Mixed Messages From Media On Twitter

August 3rd, 2009 |


Jeff Louis is a strategic media planner, brand project manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. He's intrigued by innovation overcoming adversity, survival of the fittest brand, history, reading, and similar fun stuff. He writes for sites and is the Public Relations and Advertising writer for the Chicago Examiner.

Mixed messages abound regarding the relevance of Social Media applications for business, and especially the value of frontpage-birdusing Twitter to promote business endeavors. Media Buyer Planner recently released bleak statistics regarding Twitter’s use in the business space. In fact, the online media site reports that only 8% of businesses see Twitter as a viable option for promoting their business…which means that the remaining 92% of businesses are either stubborn, stupid, or simply have no idea how Twitter could take their business to another level.

The survey, a joint LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll states, in the raw:

The research, which included surveys of both advertisers and the U.S. public at large. It showed that among advertisers:

  • 45% think Twitter is in its infancy and its use will grow significantly over the next few years
  • 21% believe Twitter will not move into the mainstream and will remain something mostly young people and the media will use
  • 17% believe Twitter’s five minutes of fame are already over and it’s time to find the next big thing
  • 17% of advertisers say they don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion.

Among consumers, the study found a different picture:

  • 69% say they do not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about it
  • 12% think it’s in its infancy
  • 12% say it is just something that young people and the media use
  • 8% say it is already over

Wow. It’s enough to make one wonder whether people even pay attention anymore, let alone read, watch TV, or use the internet. When major news outlets ask for feedback and tips via Twitter, it would seem to me like the micro-blogging site has become a permanent fixture…call me crazy. Maybe these are the descendants of early humans who thought fire would never catch on…

One thing is for sure: You’re either ahead of the curve, or forever playing catch-up.

In today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), the first line for a story covering employment and Social Media states,

“If you can’t Tweet, you might get beat. The landscape of today’s job market is shifting, and the shift favors individuals who are savvy in social media.”

The story then goes on to describe the importance of Social Media in today’s job market, and the fact HR professionals are keying in on Social Media skills as being an important job skill that many positions require. Not only is Social Media important for branding yourself or your business, companies are using Social Media sites to seek qualified applicants, “fishing where the fish are.”

Obviously there is HUGE disconnect between those that understand how to use Social Media to promote their business, and those that are literally in the dark. To Twitter’s credit, they just launched Twitter 101 for businesses unfamiliar with the micro-blogging site. Twitter 101 breaks down Twitter use for business in a step-by-step manner that is so simple that there’s no room for misinterpretation. Biz Stone and company have even included a downloadable PowerPoint just in case…

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Jeff Louis