Fast-Tracking to Twitter

Back in February I mused about the apparent greater willingness of companies to sign up for Twitter than to start blogs. I’ll go one further now – I’m starting to see companies skip blogging entirely and go straight to Twitter.

Companies like Fairmont Hotels are by-passing blogging entirely and starting to engage with Twitter as an initial step into social media. Until recently it might have appeared more logical to suggest blogging as a common core step in the social media process (listen, engage, develop) once the groundwork is laid. Nowadays that’s not necessarily the case.

If we consider the different apparent commitment levels of the two tools this isn’t too surprising:

  • Blogs require designing and developing; a Twitter profile has a minimum of setup;
  • Blog posts can take lots of time to draft and edit; Twitter posts can take just a few seconds;
  • It can take a while to start to develop conversations on a blog; on Twitter you can begin to engage in conversations very quickly;
  • As a real-time medium, conversations evolve and spread more quickly on Twitter than on all but the most popular blogs.

Some of these commitment differences are perceived rather than real – you can spend just as much time on Twitter each day as it takes to write a blog post, for example. Still, I find it interesting that Twitter is now sufficiently accepted that it is seen as a potential first step into social media.

  • All true Dave. And if the goal when coming directly to Twitter is to get the conversation started instantly and for the long-term, it’s a great sign.

    The other upside (and reason for fast tracking) is not having to go through corporate channels for each and every post. Can you imagine?

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  • Does this say more about our instant gratification orientation or focus on tactics over strategy when marketing?

  • jwestera

    I like your comparison between these two communication channels but I wonder if Twitter’s 140 character minimum is enough to get your companies culture and visions through to the readers. Also, I wonder what the approval process might be for some of these companies. I couldn’t imagine going through five levels of approvals for one Twitter message. Just a couple thoughts. Cheers!

  • See this makes NO sense to me at all. Twitter requires a lot of dedication from a corporation. Not only do you have to provide frequent updates but you have to actually join in a conversation. This conversation can veer completely off-topic but in order to actively participate in Twitter you have to see the conversation as more valuable than just hammering home your message. I think very few companies will be able to do this adeptly, and maybe thats why a lot of them will hire social media experts to manage this part of the campaign.

  • HMorrrison

    Lots of companies are jumping on the Twitter wagon to find out what all the fuss is about – and initially it does seem like a quick and easy way to engage in SM and potentially with your audience. That said, its also fairly shallow and has its limitations (140 characters, etc.). I always like to be driven back to a company’s blog to further engage and get a sense of where they are coming from. Twitter is a great means of distributing small info bites, and back and forth engagement, but eventually (and hopefully) the audience will look for more from that brand/company.

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