Ad Age calls Twitter "asinine." Is it for everyone? No. But Twitter has a real use for media companies and social-media-savvy brands.
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On Monday, Mark Simon drafted his list of The 10 Most Asinine Trends and Why You Should Avoid Them in his Ad Age article, "Ditch the Web Lunatic Content Crazes." Rolling in at #9 was "Twitter and its Microblogging Ilk."
Mark writes, stridently:
"What could be more annoying and less useful than a site where thousands of people are given 140 characters to shout out about what they're doing at every moment of the day? The amazing thing is that enough people out there think this mindless stream of ephemera ('I'm eating a tangerine,' 'I'm waiting for a plane,' 'I want a Big Mac') is interesting enough to serve as the basis for a viable advertising platform."
Twitter is a next-generation instant messaging tool. Of course, I heard about Mark's article via Twitter itself, via David Armano.
The Twitterati, of course, are all kinds of defensive (while at the same time I suspect digging the publicity that has cast them as the Bad News Bears of social media). In their view, Simon didn't give Twitter a fair shake.
As my friennd Jeremiah Owyang writes this week on MarketingProfs, Twitter is a tool through which subscribers can further reach their audiences, real-time. Users can hear and express thought leadership, broadcast their messages, connect to the influencers both on their desktop and through their mobile units, among other things.
Like much of social media... it's another ear to the ground, another touchpoint, another "opportunity to build relationships," according to Jeremiah.
Is it for everyone? Heck, no. (But what is?) What's more, it's a new and emerging platform that's only now finding its footing: there's a lot of crap you have to wade through, at times, and it's sometimes unreliable.
But that said, Twitter has a real use for media companies and social-media-savvy brands. Here are 7:
Extending the reach for those individuals or companies that already have a blogging strategy in place, and want to deepen or further ties. Good examples: Carnival Cruise Lines. The ScienceNewsBlog's weather tracking updates. Andy Carvin's PBS blog on education and technology.
Retailers announcing sales and deals. Good example: Deals on Dells. Blue-light specials at Amazon.
Increasing the ability for frequent updates to blogs or web sites or news. Examples: The NY Times, CNN, BBC, Adrants, and those of us here at MarketingProfs.
Building consensus or a community of supporters. Good examples: Presidential candidates John Edwards or Barack Obama.
Building buzz. Example: Scott Monty and CC Chapman introduce a new blog.
Updating breaking news at conferences or events. Example: Jeremiah at the Web 2.0 Expo. Forrester seems poised to use it to update happenings at its upcoming Consumer Forum.
Updating your network to shape your own personal branding: Example: Oh boy... there are zillions. Pick a face on Twitter. You'll see what I mean.
There's lots more background and ideas in Jeremiah's article here.
Check it out, and let me know your thoughts!