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Author's profile photo Michael Mankowski

To Tweet or Not to Tweet, This Should NOT be a Question

The Phenomenon

It was born on March 21, 2006 and emerged with the words, “just setting up my twttr” from founder Jack Dorsey.

Three hundred billion Tweets later, Twitter has taken the world by storm with a recent IPO and Market Capitalization of over $21 billion.

200 million Individuals send over 500 million Tweets per day.

The Inspiration

I was inspired to write this blog based on a conversation I had with two separate people over the past few months. One was a colleague here at SAP and the other with my Uncle, an English Professor.  In both instances, I asked them what their Twitter handles were.

The responses puzzled me:

  • My Uncle noted that he did not have an account and that no one would be interested in his comings and goings.
  • A colleague here at SAP noted that his kids use Twitter, but he didn’t see the value in it as a “location based service.” His account remained inactive because of the perceived lack of value.

The Opportunity

A light bulb went off in my head. I saw an opportunity. It became apparent to me that Twitter has a “perception” problem.

I came up with three talking points to convince them otherwise:

  • Twitter is about content, not what you are doing – Twitter is not an “I’m here doing this right now” thing. In all honesty, I know no one cares I am at the Newtown Square Starbucks sipping a Carmel Macchiato (I am not). But some people might care about content of similar interest that I am sharing. For me, examples are SAP Customer Stories or interesting News about Cloud Computing or Philadelphia Sports. Tweet it, but include a link to that content!  What are you interested in? At work or at home?  Maybe its beer, maybe its Yoga, maybe it’s Fantasy Football. Include a link to some interesting content and Tweet it!  Twitter is a content sharing engine.
  • Twitter is about connections. A byproduct of sharing content is making connections. Twitter gives you the opportunity to connect with people of similar interests, folks you would have never met in 1,000 years. You now have the opportunity to share common interests, engage in conversations, introduce yourself and take conversations “off line” if you choose to. Twitter is a social, connection engine.
  • Twitter is also a tool to help promote your personal brand and SAP (or the company of your choice) – No matter what your role is, Twitter gives us the opportunity to promote your personal brand and SAP (or your company). Think about what you are interested in or your expertise… Include a link to some interesting content and Tweet it! Think of all the news articles that are published about SAP. What if you shared one article a day with your network?  It just might amplify the SAP message.  It might just show how SAP is improving people’s lives. It might even help people understand what SAP does for our customers.

Twitter is so much more than an “I’m here” tool. It helps you share information, insight, comments and make connections. I hope I have convinced you of the value. In closing, I would strongly suggest that every SAP employee have a Twitter account.  Using Twitter can help both your personal brand and SAP.

Does this blog convince you?

The Asks

  1. If you do not already have a Twitter account, create one and start using it today.
  2. Follow me @mmankow

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      Author's profile photo Kaan Turnali
      Kaan Turnali

      Great piece Michael! I completely agree with you. Twitter (and social media in general) is all about connections and sharing. And I love how you put it: “Twitter is so much more than an 'I am here’ tool.” What do you think will drive the adoption or encourage more people sign up?

      Author's profile photo Michael Mankowski
      Michael Mankowski
      Blog Post Author

      I think we need to continue to "beat the drum" on what Twitter can do for us as individuals + how Twitter can help SAP (or our partners or our customers).  The value is there, we just need to unlock it 😉 .

      Author's profile photo Fred Verheul
      Fred Verheul

      Hi Michael,

      I didn't need convincing, but still: completely agree with the blog post. For me 1 and 2 have been most valuable so far, but you never know how that might change 🙂 .

      Thanks for sharing

      Cheers, Fred

      Author's profile photo Michael Mankowski
      Michael Mankowski
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the comment Fred. Change is a constant so who knows what the next big thing will be.



      Author's profile photo Steve Rumsby
      Steve Rumsby

      I somewhat disagree with "Twitter is about content, not what you are doing". Your second point is that Twitter is about making connections, and personally I've made many connections by tweeting what I'm doing and having unexpected people reply and start a conversation about it. Such conversations have been about work life, home life, hobbies and even food. Yes, tweeting about lunch can build connections.

      For me, Twitter is all about connections, or more than that, about building relationships. Anything that helps that is a good thing, even if it is tweeting about lunch. The value of such tweets is not their individual content, but the context they provide. Don't look at each tweet as a standalone thing, but look at the whole tweet stream. Just as you don't get to know a person through one conversation, but through many conversations over weeks, months and years, so Twitter requires an investment of time. Payback isn't immediate. Relationships don't build quickly, even on Twitter!

      Author's profile photo Michael Mankowski
      Michael Mankowski
      Blog Post Author

      Steve, thanks for you perspective.  I understand your point about "what you are doing."  I really have not used Twitter to "Tweet about lunch" so I do have a blind spot there. Something for everyone to think about.



      Author's profile photo Stephen Johannes
      Stephen Johannes

      The other problem with this conversation is that you assume all of us try to use twitter to promote some well polished corporate brand.  In fact for me it's the opposite and instead twitter is a communication tool and not just an RSS feed on steroids(although those who use it that way are very clever).

      It's more interesting seeing people share their personal experiences than brand messages.  Experience is related to what you do.  Life and twitter would be boring without sharing daily activities.  It's part of building that personal relationship or giving insight to your personal experience.

      Take care,


      Author's profile photo Michael Mankowski
      Michael Mankowski
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Stephen, Thanks for the comment and I do see your point.  I have to admit, being a marketer, I look at everything through my marketing goggles. Sharing peronal activities and experiences is great for building personal relationships. My own use of Twitter is to share content and celebrate the SAP brand. Personally, I am not so keen on sharing my daily activities on Twitter.