Mar 27 2009

Twitter is Not a Silver Bullet

E-dreamz, an interactive firm in Charlotte and where I interned at during college, recently published a blog post discussing the "similarities between Twitter and Inbound Linking strategies." Simply put, Twitter has mutated into another way for businesses to hock their wares, while the real draw of the service is from nothing of the sort.

For me, Twitter is the asides between the conversation. Quick commentary and reflection, no matter how mundane, is what has made Twitter successful socially. Twitter is not a notification service for your latest blog post—that's RSS.

Setting up a Twitter account doesn't automatically create the appearance that a business is "connected" to its customers either. As Merlin Mann commented in a recent podcast from SXSW (I'm paraphrasing): setting up an account on Twitter does not make you Zappos—putting resources behind serving your customers makes you Zappos. It takes time and effort, like everything else.

4 comments

It is strange how large businesses use Twitter.

This morning I was watching a western on AMC and they had a number of commercials advertising their AMC News Twitter account. I guess having a blog just isn't good enough at giving you web-street-cred anymore.

Will — Mar 28 2009

It seems that's the case. I can't even count how many times Twitter has come up in conversation over the past few weeks. I know this post is no different, but it was just a reaction.

I get the feeling Twitter will trend the same as the blog. Everyone will sign up for an account, update it for a month and then lose interest. All the people that embrace it for what it is will still be around afterward.

Robbie — Mar 29 2009

I find people trying to be "social media experts" more annoying than businesses trying and failing at personal connection. At least with a business usually has a product and purpose, and typically the frequency in which they intrude on social networks is so much less than the constant re-tweets and link-spam of glorified internet users, or "SMEs".

I think connecting with people online, whether personally or commercially, is as simple as the sites that allow you to do so. If you're advertising, give me a reason to want to know more about you. If you're offering help, offer me the specific help that I need.

One great example was a response from Mosso (the Rackspace cloud) I received after tweeting "Comparing Mosso and Amazon's S3". Less than a minute after tweeting, I received a direct message from a Mosso representative offering me advice and help in any way I needed it. He followed up by putting me directly in touch with not one, but two points of contact that were one phone call away. A few minutes later I was a new customer.

Sorry for the rant, I guess I just really hate a lot of Social Media Experts.

Michael — Jun 16 2009

"Social Media Experts" are indeed the group pushing the questionable uses of Twitter. Yes, anyone is free to do want they wish on Twitter, but it still comes down to signal vs noise issue.

FYI: Rants are completely welcome in the comments. Rant on, brother.

Robbie — Jun 24 2009