Twitter does a number of things well. It’s a great media relations tool, a platform for fomenting dissent and overthrowing odious regimes, a place for wily charities to raise cash, and a soapbox for any idiot with the wherewithal to create an account.
However there are lots of things Twitter is not. Here are 4:
- A great place to sell products. I am sure you can cite a case of a firm using the service to sling stuff. However, for most companies, most of the time, it is a weak sales channel.
- A place for real connection. Many will disagree with me on this. I suppose it depends on the definition of real connection, which I firmly believe can occur on the web. Twitter’s structure – i.e. its 140 character limit – doesn’t make it easy.
- A place where your “friends” are likely to help you move a couch IRL. See number 2.
- A good broadcast channel. If you produce digital content for your business or just personal reasons, you occasionally need to pimp it by sharing it on social networks. I use Twitter for this. My analytics program tells me that other social networks, like Facebook, are FAR more effective in terms of driving traffic and generating clicks. For most people, most of the time, the service is not well designed for pure play broadcasting. If you commit to conversing and combine that with broadcasting you’ll do better.
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