Failing at Twitter can cost you - no really

A ton of companies have jumped on the twitter train in the past year or so.  Some of which has had great success.  Others I feel are seriously hurting their image.  Why?  They use twitter strictly as an rss feed generator.

Before anyone signs up for twitter they have to should ask "what's this for?" -- a question I feel people completely ignore.  Is it your outlet for ranting and complaining?  Ok, great.  Is it your way of getting in touch with similar minded people?  Cool.  Is it to interface with customers in a manner you normally wouldn't have a chance at talking with / fixing a problem / providing (GASP) customer service?  Even better.  Use it to just display articles for your corporate blog?  Mmmmm, FAIL.

I've said this before and I'll say it until companies get it -- twitter is not your RSS feed generator.  Period.  Even twitter suggests "While you shouldn’t feel compelled to follow everyone who follows you, do respond to some questions or comments addressed to you."  (emphasis mine) That means if you have a feed that's nothing but links ... you've failed.  Also, twitter is (surprise) real time.  Responding in 12 hours to someone will confuse the hell out of them, respond as quickly as possible or at least say "let me find out".  It doesn't matter if you're a big money company, a pro sports team, or some guy, it does not matter -- twitter is -personal- so treat it as such.  Even Chad Johnson Ochocinco responds to people from time to time.  Why aren't you?