Not such a twit after all

  • A few months ago I posted about Twitter and asked if Twitter is for twits: a fair question at the time and reflective of my healthy cynicism towards anything that feels more suited to people with an unhealthy aversion to daylight than a growing business.


    Friends, colleagues and followers will have noted that my use of Twitter has increased in recent weeks and it’s fair to say that some of my initial views are changing. Hands up, I’m genuinely enjoying Twitter. I’m not a voracious tweeter, but I do try to post regularly and it’s becoming a lot less taxing to remember to do it.

     

    In these days of information overload, it is indisputably helpful to have delivered daily a selection of items that inform, inspire or amuse me by people that I follow and respect.

     

    An interesting an unexpected side effect of Twitter is that I feel closer to the people that I follow. There is an immediacy and dare I say, intimacy with the medium that I’ve not found elsewhere. I don’t think I’m alone in this: yesterday, and for the first time, I was discussing supplier selection with a client who said to me that she preferred one supplier over another because he tweets. Clearly a level of trust had formed through observing and engaging with the individual’s 140 character pearls of wisdom. Is this a one off, or a sign of things to come?

     

    A businessman at heart, I still approach Twitter with a commercial mindset. I have objectives for Twitter and if I don’t fulfil them, I will stop. (The businessman in me also can’t help wonder when and how the founders will make money from it).

    For the record, and so you can monitor our success, my goals for Twitter are to:
    • Build The Marketing Eye brand
    • Earn the respect of my peers
    • Be visible
    • Chart our progress

    Twitter shows great promise as a tool to build the brand. The power and excitement is in its viral nature and there is a glow of satisfaction whenever a tweet or blog post is re-tweeted. This is still a rare enough event for it to be a real buzz.

    Traffic to the blog and the website has definitely gone up. I can’t specifically attribute a new client to Twitter yet, but I’m willing to be patient. At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s a tool for direct selling or not that I’ve discovered yet. If all else fails, Twitter is fun. To say that it disconnects us from real contact and relationships is nonsense. I also think it is harsh to say that people who Twitter don’t have enough real work to do. For some maybe, but Twitter for me is part of a strategy and merits the time that I apply to it.

    An article in The Telegraph today (thanks @sammcarthur) says that 700,000 small businesses are now on Twitter. Surely we must be able to sell to them somehow.

     

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