Twitter: Valuable Tool, or Waste of Time?

Is microblogging the latest fad or the next big thing? Microblogging is just like regular blogging, except it’s limited to 140 characters. The leader in the space is Twitter.

According to a recent blog post by Peter Kim, Twitter is now used regularly by 6% of American online adults. That sounds about right to me, although Twitter power user Robert Scoble thinks the figure is “way too high.” But if you want to reach an affluent, well-educated, early adopter audience, there might not be a better communication channel out there.

To get a better sense of this emerging social media tool, we assembled a micro-panel to discuss it: Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst on Social Computing at Forrester Research and a fan of Twitter, and David Berkowitz, director of Emerging Media at 360i, who is skeptical about Twitter’s application to business. We hope you enjoy the lively debate!

Twitter: Valuable Tool, or Waste of Time?

Listen learn and weigh in – Let us know which side you are on by leaving a comment on this blog. Or, feel free to comment on a topic you would like us to explore further.

Coming up will be another Prof-cast, “Pay per Click: Boom or Bust??” It features Alan Rimm-Kaufman, who leads the Rimm-Kaufman Group and is a fan of Pay per Click, and Steve Rubel, senior vice president at Edelman, who is skeptical about the future of Pay per Click.

So don’t miss it …

8 comments to Twitter: Valuable Tool, or Waste of Time?

  • TDefren

    Hi Paul –
    Twitter can ABSOLUTELY be used for business. I came up with one (admittedly extreme) concept here:

    http://tinyurl.com/yudjr7

    (Just replace the word “depression” with, say, “allergies” throughout the post, and it will seem less extreme, and maybe even kinda cool. Intrigued now?) 😉

  • Glenn Gow

    Paul, nice podcast. Thank you for putting that together.

    I listened carefully to the points being made about Twitter as a business tool for marketers. I did not hear a compelling case for marketers to use Twitter AT ALL.

    I have to concur. We do not advise our clients to use it, and don’t foresee advising them anytime soon.

    Having said that, I can tell you why it scares me by going to this link… http://www.achievemarketleadership.com/?p=74

  • Glenn Gow

    Paul, nice podcast. Thank you for putting that together.

    I listened carefully to the points being made about Twitter as a business tool for marketers. I did not hear a compelling case for marketers to use Twitter at all.

    I have to concur. We do not advise our clients to use it now and don’t foresee advising them to use it anytime soon.

    Having said that, I can tell you why Twitter scares me!

  • Michael

    If you’re a fan of text message it’s the same medium great, if you need to post in a one to many way it’s fine too. The killer that I’m most concerned about in all this stuff is the continued fragmentation of the audience and the media used for communicating. It is making life exceptionally difficult for communicators to manage. After a while the corporate types who pay for it are gonna get antsy and the worker bees that have to implement it are gonna get upset about another platform to keep track of.

    Jeremiah & David both raised excellent points, some of which can support an entire podcast on their own. e.g. individual blogging, personal brand, influencers vs voyeur (regarding the 60+ people following the cruise line.)

    PS:

    I Twittered while kayaking in the fjords in Norway this summer when I was with my two older kids. The rest of the family back here got a kick out of it. Extremely convenient.

  • Albert Maruggi

    If you’re a fan of text message it’s the same medium great, if you need to post in a one to many way it’s fine too. The killer that I’m most concerned about in all this stuff is the continued fragmentation of the audience and the media used for communicating. It is making life exceptionally difficult for communicators to manage. After a while the corporate types who pay for it are gonna get antsy and the worker bees that have to implement it are gonna get upset about another platform to keep track of.

    Jeremiah and David both raised excellent points, e.g. personal blogging, indivdual branding, and regarding having only 60 or so people following the cruise line, the question is influencer vs. voyeur.

    Personally I twitter sparingly on business issues. On the family side I twittered while kayaking in the fjords in Norway this summer when I was with my two older children. The rest of the family back here got a kick out of it.

  • Paul Dunay

    Love your comment Albert – I should have named this podcast: is Twitter influencer or voyeur?

  • Joan Damico

    I’m still not sold on twitter for B2B marketing, however my collagues tell me to go back to marketing basics. If your market is on Twitter, then it could make sense. I’m getting the sense that it’s like the podcast buzz 3 or 4 years ago. It’s a great tool, but should be used where it makes sense and as part of an integrated program. Good podcast, Paul.

  • Chrismingryan

    Paul:

    Great conversation. Thanks for putting it together.

    Twitter is a stream. You can dip a toe, wade in it, float around. The more time you spend at it – the more rewards are to be had.

    I've used twitter to promote my blog and it's been a fantastic tool. I wouldn't have been able to get read by so many people so soon without it.

    I've also tried to help a friend market How To DVDs for Theater Students using Twitter. Much tougher.

    When the twitter community senses that what you're really out to do is sell – they kind of ignore you.

    Now you can't be overt and say, "Buy this." Like anything you have to respectful of the community and give as much as you want to get.

    But what I am finding is that when you tweet for your blog (which has no cash profit motive) folks are a lot more receptive to re-tweet or click on the bit.ly links.

    @chrismingryan

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>