I was just telling someone about a chat I had a couple of weeks ago, with a VERY stressed out Twitter user. This person, who shall remain nameless, had (for no reason) seen his Twitter account suspended.
He was absolutely distraught and called my office (here in the UK) from his office in San Francisco.
He introduced himself to me, explained what had happened and then told me that he relied on Twitter for 75% of the traffic to his company’s website and most of their sales enquiries.
“If I can’t get my Twitter account back Jim, I don’t know what I will do!”
In case you don’t already know, the reason he asked for my help, is that I write a very widely read Tech News Blog, have a few influential friends and almost 20,000 people following my Tech News Blog on Twitter @thetechnewsblog .
The reason I mention this guy’s predicament, is that it’s a PERFECT example of two common marketing mistakes.
Too many eggs in one basket is a bad idea
Firstly, he was relying too heavily on just one marketing activity. It’s always better to have a broad marketing mix, with at least half a dozen, high leverage marketing activities. By the way, I recommend you take a look at FriendFeed and add it to your marketing mix!
Your house, your rules!
Secondly, he placed his company’s primary source of new business, directly out of his control. This blog is owned by me and I have a community of brilliant people, who comment here, email me and recommend the blog to their friends. So, as long as I work hard to provide interesting content, the success of the blog’s community is within my control. It can’t be suspended in error, like this poor guy’s Twitter account.
If you are in business and have developed an online community that you value, I strongly recommend you encourage them to engage with you on YOUR TURF! Get a blog or add a forum to your website – or do both. Don’t allow all that hard work and value to go to waste, just because some third-party screws up your account or goes broke!