eric whelan

How not to engage an audience on Twitter… yes, again.

In the third of what appears to be an ongoing series, yet another organisations has proved how ¬†oblivious it is of what Twitter is used for. A few months ago, I wrote about how a Twitter account for an in-production BBC 3 TV show was spamming anyone and everyone on Twitter to try and find people to take part. Not surprisingly, it ended up that The Year of Making Love was a disaster, with only 300 out of 1000 contestants turning up for recording and a good number of those that did eventually walking out.

Now a production company, again producing a show for BBC 3, have taken the same approach to finding subjects, spamming accounts looking for retweets to help find people to take part. The only difference this time is that the company seemed to be approaching other companies as opposed to going directly to potential subjects, but that’s a very minor difference.

While @YearofMakingLuv got away with it, Twitter were having none of it from @BoomTownTVShow, whose account was quickly suspended. What’s the lesson? Twitter’s a place for conversation, not for spamming. It’s good to see that Twitter themselves have started to crack down on accounts that don’t understand that.

How not to engage an audience on Twitter… again

Some organisations just don’t get how Twitter works. It’s a place for conversation, not a place for spamming and this is why it has grown to level that it has. A few months back, I wrote a very short post on how not to engage your new followers on Twitter, but it’s not just new followers that you will alienate by spamming; it’s any potential followers too.

An account being used to find people to take part in a new BBC 3 dating programme, set up by Fever Media, is a perfect example of how not to engage an audience.

And so it goes on. In the time it’s taken me to write this post (less than 10 minutes) they’ve posted another 13 updates. Spam, spam, spam.

If I were to take over this account, I’d approach the audience in a completely different way. A quick search for “date” or “dating” on twitter comes back with a huge list of people who’re talking about dating. Directly getting in touch with these people means that you’re much more likely to find people interested in taking part in the show, rather than throwing out a really large net in the hope of catching a single fish.

Twitter users don’t react very well to this kind of “conversation”. They’re also well skilled in the art of clicking the Block button, which I’d guess many people have done to @YearofMakingLuv. And that’s before even mentioning their awful username, generic stock photo avatar and horrendous grammar.