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- Some Twitter Misconceptions
- Why it is useful / How Twitter Benefits Business
People waxing lyrical about the benefits of Twitter is nothing new, but it is still common for the new kids on the Twitter block to have no idea what Twitter is all about. There are a number of common misconceptions about this social platform that need to be stamped out and a fresh, open minded approach needs to be adopted in order to fully understand the almost endless possibilities that 140 characters can bring to your business.
Let's first tackle some of the naive misconceptions surrounding Twitter. If you can think of any others then let me know!
"You can't get across what you want to say in 140 characters so what's the point?"
This is something I have heard people say in passing... don't be silly! It is a micro-blogging site, the clue is in the 'micro' bit. 140 characters allows for you to quickly post a summary of a USEFUL news article or blog post, respond to someone and give them concise and efficient customer service.
"It's just useful for following celebrities"
It's true, you can follow celebrities and see tweets about their day; if that's what you're interested in then that's up to you, BUT this is not all that Twitter is about.
If I'm honest I can understand this criticism. Twitter is a public space and the demand for 'celeb goss' is huge. What's more, the amount of people using Twitter just so they can have a direct line to their favourite celebrity is massive! However it is a misconception to believe this is all Twitter is good for.
The best way to tackle this way of thinking is to ask people to consider why they use other social networks, like Facebook? To interact with friends, right? With Twitter you can interact with brands, friends, people in your industry AND your beloved celebrities. For example: you've had a bad experience with Orange so you tweet at them. They could get back to you and provide good customer service, promising to handle your problem or providing an e-mail address or phone number you can use to make a complaint. On the other hand, maybe they won't get back to you, either way your followers have seen how Orange has performed... cool yeah? If their customer service is consistently bad on services like Twitter, there's a good chance there will be some genuine online uproar, forcing them to change their ways.
"It's just Facebook status updates"
This is the one that really gets me annoyed. I'll talk to people who aren't on Twitter and who have just seen what the media have covered, and one of the first things they'll say is "It's just Facebook status updates, pointless."
Here is why it's different. Facebook is private, Twitter is public, Facebook is look at me, Twitter is look at this, Facebook is likes and comments, Twitter is mentions and Retweets, Facebook is for you and Twitter is for them. It is not about telling people that you are sitting and eating a pizza waiting for your life to slap you in the face, it is about sharing something you have found on the internet and spreading the word in 140 characters.
Give it time, it took 2 hours for this guy (Click the image to open in a new window)
"It's full of teenagers, no one is interesting"
I guess this was the misconception that bred the title of this blog post, 'Twitter is useful, you are the boring ones'. Twitter is as interesting as you make it. Social Media in general is about interacting and adding value to the community that you are part of; filling it with pointless guff about 'having a takeaway' is pointless to everyone. If you share good quality content then it will be more interesting. Simple.
I remember back in 2009, this was a more popular misconception, but in fact even then of the 10 million people using Twitter, the average age was over 35 years old.
Why is Twitter useful?
Okay, so we've covered some of the misconceptions that consistently dog Twitter's reputation. At I-COM, if a client said they were thinking about using social media, we wouldn't just approach them with dollar signs in our eyes and promise the world. Our approach is far more grounded, making sure that the approach is customer focused and in line with your business objectives. So what can Twitter do for you? Twitter can help a business to:
- Monitor what people are saying about you online.
- Respond to customer issues immediately and provide great customer service.
- Run competitions and events to grow your brand online.
- Promote specific products / use it to promote your events.
- Follow other people in your industry for industry news.
- Distribute your content e.g. blog posts / videos / press releases.
'How can Twitter help my business'. They know it can but they don't know how yet...
No matter whether you are a multinational mega-force, a one man band, a corporate kingdom or a local lady looking for love... (let's maybe steer clear of that one) Twitter has a place for you.