part of the latter group.  As an online marketer, I provide my readers insight gained from my experiences.  Hopefully, the following information helps you make better sense of Twitter from a consumer and brand perspective.

As an Online Marketing Consumer
As an online-marketing consumer, I encourage readers to employ better diligence when shopping for providers.  Don’t be immediately impressed by followers, numbers, press mentions, and advertising.   Marketing companies are comprised of marketers, those who make a living making impressions (both varieties).  I referenced Dr. Pete’s work (under ‘being new’ column) in a former copywriting post.  He draws reader attention to the difference between search-engine visibility and conversions.  Impressions don’t guarantee impressed (the better kind) visitors and consumers.  Make sure brands garnering cosmetic results (a lot of Twitter followers, search-engine rankings, Facebook friends) are delivering services worthy of the ‘impressions.’  I assure you; the two are not one in the same.  Many online marketing shoppers make mistakes because of it.

As a Brand Using Twitter
A few months ago, statistics were released regarding how consumers approach social media.  Some local businesses may have been surprised to find a high number of consumers were merely interested in coupons and upcoming deals rather than brand engagement.  Perhaps your brand only wants to use Twitter for impressions (the marketing kind).  That’s for your brand to decide.  I would suggest doing more with it for branding and reputation management purposes; but, take my advice with a grain of salt; I only have 250 followers.

I ask all readers to understand the difference between initiating online impressions and making a genuine impression on your target market.  As a consumer, you just don’t want to notice a brand’s impressions; you want to know if a brand beholds the services to truly impress you.  As a brand, do you just want to be noticed?  You want your brand to build a community who values your brand, right?

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