Tag Archives: Twitter

The Case For Twitter

David Harsanyi at Reason Mag writes:

Twitter’s popularity and usefulness are mysteries to me. Pressed by personal, professional, and cultural forces, I sporadically deploy short missives for fear of becoming one of those cantankerous technophobes who is too dense to recognize the miracle of letting “followers” know he hates raisins or that he loved the finale of Mad Men.

Now not only am I expected to transmit this minutiae mere seconds after I think it but also some 20-year-old in California has decreed that I must do it within the brevity of 140 characters. This need for conciseness, in fact, induces normally articulate friends of mine to write in Prince lyrics—recklessly using “2” and “4” and “U” as words.

To this point, I’ve found Twitter so aggressively worthless that I was forced to research exactly what I am missing. In the process, I stumbled across a useful New York Times tech column penned by David Pogue that clarified all. The headline read, “Twitter? It’s What You Make It.”

In summation, like your beloved pet rock, Twitter is useful only in your imagination.

I would like to suggest Twitter is remarkably useful; by opening up the world to what is essentially a giant cocktail party, there is now a way to access remarkably interesting people with a variety of viewpoints, ideas, and talents.

This week, my wife and I met someone we both follow on Twitter in person. She’s a photographer and marketer from CT who is moving to the Baltimore area. We had breakfast with her at the Blue Moon Diner after an exchange on Twitter between she and my wife about good breakfast in Baltimore.

Our new friend is about our age, remarkably personable, and would easily fit into our circle of friends. I think David misses the entire possibility that you can use Twitter to build real relationships with real, interesting people. People who someday might come to your house for dinner.

There’s a huge value there.



This twitter feed is funny.


Via Problogger on Twitter, came across a post on why the title ‘social media expert’ may not be the route you want to take.

This passage struck me as being spot on:

No one has figured out social media ROI yet. A lot of so-called experts say “I got 300 retweets, 100 new Twitter followers, 60 fans on Facebook, 36 blog comments,” but what does that really mean? It means nothing actually, unless you can convert that into sales or stockholder value. If you can’t measure, you can’t improve and you can’t deliver on your promise of value. How would you ever be able to measure the impact of a tweet from an influencer on your marketing program?

I think this is an important concept, and many in the social media world struggle with it. Twitter itself doesn’t yet have a way to profit off it’s growth. I’ve seen a lot of ‘experts’ on the internet come and go, and being a social media guru strikes me as yet another person getting rich by telling people how to get rich on the internet by telling people how to get rich on the internet.

Which, as you might guess, doesn’t work all that well any more.

I’m all for businesses and individuals using social media to build their brands and connect with customers, consumers, vendors, etc. I think it’s going to become a necessity for many, certainly those who build businesses off their personal brands (small businesses, doctors, realtors, accountants, folks like that.) But the core of your business has to remain your business, not your means of communication. Having lots of followers on Twitter or lots of people reading your blog isn’t a competitive advantage; the competitive advantage is the thing about you or your company that draws all the followers (and hopefully turns all the attention into some sales).

Brand yourself as an expert in your field!

More Social Media and the Workplace

Some facts and figures on social networking as a corporate strategy, as well as commentary on representing your brand/company.

I find it amazing that people can’t seem to get it right when it comes to representing yourself and your company. I work for a very large public company, and our brand image is of primary importance. So I separate the work stuff from the personal stuff. On Facebook, I identify myself as an employee of my company. My facebook page is open to people in my networks (my company and Baltimore), and I update my Facebook page accordingly. Sure I have fun personal stuff on there, and a bit of political stuff, but I consider everything I post in the context that someone might consider me a representative of my company. So while it’s personal, it’s nothing I wouldn’t share with my boss, or with a customer, and certainly nothing that would embarrass my employer.

Here on the blog and on Twitter, I do not identify my employer. Sure, if you work hard enough you can figure it out, but these are personal spaces, with personal opinions. Even given that, however, I still try to keep posts clean, try not to engage in conversation or posts that would create an issue if someone does know who my employer is.

There’s a balance of personal and professional, and I don’t think it’s all that difficult to find it. Certainly if I were posting on Twitter as a representative of my company, my posts would reflect that.

Working the room

Gary Vaynerchuk on the power of twitter. It’s a perspective I hadn’t considered, but he’s right.

By the way, if you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, click here and here.

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