Thoughts on Twitter

October 5, 2011


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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Influencing Word-of-Mouth Marketing

April 11, 2008

DISCUSSION TOPIC:  Friends and Family Seal the Deal


If you want to influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions, then it’s almost always best to get to their family and friends first. If you can convince family and friends to recommend a product or service, then you’re a long way down the road to making the sale. But how, just exactly, do you get friends and family to make a recommendation? That is the grail that most marketers seek and few find.

According to ZenithOptimedia, word-of-mouth (WOM), specifically those recommendations from family and friends, ranked highest in purchasing influences in the firm’s Touchpoints ROI Tracker study.

Discussion questions:  How do brands that generate positive word-of-mouth and personal references do it? How is it that (any brand you’d like to identify) is able to generate recommendations from family and friends when others do not?

My post:

The only way to generate positive word-of-mouth and personal references is by having a great product/service delivered in a manner that exceeds customer expectations.  Companies cannot manufacture referrals and positive comments.  When they try, it is usually disastrous.  The way to have engaged customers is through engaged employees.  If companies want positive word-of-mouth and referrals, they must start by focusing on their employees.

That said, there are tools that companies can use to analyze, if not influence, the dialogue.  The growing influence of social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube and others provides companies with both a way to analyze current word-of-mouth opinions and a means to react to any negative perceptions.  Used wisely and sincerely, communication through these portals can provide a company with good intelligence and a platform for customers to speak out.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

Go to the full discussion at    


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Customers are Talking. Are Retail Execs Listening?

January 31, 2008


Engaging in Digital Consumer Conversations – 1/30/08


With countless digital consumer conversations increasingly swaying opinions across the world, the most successful companies will be those that “merge traditional and digital consumer data and integrate them into their everyday operations.” That’s the conclusion of a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, How consumer conversation will transform business.However, the report also found that although executives recognize the potential of digital consumer conversations, they still have difficulty interpreting and reacting to them.

Discussion question: Do you also find that executives are having “difficulty interpreting and reacting” to the opportunity around digital conversations? How do you think companies should approach exploring the value behind digital conversations?

My post:

Executives in many (most?) companies don’t take the time to fully understand social media – what the conversations mean, their individual and aggregate relevance, the potential ROI from this arena, etc.  They tend to fall back on what they know and interpret social media data through the filter of traditional marketing and consumer data gathering methods.  With social media driving more and more consumer opinion and behavior, executives must engage those with social media expertise.  They need to determine how much weight to give social media in strategic planning and decision making.  It is not too late to attack this, but it soon may be.

 Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! ™ strategist



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The Marketing Power of Blogs

January 8, 2008

As part of my role as a retail industry speaker, coach and consultant, I am now posting to relevant online retail blogs, sites, etc.  I will use my blog to bring these postings to you, my readers.  I will always provide a link to the originating site or blog so you can enjoy their full content if you should so desire. 

I hope that you will take the time to send a brief comment on my postings!

To your success and daring you to be contagious,


Here is a recent posting to a discussion topic at RetailWire – a terrific resource for daily retail industry news and analysis.

The Marketing Power of Blogs
For many small businesses, blogging is proving to be a low-cost, high-return way to create public awareness. Across businesses, blogging companies are still a small minority.  What do you think of the potential as well as the limitations of using a blog as a marketing tool? What types of businesses can best capitalize on blogging? What, if any, has been your experience with blogging?

My post:

The current wave of social media (YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.) is teaching us that consumers want to be a part of the conversation. As a retailer, are you engaged fully with your customers in rich dialogue about your brand, products and services? If you are not blogging and using other social media, the answer is probably “no.” I highly encourage retailers to consider making social media an integrated part of their marketing strategy. That said, you cannot just “jump in.” Like everything else in your marketing arsenal, social media needs to be carefully thought through. Your customer’s experience on your blog must be congruent with other customer touch points. Other posters rightly stated that blogs work best for product categories where there is a desire for customer dialogue. Basics and consumer staples will not likely be effective blogging subjects. Consider
1) Who will be your blogger(s)? They must speak with an authentic voice, aligned with the company’s voice.
2) Can you commit to regular updates? If not, don’t start.
3) Have you prepared for the inevitable complaints and bad comments about your brand/product?
4) Have you considered a presence on other social media like MySpace or YouTube? You should. Most of your customers are in multiple social media sites–you need to be (authentically) where your customers are if you want to truly engage them in conversations.

Mike Osorio, Principal,