Over the past 6 months my Facebook activity has declined from ‘addict’ to reluctantly logging on now and then to monitor a couple of Smarter groups & fan pages. This is because ‘the book’ is totally cluttered with 3rd person updates regarding mundane daily chores, so when I first read about Twitter, a social networking site which gives you 140 characters to answer one simple question -what are you doing? - I couldn’t envisage anything more pointless or annoying.
To my horror, the Twitter bandwagon has continued to gain momentum and as such cannot be ignored as an online marketing platform. Not wanting to miss potential networking opportunities or sales leads I went and registered @SmarterCEO and started nosing around.
I’ve been signed up for about a month now and can’t decide whether Twitter will crash and burn or totally change the way brands and consumers interact. A stark contrast, I know.
Twitter – the bad points
1. There are people who broadcast minute by minute updates of their day. This is to be expected as Twitter was intended as a means for friends and family to communicate with one another. Friends and family are probably the most likely to care about your cumulative intake of coffee for the day / your choice of toilet paper / [etc].
2. There are a billion users claiming to earn a decent living from affiliate marketing. I’ve even seen one posting video blogs in a hired car and “driving away” (*ahem* the gates were already closed) from a luxury mansion. This would be fine if it weren’t for the non stop tweeting / DMs of links to sign up for mailing lists.
3. There are nearly as many users claiming to be the oracle of Twitter. Want to gain 1000 followers in 30 days without lifting a finger? Get ready to sign up for some spam! When I get round to it I’ll put a quick step-by-step as you shouldn’t need to register for such basic information.
3. Auto Direct Messages (DMs). Many users choose to send an automatic DM to anyone who follows them. Nice in theory, bloody annoying in reality. If you’re using Twitter for business, it also seems quite rude that you can’t be bothered to write (up to) 140 characters for your introduction.
Twitter – the good points
1. When it comes to technology, there is always someone one step ahead. You can be sure that person is on Twitter right now, banging out links to some exceptionally interesting reads. In the past month I have learned of more new products than in the past 12 months combined.
2. The same point applies in a lesser extent (although I may change this decision if I find additional sources of information) to other subjects of interest, including stocks & shares, entrepreneurship and some sports. Masters updates have been particularly prominent this weekend.
3. It is very easy to connect with business owners and like minded entrepreneurs. Whilst nothing has come of this yet, I remain positive.
4. Applications which improve the whole Twitter experience are readily available and mostly free to download. Chances are I will revisit this at a later date, so for now I’ll just say I’m using Tweetie, to manage @SmarterCEO from my iPhone, and WeFollow to identify potentially useful contacts.