Does it matter if Twitter isn’t mainsteam?

Last week I attended a great event MITX (Massachusetts Information and Technology Exchange) and Microsoft held for women in business. The event, “The Successful You: 2010 Women’s Leadership Forum” attracted smart, successful woman in business and technology. Speakers such as Gloria Larson, president of Bentley College, Judy Giordan of Venture Well and Laura Fitton, of Oneforty.com, Maria Cirino of 406 Ventures and others spoke about what it takes to be successful in business. It was a great event. I met some terrific women and heard some inspiring thoughts.

I’ll admit that I don’t always Tweet from every event I attend, but if there is a hashtag, I will monitor the flow. For this event I did a little of both. One of the things that surprised me was the small amount of Tweeting from the event given the number of professional women many of whom from technology. That’s not to say some of the attendees didn’t tweet, but given the traffic I’ve seen from other events, if was definitely less.

The reason I bring this up is because I just saw this poll posted by Henry Blodget on the Business Insider. The results to date show that 46% of the respondents don’t use Twitter on a regular basis.

Now Blodget has a horse in this race, as he posted earlier this year that Twitter had a problem about not being mainstream. Of course there are others, such as Forrester who believe otherwise. But leaving that alone, my experience at the event last week gave credence to his findings. Several follow-up conversations with attendees also provided support for Tweeting not being mainstream.

But does it really matter? For the past few years I’ve told my clients the same thing — Twitter is an excellent B2B communications tool, but like all tools it needs to be used wisely. Using Twitter because it makes you seem social is a waste of time. Using Twitter to build visibility or engagement among a desired audience is not. When clients ask me to help them build a Twitter channel the first question I always ask is “why?”. Are your customers there? Are there key influencers that actively engage in Twitter that you want to build relationships with? What are your goals? And what impact do you want it to have on your communications and business? If the answers are “no” to some of these questions, then Twitter may not be a good choice or a good investment of your resources.

Building up a valuable Twitter presence is not an overnight task. And the results, depending on the goal, may not be immediate. But that’s not to say there isn’t value in Twitter because, when used for the right reasons, there is. I won’t rehash the examples showing this. Instead here’s a recent personal experience. To build my visibility as provider of communications services, I have all my posts from this blog go out over Twitter. I usually have an average of 300 people read each post. My last post was retweeted by someone who has a large number PR professionals as followers . The number of hits on my blog went to 1200 after he tweeted it and extended the reach of post by 5000%. Due to the wider reach, more people saw it including at least two people who reached out to me about PR services.

Evidence points to Twitter not being as mainstream as Facebook. And it may never be. But it is still an incredibly useful and powerful tool.

 

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One comment on “Does it matter if Twitter isn’t mainsteam?
  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post! The one thing I try to remember is that, mainstream or not, everyone is comfortable in their own communication style (and platform). What’s more, and a bit more challenging for marketers, is that just because your client has a facebook page AND a twitter account — doesn’t mean they use them the same way, nor does it mean they want you to communicate with them on all (or lets face it, any) of those platforms. So while you may be right, it may also be the message or the preference of platforms that cause that perception. Just a thought. Keep up the great work!

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