Mistakes that Macy’s (And MOST Others) is making with Twitter

Many of the big kids of company brands have jumped on board with social media, and most of them are making some major mistakes.  I find this both comforting and alarming all at once.  (Kind of how I feel when I watch BRAVO reality television.) 

We should be comforted that even the Big Guys are learning the ins/outs of social media, so there is time to catch up for the rest of us.  We should be alarmed that they don’t see enough value in these communication channels to seek the advice of people who can do it the right way.  Macy’s, I am here for you (and I may even be willing to work partially for shoes). Feel free to contact me on Twitter @PRGuruKim or email me at kwalshphillips@iocreative.net

Using the powerhouse brand of Macy’s Department Store, these are the most common mistakes being made on social media.


1.       Using “The Company” as the Voice


Social media is just that…social.  If thousands of people walked up the  Macy’s on Herald Square and started talking to the wall of the building, they would be seen as kookoo for Coco Puffs.  So why do corporate entities insist that you talk to the store instead of presenting a person that individuals can relate to with the brand?  By making the company the voice, it is the same thing as asking you to talk to a building.  Not okay.  Think what this would be like if they used this same tactic in their commercials.  A wall speaking to you instead of Tim Gunn?  Not cool. 


2.       Not Enough Supporting Tie-ins


When launching a social media marketing campaign, there needs to be a strategic approach to building a following.  Macy’s is offering a donation of a meal for each Twitter follower they get in support of their big star studded social media campaign of “Feeding America”. Yet they still have less than 5,000 followers. They are not using this promotion to its fullest ability.  In all PR efforts I have seen about the Feeding America event, I have yet to see the Twitter promotion mentioned.  This promo should be included in all Macy’s advertisement campaigns and PR efforts in order to build followers as soon as possible. The quicker you can grow your followers, the quicker you can begin to see a return on investment.


3.       The Tweets Can’t All Be About You


Macy’s tweets are primarily about the sales, events and promotions at the store. Someone can already receive this information if they check out the ads in the Sunday paper. Where are the other things Twitter users care about style, fashion, celebrity news, behind the scene views, etc.  I heard a great line the other week…”Tweeting should be 85% PBS and only 15% QVC.”  Macy’s, you need to work on your portion control.


4.       They Are Not Tweeting Often Enough


Macy’s is ignoring their followers  except to answer customer service complaints, so the page ends up being a lot about problems with the brand.  Get engaged with your followers.  Send an @ message when they sign up and tweet at least twice a day.  Keep your voice top of mind and of interest. 


Of course Macy’s is not alone in these mistakes.  Many, many, corporations are making the same errors repeatedly, as are the small guys.  Smart marketers have found a way to incorporate their brands into their Twitter accounts and develop a personal voice that carries the brand without being a secret advertisement. After all, that is the secret to social media – a conversation with someone that actually wants to listen and talk back.


Want to learn more?  Check out our upcoming social media seminars-


Getting Social Media Savvy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

9 am to Noon

(Light breakfast will be served)

Lake Worth CRA Office

29 South J Street, Unit 1

Lake Worth, FL 33460

 $249 per person



Getting Social Media Savvy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

8 am to Noon

(Light breakfast will be served)


The Offices of Staub & Associates

6th Avenue Professional Center

1600 6th Avenue, Suite 104

York, PA 17403


$249 per person

($25 discount for members of the York County Chamber of Commerce and Sandler President’s Club)


For more information and to register:



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