Social Media: Get it or Don’t Get In
Part 1-Twitter

Yep, there is a real need for traditional media and marketers to understand what social media is really all about. The point was proven to me on multiple occasions last week. As I work with and listen to companies that have done the same thing the same way for so many years, many of them touting themselves as forward thinking or even cutting edge, I am amazed at those that just don’t get it!

The “it” is how you build a relationship with people and then turn them into customers. It is not how you can bombard them with messages that they have no desire to take in. It is moving beyond sheer volume of audience to quality of audience. Nope, measuring it is not given to you in a box with a bow as it is with the incredibly imperfect system from Arbitron or Nielsen. It’s measured by success. Did you draw the people, make the sale, and start a relationship that lasts beyond both?

Over the past week I had multiple opportunities to see where the art of marketing via social media is falling down as well as where it is reaching new heights. There is quite a bit of info so, hating long posts, I’ll address this in the next few days…making it  all a bit more digestible.

At Minnebar, (highlighted in my previous post)  I met face to face
many of who I follow on Twitter. (After years of hearing, “You have a
face for radio.” I am now relieved to know I have a face for Twitter.)
I once thought that Twitter was a great waste of time, and sometimes it
can be. But if it can help me meet such a diverse and thought provoking
group of people, it is worth reading those occasional, all too literal,
“What are you doing?” posts that show up in my Tweetstream.

We discussed the
basics of what Twitter is and what it can do. The overall
consensus…it’s a conversation. There was quite a bit made of using
Twitter effectively as a marketing or advertising tool.This group was full of fans so there is a hope
and dedication to keep the spamming to a minimum, but there will be times
where we’ll need to endure experimentation.

Twitter offers some real opportunity for marketers to use it as a tool
to build their social presence. This should not be read as a tool to
send mass messages to the Twitter population. To successfully use Twitter it
must be viewed as an abbreviated blog. Don’t open an account and strap
it to the RSS of say, a news department so users are receiving endless
updates. Those updates may prove to be an annoyance rather than a
convenience.  In fact, last week I started following just such a stream…for about
10 minutes.

Twitter will serve to help rally those evangelists for your product or
service only if you build trust by establishing a two-way conversation.
Upper management sharing thoughts about not only your service but other
things of interest to users falls into this category. The last thing
you want is to be is one of those Twitter users that is following
300,000 and has 29 followers. This is a quick way to be tagged as a
spammer. Target those P1’s or “alphafans”. If they enjoy following you
and what you have to say, they’ll be bigger fans and they’ll take care
of getting your message to more users.

“In message” advertising (live reads) is proving more effective than
the commercial on radio because marketing in context is more effective
than extraneous messages. The same goes here. Just as traditional media
has rendered many of those 30 and 60 second commercials ineffective
because of sheer volume and the resulting “clutter,” the same can
happen on line and on Twitter. Your business message will be much more
effective if it is presented by someone who has a relationship with the
potential customer.

Take a peek at what Zappos shoes is doing with Twitter. From the CEO on
down 327 employees strong are Twittering. The topic isn’t only Zappos
shoes, it’s about the people at Zappos. There are multiple ways in which Twitter can help you build relationships.

Here’s the bottom line on all this, Twitter, like so much of social
media is about trust. Get greedy and blow that trust and you’ve
sacrificed a valuable conduit to current and potential customers. It’s
also one of many tools that you can use, so don’t put all your eggs in
the basket. Above all, don’t screw it up for yourself and others by
attempting to set some sort of record for those you are following. Keep
the clutter down and your message will sail right through.

Next: Ratings and Reviews…Okay big guy, now what?


  1. Twitter has been invaluable to me because I’ve gotten to know people in the same way as if I had met them face to face. It allows me to share ideas with them that I wouldn’t normally get to in a social situation at a conference type event. I look forward to meeting them in person because that initial – who are you?, where are you from? is over.

    (I can’t see dates on your blog posts – is it me?)