Twitter And Big Time Business
I never thought I’d be writing any posts about Twitter on this blog. However, there’s no doubt that Twitter is not only a business, at least will be considered one once someone figures out how to monetize it, but is used for business purposes in more than one way.
Let’s start with a brief explanation of what Twitter is, since there are still many people who have no clue about it. Twitter is a website where people can go to either get information, share information, or talk to others about almost anything. All messages have to be completed in 140 characters or less, so it makes people concentrate on just the right language to use. Links can be posted, and they’ll get shortened if they’re too long, so that doesn’t usually hurt your character numbers.
Twitter is known as the fastest growing social media website in the world today, as it’s jumped from around 800,000 people last April to today’s estimated figure of close to 10 million people. Those numbers can’t be confirmed because Twitter doesn’t release member figures. So, it’s becoming an important tool in both personal and business matters, both in the United States and internationally.
I use Twitter for both personal and business purposes. From my Twitter name, which you can decide to follow by clicking this link, every blog post I make on any of my three blogs automatically is posted onto Twitter. I also regularly announce what I call “office hours“, which means I’m on instant messaging live to talk to people through one of my two business sites.
That, plus every once in awhile I’ll throw out something that I know because of my specialties, helping to highlight my competence in my fields of expertise; at least I hope that’s how it comes out.
After reading an article on the Marketing Pilgrim titled Posts, Tweets, And The Law, I realized that there could be a lot more at stake for some organizations than just talking about one’s company and advertising.
In this story, it talks about how a few large organizations, eBay most specifically, started out with someone representing the company, trying to put a human face on it. Then, out of nowhere, here came the legal suits, effectively putting a clamp on creativity and openness by instituting a series of rules on what could be said, and how. At that point, it changed the dynamic of what was being said and how it was being said, and in a way one couldn’t blame them because, as it says in the article, Cicso Systems is already facing some type of lawsuit that resulted from something that was stated on Twitter.
I have to admit that I haven’t paid that kind of attention to businesses that are on Twitter. I did know businesses were there, and that some companies have people who regularly search Twitter to see if their companies are being mentioned in some fashion. I’ve been contacted twice by companies after I had said something in passing using one of their names, usually complaining about something. Think about that and how powerful a customer service tool it can be, because their response is open for everyone to see, since, in order to send a private message to someone, that person has to be following you.
There will be more and more people who will be joining Twitter, and I expect business people will be coming along for the ride in record numbers soon, as more of them realize how well it might work to help them get new clients. As an executive coach, I’ve noticed there are more independent business people, especially executive coaches, who are joining, and I notice this because I end up having a lot of them following me. Sometimes I feel like I should be saying more profound things to justify it, but I just end up being myself.
I don’t know where all this will lead, but I figure that, at some point, there will be some regulations as to how large organizations will be able to participate on Twitter, especially as they determine how to monetize the site, which, in layman’s speak, means advertise, or accept advertising. It should be interesting and intriguing to see if they avoid the kind of uproar that Facebook faced when they finally went that direction.