While we're on the subject of Twitter and how to do things that aren't stupid, let's check out Amanda Palmer's story, "How an Indie Musician can make $19,000 in 10 hours using Twitter" about how she and her band, the Dresden Dolls, are doing things right. Or just check out the basics: - Amanda sends out messages to her 30,000 Twitter followers inviting them to participate in experiences with her band. Things they're doing already, like press days and playing concerts. She uses the tool to enhance her ability to spend time face-to-face with fans. Then she sells them t-shirts.
- She moves really quickly, setting up impromptu concerts, inviting fans via Twitter, building websites, and making money in hours rather than days or weeks. She knows her brand and her fans intimately, so she can make these kinds of decisions without boardroom meetings and focus groups. And she bonds with them by talking to them about things that are important to them.
Okay, so maybe you're not an indie musician, you don't have 30,000 followers and your brand isn't that "cool." And you're thinking this doesn't apply to you. Bullshit.
You have to find ways to do what she does. Get out there and give people hugs - Amanda literally did that at an impromptu concert she set up and promoted on Twitter. She took requests and hung out with her fans, interacting with them, not just selling to them. If they don't want to hug you today, then it's your job to figure out what that's going to take. You have to be accessible. You have to know your audience. And you have to have something to say. We can help.
Here's another option: Why can't your brand invest in the Dresden Dolls? Get involved with Amanda in a meaningful way so that her fans become your fans. They see you supporting her and her music and them. That will make them want to hug you. And buy your products.