Here is some scary data for brands using Twitter according to a recent study by 360i and reported online by Forbes.com:
Consumers only mention brands 12% of the time, and when they do, it's often to share news or opinions about the brand. Only 1% of consumer tweets come from initiating conversation with the brand.
So here's the deal, and in no uncertain terms. You (brand, organization, business, non-profit) need to recognize no one cares about your brand but you. If you aren't solving a problem, putting more money in consumers pockets or delighting the pants off them when they engage with you (online and offline), then your tweets about your mission, purpose, lobby furniture, blah, blah and blah are getting lost in the collective twittersphere.
The article goes on to suggest brands should enlist the support of celebrities to help spread their (brand) message. I say, "bleh." Although you may get more visibility, you aren't getting more engagement. And unless the celebrity tweeter is going to engage customers for you on your behalf, they are more likely to just build their following. Not yours.
So examine your twitter strategy. Develop tests around your "normal" tweets versus tweets which seek to engage your customers reactions and experiences with your products or services. Evaluate the delta and test some more. You'll probably find out your response rates, to borrow that term, goes up significantly when you invite discussion versus becoming a 140 character news room.
Some of you may have even read our pedestrian take on Two reasons to use Twitter. Most of you haven't, so go give it a spin.
You may also go read the full article referenced on Forbes.