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Well, Isn’t That the Point of Tweeting?

Despite the razzing of friends, colleagues, and especially my “millennial” generation daughter, I still heart Twitter.  After monitoring various peoples tweets to determine who to follow (Astro Mike, I’m still crushing on you after three months and your round trip into space) and who not to follow (Al Gore – just plain boring, Anderson Cooper – stop tweeting about who will be on your show tonight), I’m constantly amazed at what I can learn from others I am following, when I want to sign on and follow my Twitter stream.

But even though this girl just wants to have twitter fun, I thought long and hard about what I would tweet.  Since I started tweeting as a business experiment, I decided to tweet about business trends near and dear to me:  fashion brands, retail stores, enabling technology and our SAP customer successes. Save for a few geeky tweets on Dr. Who, Battlestar Gallactica and Dollhouse, with a side of Buffy thrown in, I’m hoping to keep the professional tweeting persona separate from the Facebook personal persona.  And in doing so, I learned I was laying the groundwork for building a new brand – me! 

Which is why I laughed so hard at a story I just finished reading, pushed to my desktop by Marketing Charts, titled Half of Communicators Think Twitter is a Fad.

According to a poll by Ragan Communications and PollStream, “More than half (54%) of professional communicators think Twitter is a fad and believe that the burgeoning number of users and tweets will eventually reach a plateau and likely decline.”  Knowing I’m not a “professional communicator,” but eager to learn what one is, I consulted Wikipedia, and learned that “professional communicators use strategies, theories, and technologies to more effectively communicate in the business world.”  Aha, I thought.  Now we’re getting somewhere. Is Twitter a business communication tool?

Here’s where the survey gets interesting – “Among respondents, 28% report that their companies currently employ microblogging as part of their communications activities. Those who do tweet credit Twitter with increasing employee engagement, improving customer service and reputation with customers, and boosting website traffic – among other benefits, Ragan said.”

Well, can I hear a collective “Duh!” from the audience?  Businesses tweet to have a positive, engaging relationship with their followers (customers), leading to brand loyalty and ultimately more revenue.  Yes, 28% of companies surveyed may not be that many companies in the grand scheme of things, but how many of the leaders of the 40% of companies not planning on using Twitter had even heard of it nine months ago, let alone thought of deploying Twitterati to help drive sales.   Keep up, people, keep up.

I still think Twitter hasn’t yet reached the tipping point.  I’ll bet if I survey any one of the 928,565 followers of Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, they’ll agree with me . . . while buying another pair or two of shoes.

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6 Comments

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  1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Andrea:

    I’ve been using Twitter for quite a long time…I must say I can’t live without it…I can read the news, get in touch with friends and collaborate my fellow SAP Mentor colleagues…there are so many interesting people to follow on Twitter and I’m sure the service is going to keep alive for a very very long time…

    BTW, you can follow me at @Blag -;)

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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  2. Natascha Thomson
    You say you are separating your personal and professional tweeting. Do you have two accounts? I have one and can’t stop thinking that I should have two. My followers are very heterogenous…time to make a new start? Thanks for the interesting and well-written blog.
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    1. Andrea France Post author
      Hi Natascha, thanks for responding.  I do have two accounts, one for Twitter and one for Facebook. Interesting point you raise about merging the two groups, but right now I’m not brave enough to do that.  Would you really care that I’m going to the movies tonight if I were to tweet that?
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      1. Natascha Thomson
        I agree, it’s a valid question. On the one hand, there’s something nice about getting a glimpse into the private life of the people you tweet with. Makes them more human and you might discover you share other interests. On the other hand, do they care that you are about to BBQ the salmon? 🙂  Also, I find it interesting to see my friends business tweets. Then many business colleauges tend to become friends…are they lines alreayd blurred?
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  3. Thorsten Franz
    Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for an interesting reflection on Twitter. I use Twitter and am very grateful for the brilliant and fun professionals I can follow through this medium.
    Although I use Twitter mainly for my professional persona, if you want, I tweet some personal stuff and many people from my network do, too. In some cases, this has allowed me to make friends with people with whom I share both professional and private interests. I’m grateful for these contacts, which I owe to the fact that the lines between the professional and the private persona can get blurry at times.
    So I’d say that it’s okay to tweet stuff from different areas of your life as long as you and your followers feel comfortable with it. If Twitter is mainly for your professional persona, I think some private stuff is okay and won’t alienate your followers. If you overdo it, they will let you know.
    Best regards,
    Thorsten
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    1. Andrea France Post author
      Thorsten,
      Thanks for the comments.  I actually thought about starting another Twitter account for my personal tweets, but that seemed like cheating. I think I’ll slowly experiment with mixing the personal and professional tweets.

      Best, Andrea

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