Marketer confessions: The best type of Twitter outreach

I’ll be the first to admit it, despite being in marketing I often cringe at some of the things we as marketers think will be effective. We think newsjacking about the Apple watch shows our relevancy or continue to go for slight shock and awe TV commercials to create some sort of buzz.

Over the years one of the tactics I’ve continued to be reluctant about is lead gen via Twitter, although Twitter Cards seem to be a great step in the right direction. With that said, the tactic involving listening around a certain topic and jumping in to “offer help” is still in my opinion, Big Brother-like. I’m sure some would assume being a brand marketer would cause me to feel differently, but the bottom line is, before I’m a marketer, I’m a consumer. Someone who is looking for information and ways to make my life easier. Several few years ago I was once on the receiving end of numerous tweets from insurance companies in response to a tweet about health insurance, which stemmed from being in between jobs:

The above tweet is now over 6 years old and yet I still think about how unhelpful the responses were. Even worse, in some businesses this tactic is still viewed as being helpful, when in reality they are simply being intrusive by adding zero value. Not exactly an ideal first impression you’d want to a potential customer to experience, right?

Now, let’s take the above example and fast forward to a few days ago in which I received a tweet that piqued my curiosity and got me to act almost immediately because of the manner in which I was reached out to. Back in January I was really excited about the Invisibilia podcast primarily because it covered topics about human behavior and understanding the whys behind them. Naturally, I tweeted about it.

It’s true – if I weren’t in marketing I’d be a psychologist in another life because understanding the human brain is my own personal geekfest. So, it was a bit surprising when I received a tweet 3 months later to the above post.

Reader’s note: Lately I’ve been tagged on Instagram for things which seem to be for another Vanessa, so I thought possibly this was another instance. However, then I looked at which post this “random” tweet was in response to it made sense. Under normal circumstances I would’ve probably ignored it, however, the message was tailored in such a way that made me pay attention and later take action, which as any marketer knows is the holy grail. The message was:

a) personal in that it addressed my “inner psychologist”
b) provided credibility from one of the Invisibilia hosts
c) helpful by providing a direct link to the Where There’s Smoke podcast on iTunes

Pretty impressive given Twitter only allows you 140 characters to work with! After clicking the link to the iTunes podcast and reading a few of the reviews I decided to subscribe to the podcast and listen on my drive home. Upon scrolling through the feed I found a recent episode titled Why Do You Ask? (Questions) which seemed interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, from the various sound clips from popular movies, and TV shows, to the overall content of the episode which (surprise) was about having a sense of curiosity and how it often gets squashed when we’re growing up. But don’t take my word for it! If you’re a fan of self-development and understanding the “whys” of life you should visit the Where There’s Smoke web site and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

Kudos to Brett for a fun podcast and for reaching out to me with something of value, something many often don’t get right when reaching out to influencers on Twitter. My inner psychologist and marketer thank you.

Sharing is caring: Have you been on the receiving end of outreach efforts, good (or bad)? Let me know in the comments.

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