Dr. Parker was one of my better advertising professors in college. He was a rather gruff, but loving man who knew a lot about advertising and always had to make sure we didn’t forget it. Probably the best lesson I learned from him was that when it came to advertising, it didn’t matter one bit what I thought about anything — personally. My job, he said, was to link people in need with businesses (preferably clients) who could satisfy those needs using whatever message and medium I had available to me. Simple, huh?
I speak with people often about social media, and many times the conversation swirls around each individual’s view of the various tools used to promote a business in the digital world. I’d say about 80% of the people in general don’t understand Twitter. Most of them don’t even use it, and the small percentage that does really doesn’t make good use of it. By my own guesstimate, I’d say 10% of the market gets it. In fact, I’ve seen some stats recently that support this. Nielsen Research says that 60% of new users abandon the service within the first month. And while there are millions of people who have Twitter accounts, a full 80% of them follow or are being followed by under 10 people or businesses.
I’m one of those. I frankly don’t like Twitter — there’s too much boring information being spread through it by people or businesses from whom I expected better. But don’t get me wrong — I’m okay hearing about someone’s dinner, or a business’ 20% off sale; however, if I’m going to follow you, give me a little something every once in awhile that will help/inform/educate/excite me.
Overall, I recognize the value of Twitter and can point to Iran’s reported troubles as one reason to stay with it. And I recognize that adroit Twitterers know well what they’re doing and what they get out of it. But personally, I’m lost.
Professionally though, my personal opinion doesn’t matter, right Dr. Parker? Especially when I’m surrounded by daedalian Tweeters who make Twitter one of the more productive components of my company’s web/social media marketing service.
The truth for marketers is that active Twitter users are vocal and opinionated. I’ve witnessed this first hand, over and over again. Get connected to these peddlers of information and you have a leg up on your competition. Avoid them and they avoid you, as in, they don’t work for you, help you, promote you, extend you, etc. Just because they’re a small group doesn’t mean they are not worth the communication effort. They ARE worth it, and then some.
They are the people who will forward your information to those they know who are in need of your product or service. They’re the ones who will speak about your tweets at parties and neighborhood baseball games. They are the ones who people listen to (maybe because they do so much talking). They are the ones to whom you want to get your early messages. In essence, they’re your brand catalysts.
So even if you’re like me and don’t use Twitter for personal reasons, keep it in your communication toolbox when it comes to promoting your business. I don’t believe you’ll find a more dedicated and helpful audience than Twitterers — even if they are a small group.