What happens when you get a bunch of marketers together for the Holidays? Well, if it’s the PFS crew, then you talk about social media. The appetizers didn’t even come out and my business partner, Jason, brought up his prediction on Twitter. Of course, Jason and I, as much as we agree, we also agree to disagree! He thinks that Twitter is a fad and that it will die down just like MySpace. He believes that it is “silly” how people let other people know what they are doing whether it’s tying their shoes, going to the market and/or cooking dinner. Who cares?
Well, I have a completely different take on Twitter. When I presented at the PRSA T3 Conference in New York City in September 2008, the topic of conversation was around practical business uses for Twitter. You can’t deny that companies including Jet Blue, Fed Ex and Comcast are all finding success on Twitter for customer service and here’s the big one….RESEARCH. The rest of the group sitting on my end of the table had mixed emotions about Twitter’s value. To the right of me, was a comment that many people will move on when their friends go to the next best Twitter substitute, and there was another comment, “Like any social network, there will always be people who stay and congregate and others that will move on.” I guess it goes both ways.
I take a hard stance. I think that it’s natural for people to use Twitter for personal reasons and let others into their lives with comments about their pets, families and dinner choices. After all, when you’re networking or at a cocktail party, there’s small talk, niceties and conversation that isn’t always focused on business and closing the deal. Building a relationship means letting the wall down and giving away some personal information. When you feel comfortable with people in a group, or in the case of a Web community, you begin to share more of yourself, which naturally leads to discussions around your interests and passions. Sharing this type of information is natural and ends up as the small talk that we share in our tweets.
So, I walk on the side of Twitter value and I don’t think Twitter is going to die down or fade away like some fad. I might be the only one sitting at the PFS Holiday table with such a strong opinion, but I know there are many other folks who share my thoughts. Here are just a few other people who have posted blogs on the value of Twitter or Twitter for business use. Let me know what you think…fad or here for the long haul?
- Chris Brogan, 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business.
- Jennifer Van Grove, Ask and You Shall Receive.
- Brian Solis, Twitter Tools for Community and Communication Professionals.
- Guy Kawasaki, Looking for Mr. Goodtweet: How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter.
- Jeremiah Owyang, Why Brands are Unsuccessful on Twitter.