Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 8, 2010 8:18 PM

Marketers Miss The Mark With Twitter

How long has it been since we had a, "Twitter is dead" article?

AdWeek published the article, The Tweet Hereafter, yesterday and it will probably make no sense to any Marketer who sees any of the Social Media platforms as something more than just another advertising channel.

"Like Second Life, Twitter has become a wasteland for brands. Verizon, a company that spent more than $1 billion on advertising in 2009, has around 5,000 followers -- about 0.3 percent the amount that Perez Hilton has. Coca-Cola has 15,000. Apple's not even on Twitter. And some corporate Twitter accounts suffer from prolonged neglect. Delta Airlines' Twitter page went from June 17 to Dec. 22 last year without a single update. Delta reps could not be reached for comment."

So, what's the message? If you're looking at trying to find a pure brand building or advertising channel to supplant what you're doing on television or in print, then Twitter may not be the best substitute. But, if you're trying to see what kind of conversation there is around your brand, the types of people interested in the industry you serve, the ideas, compliments and complaints that people have about your brand (and your industry), then why would you not be engaged on (or at least monitoring) Twitter?

Most of these articles completely miss the point.

Yes, people are hot on Twitter and something else will come along that will make people hotter (and those same people may even get fairly cold on Twitter), but every time the success of a channel/platform is judged it's always against how many people are on the platform (not who is on the platform), and if they're actually buying anything, instead of really taking the time to see the many different Marketing opportunities that lie within and just a little deeper.

Also, let's face it, most brands are boring on Twitter.

Ultimately, they're just trying to shill their wares and that gets old fast with the Twitter community. What does work? Real people having real interactions, and most brands are simply not doing this with the right people (on their end) and taking the time to truly nurture a valuable relationship. On top of that Twitter may not be the best Marketing channel for a brand, but what about customer service, business development, HR, public relations, etc... Bottom line, any Social Media channel (Twitter or otherwise) do work for Marketers if they're interesting and become interested in others.

Unfortunately, most Marketers look at Twitter and simply ask: "how can this help me push more product?"

It's a shame.

By Mitch Joel