Thoughts on Twitter


The Enigma That is Twitter – 09-30-2011

September 30, 2011

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Hanifin Loyalty blog.

Of all the social media communications channels I invest time in, Twitter is the most enigmatic to me.

I use it and find value in posts from both followers and those I follow. At the same time, I encounter quizzical looks from friends who think I am somehow child-like and time-wasting to be spending time writing updates that are always compressed, sometimes cryptic and on occasion in-decipherable.

I’ll admit to a few things:

Twitter presents the constant temptation to become a one-way broadcaster of self-promotional messages. All I can say is resist, resist, resist! In real life, people don’t fall in love with others who talk about themselves constantly. Why should it be any different online?

I don’t always engage in conversations. Because there is such a thing as “real business” to attend to, I can’t sit and watch the stream all day, responding promptly to replies, DM’s (direct messages), and other comments. Thankfully, there are some really great tools to help you manage your social medial channels and I use one of the best, Sprnklr. I do respond to just about everyone, but with timeliness that is often suspect.

I’m not consistent. Social Media muse @TheDudeDean told me long ago to tweet consistently. I do my best, but there are gaps. This week is an example, with cross country air travel and day-long meetings cramping my Twitter style. I acknowledge this but don’t necessarily apologize. We’ve got to have priorities and Twitter should not rule your life.

I read an article this week, which mused that Twitter could be destined to “occupy a niche as addiction to few and irritant to many.” I’m quite comfortable with this reality and take it into account when recommending communication strategies for clients.

It is not mandatory that every customer-facing marketing strategy incorporate Twitter,

Foursquare, or even Facebook. While it is absolutely right for some, others will find it a waste of time and resources.

If your customers are all online, talk to them through that medium. If they are sitting at the kitchen table reading their mail, you better find your way to that venue. Usually it is through a mix of several channels that you can create customer engagement. The big challenge is to identify which ones matter and to prioritize their importance.

To sum it up, there is wisdom in discerning between “everyone is doing it” and “I need to do it.”

Sounds like Twitter material to me!

Discussion questions:  What do you think of Twitter as a business and personal tool? How, if at all, do you use it? Do you see it evolving as a retail communication tool?

My post:

I started using Twitter for the two purposes I continue with today.  One, I post links to my own JAM with Mike twice-weekly email of quotes and accompanying editorial.  Why?  Really because I can, through a simple link on my Constant Contact email server.  Does it do anything?  Probably not, but it is painless so I continue.  Two, I subscribe to several people who post quotes that I find interesting and subsequently use in my writing.  I do not engage in ongoing conversations and see no personal value in bothering my “followers” with inane posts of my random thoughts or mundane activities – nor do I understand those who do.

The good news is that millions do use Twitter to constantly tweet every little thought that occurs to them.  Why is this good news?  There is a burgeoning use of twitter feeds to predict future events, from the price of a stock, to the profitability of a new movie or product, to the outcome of an election.  While not infallible, researchers are finding that like Wikipedia, the Twitterverse tends to separate out facts from fiction with often remarkably accurate predictive value.  There are some really interesting articles about this you can find on Google – or via a Twitter search, of course!

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! ™ strategist

What do you think?  Please add your comments and add to the discussion!

Go to the full discussion at  The Enigma That is Twitter


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