Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is Twitter Twittish?

Twitter is all the rage for many social networkers. For the rest, it is often viewed as a despised waste of time. Who’s right? Is Twitter the smart way forward or are you a twit for using it? just published an article on the top 40 Company Twitters. It also comes to some interesting conclusions.

First, the top Twitters: They come from a variety of industries. Representing cars is Adam Denison from Chevrolet. He tweets “because he wants to be part of the online dialogue around Chevrolet.” Ford, GM and Honda also have dedicated Tweeters. Travel is headed by Jet Blue and their Tweeter - Morgan Johnston. Other industries with companies that are serious about Tweeting include the leisure industry, sports, accounting, warehouse/retail and fast-food outlets. Only one non-profit is listed - the Red Cross.

What do they think about the value of Twitter? Obviously they value it, or they would not dedicate personnel to this endeavor. Lon Cohen at Mashable contends Brands belong on Twitter because Twitter is opt-in, Twitter is the new phone company and because Twitter enables Brands to develop real personality to a greater extent.

However, the final questions for this short blog are these: To what extent are customers retained and to what extent are new customers won as a result of Twitter? Are Tweeting marketers the engine that drives the demand, or is Twitter really gaining mainstream traction? If it is increasing its user base through natural interest in Twitter’s communication form, as opposed solely to marketers’ hype, then greater thought should be given to its international and multilingual use. Twitter’s communication is short, which is advantageous for those in communities with less connectivity. It could also enable those who are remote to feel part of the main debate. Perhaps Twitter could end up being a great “New Market Detective”.

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