In secret locations throughout the world, out of touch executives were recently told about the importance of social media strategy. They scrap plans for letter-bombing small urban populations with their latest offers and download Twitter and Facebook. Graduates are paid travel expenses to update these accounts with the mundane happenings of an insurance firm. There is surprise and annoyance when sales stay static. The aforementioned executives become gripped as their follower count dwindles.
It transpires that people have an aversion to corporate Twitter accounts. Trying solely to sell or link to your content is a faux-paux tantamount to having toilet roll escaping from your trousers at a dinner party. It is no way to continue. In contrast to what everything on the Internet might suggest, users of Twitter are a discerning audience.
Social media gurus are making a little more than minimum wage explaining and blogging this concept. They suggest creating a friendly or funny persona that masks the occasional corporate tweet. They begin to understand what Twitter wants, nay demands: inanity and light doses of humor.
The process was taken to a zenith by @betfairpoker, whose 17,000 followers are testament to the success of his/her/their existential and absurd jokes. And it is funny, very funny. They have realised that retweets are what counts, and that laughing at everything is the best way to get this. Even the occasional tweet advertising a promotion is tinged with self-deprecating humour.
@betfairpoker: Many years ago I met Noel Edmonds. "No deal!" I shouted. This was 1977 and he had no idea what I was talking about.
Latecomers to the idea include @ArenaFlowers and @WstonesOxfordSt. These three accounts now constitute some of my favourite parts of the Internet and between them have some 50,000 followers.
@WstonesOxfordSt: We are holding a brief 'all you can eat' book sale until the end of this sentence. The sentence has finished. We hope you enjoyed your meal.
So what can we extrapolate from this? Probably nothing. That subtle advertising is preferable to in-yer-face, that making people laugh is a good way to sell your product, that corporations are starting to become social media savvy. Nothing really.
Does anyone else know of alternative corporate Twitter accounts? What are people's opinions of this marketing strategy?
Follow Jordan Philips on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jordanphilips