Why Twitter still loses!

This is in response to Chris Brogan post Why Twitter Wins
Also works for Facebook Status Addicts as well

Your friends drive your social media choices. Don’t believe me? Answer the following two questions.

1. What do you prefer to use Facebook Status or Twitter/Plurk?

2. What platform are most of your friends on?

The answer to the two questions will have the same answer.

I was in a critical meeting the other day with someone who was testing my social media knowledge. He started indirectly questioning me about Twitter and my Twit friends.

I walked away from the meeting feeling a little pissed off. This guy was going to measure my knowledge of social media by my low involvement in a social media channel.


At the end of the day Social Media comes back to the people who are driving it, which are your friends. In my case all off my offline friends are on Facebook, only a select few of my marketing friends are on Twitter.

I know that a lot of the social media/marketing community is on Twitter and Plurk and I try to make an effort to stay in touch but I find it hard because it is not my number one form of microblogging and information sourcing, I use Facebook Status and my RSS reader for that.

Social Media succeeds by being 80% Social (Friends), 20% Media (Technology Innovation)!

Twitter has not failed it just has not grabbed the critical mass of my friends yet, therefore I don’t use it.


Gavin Heaton said...

I am guessing your client wanted to understand the application of Twitter to a branding/marketing challenge ... and whether you were able to provide a bridge between the strategy and the audience via something like Twitter.

Because, as you point out, social media is social, questions often revolve around personal use. The challenge is to reposition the discussion around the strengths and/or weaknesses in using social media for a particular client's challenges.

Graeme Watson said...

Twitter stopped working for me the moment I realsied I could make it re-posy my Facebook updates and around the same time Facebook arrived on my Blackberry.

Chris Brogan said...

If it's not the tool your community's using, then it's definitely not a tool to bother with. There are lots of social media apps that I don't use regularly: seesmic, plurk, pownce, jaiku, to name a few. It sure doesn't make you less informed to intelligently choose to avoid a platform.

Great post, and the cartoon at the top was depressing. : )

jyesmith said...

I've got to agree with you to a point: it does come down to audience, but it also gives you opportunity to reach new, relevant networks.

As I've said before, it all comes down to audience (which in some cases are your friends and in other cases your work networks etc) - but I believe it's a great tool to make new networks and new friends.

@graeme watson:
make sure you check out Ping.fm (www.ping.fm) and you can update all your statuses with one post, or all your micro-blogs with one post - or all of them at once!

I've tried to stay across most of the major services and beta test some of the new ones. Made a lot of new contacts across all of them for both work and party.

Here's my list: www.jyesmith.com/social-media

Makes for some interesting conversations.

Julian Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julian Cole said...

Gav, they were more trying to see how much I knew about social media, it was really about ‘testing’ my creds, similar to when you ask someone what school they went to and then roll of people from that school. Also, I am definitely on the same page with you about, the problem comes before the channel.

Graeme, ahh the joys of multi platforming!

Chris, It is good to see that, someone I look up to has the same problems as me.

Jye, great hat tip on Ping, I am going to try it out. Did you however find the problem on not wanting communicate the same information to all of your groups?

For example, I have totally different of friends on Twitter and Facebook. My Facebook friends would probably be quite bored by the latest (insert brand) Social Media exploits however my Twits friends would probably be interested.

jyesmith said...

I sure did, Julian. And to be honest, it nearly prevented me from using the service. I actually had a big whinge about it (http://www.jyesmith.com/keep-talking-pingfm/) but then I quickly learned the functionality of it.

You can basically set up distribution lists, which use commands to know which lists to hit.

It all came down to audience (check my post for my views on that) and how I wanted to connect with them.

I have one for 'safe for work', 'status updates', micro-blogs, and not safe for work, and friends.

Its so quick to set up and you quickly learn your own relevance to your own friends.

tamir berkman said...

Does it really matter what platform your friends are using when it comes to a business meeting? As a social marketing guy you should be aware of the different social platforms (and try most of them) so you can recommend to your client a strategic solution. As for testing your creds - I think it's not only fair but crucial for a potential client to ask a few questions. After all, if they going to pay you they need to find out how you think first and agree with it.

Julian Cole said...

Jye, I look forward to using it.

Tamir, Don’t get me wrong I have a Twitter account and have been using it however I am just not deeply involved in the community.

Judging my entire knowledge of social media on my involvement with a platform is kinda of like saying that my friends 13 year old sister uses Facebook more than me therefore she will be a better social media marketer than me. Just because I am not an active user does not mean that I do not keep abreast of businesses using the technology (Amazon, Jet Blue, or the bad Exxon)

I like Gavin Heaton’s idea of a Social Media Charlatan. You know where to source the information/people who do have the knowledge. If I did need to come up with a solution for Twitter I would probably run it past someone in my community who has high involvement with the product. If you are not 100% sure of the solution, find someone who can tell you.