Is Twitter Massively Overrated?

Now here’s an interesting question.  Is Twitter massively overrated?  If you immediately answered this question with either a yes or a no, you might be under-informed.  Just as the question itself is general in nature, a generalized “Yes” or “No” is equally too broad.  Twitter is the media darling right now and gets all the hype whether it’s deserved or not.  All the major news channels promote their Twitter handles, celebrities use Twitter and many executives announce their plans to move on via Twitter.  At the same time, companies large and small have set up Twitter accounts and millions of normal people have also set up Twitter accounts…and never gone back.  It really depends what you are trying to accomplish with it both personally and professionally.

Let’s split out some representative ideas on where Twitter is overrated and where it is useful.

Where is Twitter over-rated:

  • Individuals trying to connect with their friends.  Really hard to organize friends when you have to type @JonSmith, @SuzieSmith, etc everytime to send out messages.  In addition, by the time you type all 7 friends in, there is no room for a message
  • Companies trying to use Twitter as a channel for Press Releases when they are written as normal press releases.  Unless you write for Twitter with catchy headlines and engaging messaging, most companies get very little attention this way.
  • Individuals or companies who come to Twitter without a purpose.  Twitter is a vast wasteland of brief content bits and URLs (both long and short).  It’s hard to find anything in particular unless you know what you are looking for.

Where is Twitter under-rated:

  • Anyone looking for information by Topic.  Twitter has proven itself time and time again in its ability to organize and inform people around a topic whether the fall of an entire country, crash landing of a plane or the latest on pop stars.
  • Individuals looking to quickly connect with a person.  Assuming that person or company has a Twitter account, it is much easier to connect directly with someone via Twitter and more immediate than other channels like email.  Have a problem with a product, airline or home service (cable) just send out a tweet and you may experience much faster and better service than simply calling the toll-free line.
  • The ability to re-imagine your business.  Ramon De Leon and Best Buy’s Twelpforce both figured out a way to better their business by re-imagining it via Twitter.

These are just a couple of quick examples but they speak directly to the topic of this discussion.  In order to understand if you should be on Twitter, whether you are an individual or a company, you first need to understand what you are trying to accomplish.  If Twitter seems like it might be viable, then you have to understand if your audience is here and then how the effort it takes to be effective on Twitter creates enough value to warrant it.  What are some other areas where Twitter is over or under rated?  To help us answer this question, we went to Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert.  OK, Jay actually brought us this topic which he wrote about yesterday that was one of his most engaged posts he’s ever done.  We wanted to continue this great dialogue to our weekly chat to make sure that we are not just following the Twitter hype machine but actually getting some value out of it.  Our topic and questions for this week’s chat are:

Topic:  Is Twitter Massively Overrated?

Q1:  Just 8% of the USA uses Twitter. Why is it such a big deal?

Q2:  In what circumstances is Twitter NOT a viable tactic for companies?

Q3:  How should companies decide where to participate in social media?

Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, April 19th at noon ET.  Follow #sm107 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live.  The format will stay the same with the first question starting at noon and a new question coming every 20 minutes at 12:20 and 12:40.

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One Response to Is Twitter Massively Overrated?

  1. Elias Shams says:

    Jason, It’s no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90’s when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That’s when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It’s free!

    Elias
    CEO & Founder
    http://awesomize.me

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