Reality Check on Twitter

Twitter is everywhere right now. It’s in the news; it’s all over the blogosphere; it’s the latest celebrity toy. I know I’m a big fan of it, and I certainly write about it a lot.

On the flip side, despite exponential grown in recent months, only a tiny proportion of people use¬†Twitter. Yet every day I see more and more “experts” whose experience is limited to getting Twitter followers. So, here’s a bit of a reality check on Twitter.

Twitter is not:

  • Essential to every company’s success, or right for every company;
  • Mandatory for every company out there (remember PR 101? Audience targeting?);
  • The first thing you should do online;
  • Going to turn around your bad business model;
  • Going to fix your shoddy product;
  • A silver bullet for your customer service issues;
  • Used or read by the majority (just ~6 million in total… consider there are 300+ over 500 million (thanks Tamera) people in North America alone);
  • A replacement for other communications/social media tactics (think AND, not OR);
  • A staple requirement in every communications strategy;
  • The same thing to everyone.

It’s a tool. For some it’s an critical tool. For some it’s a useful tool. For some it’s the wrong tool.

Think carefully before getting involved. Think even more carefully before taking generic advice and applying it to your unique business.

Plan your activities strategically. If Twitter, or blogging, or other online tools are right for you then great. Listen, engage or develop your own places. If particular tools aren’t right for your business, don’t use them. Just remember: don’t let fear drive that decision – let your target customers.

</rant>

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.