So yeah, I twitter. I actually enjoy twittering as a creative mini-exercise. What is fascinating in life, and how do I write it in under 140 characters? It can be quite an exercise in concision, and also a good way to determine what is relevant. Not that everything I tweet is relevant, by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose it’s all relevant to me, but does anyone else care? I certainly hope not.
But twitter has now come to embody something more sinister than the requisite navel gazing. It has become a marketing and networking platform. A captive audience for whatever you might have to say, until they decide to “unfollow” you. I am trying to figure out what (if any) use twitter can have for expanding the reach of my business. I’m thinking very little.
But some people obviously think differently, because they are accumulating followers by the tens of thousands. And I notice a disturbing proliferation of people who say they are “marketing and social media experts.” People follow them, I think, mostly to see if they actually have anything useful to say about social media. And of course they don’t. If they have amazing social media strategies, they will save those for paying clients. But I’m skeptical about the whole concept of a social media strategy.
This online realm of interaction and user-generated-content is developing lightning fast, with lots of startups out there trying to monetize. The problem is, this is not something most people would be willing to pay for yet. I find twitter more of a chore to keep up on than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I adore many of my twitter friends, but if I had 20,000 instead of 200 I would no longer feel connected to anyone.
And now facebook wants to know what’s on my mind. When I post my response to this question it is then seen by many people I haven’t seen for over 20 years. It is nice to keep up on people, but really isn’t it becoming overkill? I may have to build a portal page just to keep track of my various profiles.
I know social media is a good way to network and make friends, but I wonder if its really a place to build a business? For now I am observing how others use it and what’s successful. I’ll let you know if I have any revelations.