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.

Social networks are redefining what a friend or a relationship really is

This is a post where I am right but so is Brian…

So yesterday I was talking via Twitter with Brian Dresher, the manager of  social media at USA Today. The discussion brought on by this tweet/thought:

Brian followed that thought up with mentioning that “following” someone pre-Twitter meant something more akin to stalking than it did to something more related to complimentary. You got that right.

There was a bit more to the conversation but here’s the point that I want to get across- and I’m fairly certain that you would agree with me. If you don’t, that’s OK, these thoughts are my own.

Like it or not, Social networking is redefining terms of “social endearment.”

It’s forever changing the etymology of commonly used words; and I would say easily within a few years it will completely alter their understanding and perception as younger generations continue to evolve as digitals’  new natives.

Here are the prime and most glaring examples.

  • Friend-Means absolutely nothing anymore. All it means is that we have allowed the other into our networks, or vice-versa. Soon we will have to qualify what kind of friend you or they actually are.
  • Follow-At its core, to follow would mean to come or go after; proceed behind; go in a straight or obvious course. There is nothing in the social networking world that resembles that definition. But as it stands now, if I were to tell you that I follow him or her-there still might be a pregnant pause. That too will soon change.
  • Like-I don’t even know where to begin.
  • Relationship-the definition of the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship would seem to closely align itself with today’s social networks. However, some now think that relationships can be built on the thinnest of determinants. Which lead to this next tweet from me:

It took Brian’s next tweet to add the proper context to all of this.

He’s right. I didn’t know Brian before all this social networking “stuff” started and now we have a casual business relationship because of it. It has become enhanced because of it. We have met and talked at a conference, and later this summer he is going to host a Social Media Tweetchat for us. Thanks to the power of social networks.

Is there a fallout to all of this? No not really. We’re just adding layers to the complexity that is online communication.  In order to get to or take a relationship to the next level, They’ll still have to be consummated at some point offline. Right? Maybe not? Maybe these new layers allow for less physical/face to face interactions?

Maybe not.

*I know there were a ton of other “social” words that don’t mean the same thing as they used to that I did not mention. I’ll leave that up to you guys. Anyone want to start a wiki?

The Value Myth of Social Media

I was reading the post 7 social media truths you can ignore this morning when I was struck by one of the last things mentioned in the post which said, Provide Value.

As soon as I saw that, I had to get this thought out.

Scene 1.

You’ve been dating your significant other for a few months now and have decided to end it. Why?

They’re not bringing enough value to the relationship. Of course that translates better into things like:

  • They were slobs
  • The snored
  • They couldn’t hold a job
  • They cheated

What does that look like in the online world of social media? I unfollow you on Twitter because all you do is tweet out links and you’re not giving me enough value in the relationship.

What did I expect? I’m not sure. A business relationship? Maybe.

I followed you based on what your bio said. Oh wait, I followed you because you followed me. Similar to picking someone up in a bar isn’t it? You looked hot, we didn’t really talk much, mainly because it was so loud and dark; but on the surface you looked promising. So I had no expectations in the first place.

Value or perceived value is so subjective and so hopeful isn’t it? It always is in the beginning.

Shouldn’t the value that we want or expect out of others be commensurate to what we are putting out there? I’m trying, shouldn’t you? Or is it one way, or one sided?

Scene 2.

If I’m on a basketball team and I bust my ass in practice and during games, I should expect that of my teammates right? What if they don’t? Should it bother me? Should I complain? Should I say something to someone? What if we still win? What if each component functioning on its own and in its own way contributes to the sum total of the parts?

Should I demand value from my teammates? If I don’t get it, do I quit? or do I focus on my own game and do what makes me who I am and let it go? Is that selfish? Is it up to me to tell them that they are not bringing enough value? What if that’s the best that they can do?

If I expect value from every relationship or scenario that involves other people and I don’t get it, what am I going to do? I can abide by that mantra in social media, or try to abide by it, but to honestly and genuinely expect it from every relationship that I engage in in social media, is going to render us all sorely disappointed. no two relationships are going to render the same results. That doesn’t mean that it has to suck. Or that you end it.  You can cultivate the good relationships. Just treat the rest of the relationships for what they are. Just people being people.

I am wont to say from time to time that the value you take in social media should be equal to the value that you make. I still believe that and I still tell others that. It’s a good cornerstone. But sometimes I think we focus too much on the Utopian way things need to be in social media instead of the way things just are or will be.