Posts Tagged 'microblogging'

Most Twitter users don’t tweet-Is that a problem?

Twitter COO Dick Costolo who was speaking at the Conversational Media Summit in New York City, offered up that Twitter is now attracting 190 million visitors per month and generating 65 million Tweets a day.

65 million tweets a day.

That’s pretty cool. But it’s this next sentence from Costolo that caught my eye. Most users, says Costolo, don’t Tweet at all, but rather use Twitter as a consumption media. The COO of Twitter just said that no one uses his product as it was initially intended.

Should marketers be concerned? Should those who are hoping to have conversations be worried? No and No. It’s actually good news for them and those of us that use ALL  aspects of Twitter that contribute to it being one of our primary tools for:

  • Networking
  • Creating awareness
  • Finding clients
  • Contributing to causes
  • Driving sales
  • Lead sourcing
  • Sharing content
  • Attending conferences virtually
  • Customer service

For those of you that are using Twitter strictly as a consumption media, you might be missing out.

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Leveraging Twitter: From Tools to Tweetchats

Below is a deck that I did for a Brighttalk Webinar this morning. There just may be some sites in here that you don’t know about.

There is no point in using Twitter for your business. Wait, Yes there is…

Given some recent Twitter data that shows that most people don’t actually “use” Twitter-Why in the hell should we sit here and tell SMB’s to use Twitter to listen, to monitor and “be” where there customers are when a) Their customers might not be on there, b) They don’t have time to use it and c) Those customers or competitors that might be using it are using it wrong and d) There is essentially nothing there. So chances are, you may not see the point in using Twitter and I don’t blame you.

I can excuse SMB’s for claiming that they don’t have time, because I know of all of the things that sit on their plate, but to be honest, I can also see why they might be skeptical to use Twitter. Turn it on- and it looks like a sea of useless information.

I have a suggestion though and I have a reason why things are the way they are.

If Twitter is not working the way you want it to or expect it to, or in the way you were told it would work…

Change it.

If you’re looking at the state of the Twittersphere in your local area and it truly is pathetic, and it’s giving you cause to think that maybe it’s not worth your time.

Change it.

Be proactive. You start the conversations! Why no be the one to lead and to “make it work”?  You may have to add hashtags that matter. You may have to do more than just pimp your stuff.  But if  you were expecting to “turn on” Twitter and see this wellspring of opportunities and conversations and companies and customers talking about your company-Guess what? It still may be too soon. It may have to start with you. You may have to be the early adopter because there are just not a lot of people using it in your area or wrapped around your business, your product, and your company.

You may not have a choice. But that does not mean that Twitter does not “work”. You just have to work a little.

Why Twitter Still Matters

Recently I read somewhere that the demise of Twitter is imminent and all anyone wants to talk about anymore is Foursquare and Gowalla, 2 shiny new LBS based companies that are reeling in new users by the bushel.

Sure I’ll talk about and use Gowalla and Foursquare, but that doesn’t mean that Twitter is no longer relevant though. In fact what this  simply means is that those 2 aforementioned companies have merely carved out a niche for themselves in a space that Twitter doesn’t necessarily play in, though they have added an LBS type feature as of late.

But let me cut to the chase. let me tell you why Twitter still matters. It occurred yesterday and I’ll break it down for you. Watch this quick clip and we’ll talk about it after the jump.

First of all, this is  NOT the first time this has happened where Moore has stepped up and “helped” someone via Twitter, but it’s magnified because it was Demi Moore and Nia Vardalos (another actress), but it could have been anyone who stepped up.

The point is, a life was saved because someone sensed that someone needed help and they took action, and they used Twitter to do it.

In today’s society a lot of us have become spectators to everything; and we prefer to keep it that way. Rubber necking our way through life and content not to get involved. Couple this with a general sense of apathy and what we have become is… a nation of desensitized onlookers.

So why does Twitter still matter?  because without it, this person might have ended their life if not for 2 people that cared to listen, got involved, and called the authorities. Oh and by the way, they just so happened to be celebrities. Twitter still matters because of it’s reach, it’d depth, it’s breadth and the potential of hitting it’s designated audience.

So what other ways is Twitter making an impact on people’s lives?

Oklahoma City uses Twitter to notify people of impending Tornadoes

The Red Cross uses its Twitter page for disaster and preparedness updates

The American Cancer Society tweets about cancer research, specific types of cancer news, and information.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provides information about blood cancer, research and events that readers can get involved in.

Share Our Strength is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry.

Without Twitter, these causes continue to struggle for visibility. But now, because of social networks, in this case Twitter, they’re able to have an impact and make a difference on the lives of thousands of people. I know this is just a handful of examples, but I wanted to point out to those that think that Twitter might not be relevant anymore, you may want to think again.

The sea change in Twitter sentiment

I thought it was just me and thus I wrote about the rise of the transactional conversation of Twitter on Monday. Then yesterday David Binkowski threw a post up on Shamable  about gaming social media.  At the same time Hubspot put out it’s 3rd state of The Twittersphere report.  And Todd Defren lastly writes about moving the needle on Twitter.  All of these posts and reports and what have you, alluded to something that may be occuring before our very eyes and that’s this:

Conversations on Twitter have deteriorated into flat out unadulterated pimping of one’s wares, or the company they work for.

As new marketers and companies flock to Twitter, their predisposed notions of how to use Twitter have been fueled not only by us subconsciously, but also by other marketers and individuals who “think” that the best way to use Twitter is as a one to many broadcast mechanism.

Subconsciously, we have become a party to and have embraced traditional marketing on Twitter.

The conversations have eroded into flat out pimping, so has the spirit of what all of us celebrated no less than a year ago. The conversation and ensuing relationship. But not, for some of us, we’ve become jaded, and wary of what it it that you want. For some of us,  the quality of the conversations are few and far between and it’s our fault.

I know, some of you are going to fire back and say “What conversations?”  You’ll say, “Twitter is not a platform for conversations and never was.” You’ll say,” Who can have conversations in a 140 charcaters or less?”

The interuptive interaction?

And maybe that is what the true evolution of what Twitter is or what it should be?… A way for brands and individuals to pimp themelves and try an extract something from the engagement.

Instead of learning more and developing a relationship with the people you follow and that follow you, Twitter now just might be turning into one big drive in theater to make out in now. Who needs conversation?

My seminal moment for Twitter

idea_bulb

As I sat with a client yesterday explaining Twitter, something significant happened. I was broadsided by my complete and utter sense of hypocrisy-I told the client, who is the largest manufacturer of a certain niche based consumer product, to use Twitter strictly as a broadcast based one way communication tool. Huh?

On the surface, for some of you, that might not seem like such a big deal. However, for the better part of the last 12+ months, I have been waxing philosophically here, and telling people and clients and whoever would listen, that “Twitter is a two way communications tool to create, share, and nurture ideas, conversations and resources.”

You see, for this client, it makes more sense to just Tweet deals and sales for those that are, or might be, looking for the keywords that surround their products, instead of trying to engage in conversations. The reality is that for them, conversations on a day to day basis, both internally and externally revolve around…sales. They have products that don’t require a whole lot of pitch. Short to zero sales cycle. You either want it or you don’t. Why do they need to get to know a customer that knows what they are looking for?  For these people, Twitter would be more of a sales tool, a recommendation engine and a conduit to a product that once they find, they buy. So why not just tweet deals and sales?

That’s what I thought.

Simply put, it dawned on me that the usage of Twitter for certain clients will not necessarily adhere to a standard set of rules for engagement. The only thing that is etched in stone is the ambiguity on how to use Twitter. And maybe, just maybe, that is the beauty of Twitter.

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Do Twitter users have an obligation to provide value?

beatles

The short answer is No. But I suppose it all depends on why you joined Twitter in the first place. Some of us joined because over 2 years ago, it was the new shiny social media “thing”. We had no idea at the time, nor did Biz and Ev for that matter, it would be what it is now. I almost don’t recognize it.

Beth Harte a few months back, talked about social media purists in a blog posts about the 4 faces of social media. For the purists out there, I think Twitter is just another extension or another channel to communicate, share and learn. That’s CO-mmunicate. As in 2 way. or as Beth mentions,  The purist “truly embraces social media as the conversation that the tools allow people to engage in from day-to-day”.

The purist on Twitter doesn’t feel “obligated” to share information or provide value, they just do.

For those that are not into Twitter for the value that they can  give and get from conversations, chances are they are misguided in to what they think Twitter can do for them. The operative phrase there being “what Twitter can DO for them.” Or rather, at some point along the way, for these “takers”, it ceased to be about the conversation, and more about them. Chances are, it was never really about the conversation in the first place.  Essentially Twitter became a vehicle for narcissism.

This user will take value but won’t re-purpose or share value. Nor will they provide value. Unfortunately this person seems to be appearing more and more often in the space and for that reason, one is now forced to create niche like silos for information that hasn’t been tainted so to speak. I have maintained that that concept (silos) seems to make the most sense to really get and give the most value from those you follow and those that follow you, but by creating your own walled garden, you do miss out on some morsels of good content from time to time. But, to some degree, we now have no choice.

I’m going to semi-quote a song by a really famous band that was pictured above and rehash the words.

In the end, the value that you take, should be equal to the value that you make.

So what’s the answer?

You think about it.

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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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