If you sell a product or service that is twitter based, you need to understand what is likely to turn users right off your service by the way you market.
I got a tweet yesterday from @tweetbig inviting me to look at their service. I was planning a blog post on the value of follower growth tools for the new year so thought it was worth a look.
I’m interested in how you can grow targeted lists of followers and if there is any value in this beyond numbers. My theory is that if the list is targeted enough, it’s no different to buying an e-mail list, but more on that for another day. The best way to test this theory is to sign up for an account and see what happens before blogging about my experiences. My experience at sign up was not what I expected.
The product itself looks good and offers a 7 day FREE trial to test it. The features that interested me were the suggested follow lists that come from an analysis of competitors or similar accounts.
You enter the names and Tweetbig goes through their follower list to suggest who you should follow based on their activity. inactive or “post only” accounts are discounted.
You can also build similar lists via #’s and key-word phrases. So far so good and the numbers that Tweetbig came up with looked like they were living up to their selective claims.
Other features include an auto-follow back that balances the follow/follower ratio to keep twitter happy and an auto-unfollow for those who don’t follow you back. You can set time limits for this or turn it off. (I chose not to have it.)
I gave quite a lot of thought as to which accounts to piggy back on and what key phrases to track. You get up to 15 choices and I wanted a list that would be targeted by locations and relevance. In total I spent just over an hour pulling this together.
I was also keen to see who would come up from my existing follower list that I should be following back by relevance and activity. They call this the red carpet finder, suggesting who you should pay more attention to.
Pricing wise, the first week is free then you elect to pay 2 cents a follow. Seems reasonable if the lists are accurate.
Having invested over an hour in the whole sign up process, I was surprised that the last screen asked me to pay a $ for the free trial, the explanation being that they had so many requests that they had to charge a nominal amount for a trial. I had the option to pay by credit card or pay-pal.
Now $1 only equates to 65p according to the sign up, but the amount is not the point. If you tell me something is FREE I expect it to be that, if there is a nominal cost, tell me before set up. Let me make the choice.
Once that feeling of being cheated creeps in, you then question:
1: Do I really want to give these guys access to my API? Are they just going to spam everyone whatever they say?
2: Do I really want to trust these guys with my credit card number or my pay pal account log in?
Having checked out Tweetbig with a few people who have used the service, they do what they say (apart from charging a $ for a free trial) and don’t steal your money. They even offer you the $ back if you don’t sign up. They appear to be misguided but good guys with a good product.
I didn’t continue with the sign up at the payment point because I didn’t expect it. I’d spent over an hour setting up the account, so I felt robbed of my most valuable commodity, time. Time I can’t get back once suspicion caused me to decide not to proceed.
The take away for me in all of this is that if you are marketing on-line, you need to be completely transparent with your trials and pricing right up front. Your potential customers need a high level of trust before they will surrender their card details, and if potential customers feel even a bit cheated, they won’t trust you. When your target customers via social media channels they have a combination of voice and reach. You have the opportunity to create brand advocates or discerning voices according to that first perception. make sure you get it right, and be an ambassador for your brand.
When have you had a similar experience? How did you react and how many people did you tell?
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