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.