When you’re tweeting for business, celebrities are not very useful to follow. In fact, following celebrities can actually be bad for business. But it’s easy to fall into the trap and let personal sympathies get in the way of using Twitter as an effective marketing tool.
The Problem with Following Celebrities and Big Brands
Remember when you created your account on Twitter? After you set it up, Twitter offered you a list of recommended users to follow, mostly celebrities, large organizations, and news outlets. This is all very fine for personal accounts, but for business or professional accounts, it’s not necessarily wise.
Celebrities never follow you back. It’s understandable since they have so many followers, sometimes millions, and anyway, they are usually too busy being celebrities. It’s always a one-way relationship, and you’re not getting much out of it.
You Can’t Follow Them All
Did you know that Twitter limits the number of people you can follow who are not following you back? Following celebrities, whose default approach is not to follow you, means that you may not be able to connect with all the influencers, prospects, or thought leaders in your industry. Ouch.
Retweeting What Everyone Knows Already
What’s more, celebrities usually tweet things which, however entertaining, are completely irrelevant to your business or profession. And even when you come upon a wise celebrity tweet that you think can be of benefit to your followers, aren’t you retweeting something that hundreds or even thousands of other people have already tweeted?
Your followers won’t be getting anything new or exciting out of those retweets. And if they just don’t happen to like your favorite celebrity, you may actually invite an unfollow without having actually done anything wrong.
The same issues apply to large brands or news outlets, big organizations with huge followings. They may push a lot of content, but is it relevant to you?
If Not Celebrities, Then Who?
There is a more effective, more business-minded approach to following others on Twitter. Instead of celebrities, turn your attention to influential and significant individuals in your industry, as well as customers and worthwhile prospects. These may include:
- Thought leaders and key players, people who left their mark on your particular industry
- Current and rising influencers
- Important customers who you would like to keep
- Prospects you are trying to turn into customers
- Any non-profit organizations that mean something in your industry
- Specialized publications and reviewers
- Well-known experts in your industry
- Other companies or organizations in your industry that aren’t your direct competitors
These will offer you a wealth of content that can be safely curated and retweeted, as well as many opportunities to connect and network with them. Some of them will even follow you back.
The aim here is not merely following relevant sources, but curating the best content possible for your audience and forging valuable connections. It will be easier to respond to a tweet or to a reply and start a meaningful business conversation with one of the above than with any Hollywood celebrity or a British rock star.
But what about trends?
“If I unfollow celebrities, don’t I lose contact with the latest trends? Not necessarily. By following influencers and thought leaders in your industry you can still keep up with the trends that really matter to you. Besides, when using Twitter for business, relevancy beats trends because it helps you find rich content sources and fresh perspectives.
In the end, the message of this post is not that you shouldn’t follow celebrities, but rather that for your Business account, it’s wise to think twice before following a celebrity if that new follow means you’ll lose the opportunity to interact with someone in your niche.