Regular readers of this blog will know of my admiration for the online news provider Construction Enquirer and also my occasional criticism of their social media efforts. I admit these criticisms tend to be the moans of a social media purist who regards Twitter as a place for people to have conversations online, but I accept some simply see Twitter as another way to broadcast content – for this is exactly how Construction Enquirer uses Twitter (see For online-only B2B media, Twitter matters).
If you see a @ConstructionEnq tweet that interests you, they will no doubt be pleased if you retweet it and share it with your online followers. However, if it raises a question or you have a comment about how they report a story, it’s little use replying to their Tweet, as they very rarely respond.
For example, I was scrolling through my Twitterfeed yesterday and saw Essex-based civil engineer Andy Kenyon (@noynek on Twitter) taking issue with how Construction Enquirer was reporting an apparent bridge collapse, regarding its headline as sensational and misleading. He tweeted @ConstructionEnq but admitted to me that he didn’t expect a reply.
He was rightly sceptical. I did a quick check online and found that since April 2012, @ConstructionEnq has actually tweeted just eight @replies (and no RTs) out of the 3000 or so tweets over the past 17 months. It is clearly a highly automated Twitter account, largely managed by Twitterfeed, with e-newsletter tweets handled by Mailchimp, and geared up to send most tweets between 7am and 9am Monday to Friday.
The journalists’ output now has 12,619 followers, but only 752 – about 6% – are followed in return. The Construction Index (@TCIndex), the Enquirer‘s online rival, by comparison has 37,853 followers and follows about a third, 12,945.