I will think of a title to tweet about later

I’ve been a busy bunny recently. So busy that its been on of those months where I’ve hardly done the work that I’ve set out to do. Why does the phone keep ringing? Maybe it has something to do with all that work I’ve been doing to get the business found online? I most certainly think so!

Should I be on Twitter?

Hmm, the point of this…yes Twitter. I’ve been kept busy recently with the amount of meet and greets I’ve been doing with new and potential clients. People really want to be found on the web right now and are really desperate to find the right people to help them. Online marketing is now becoming such an integral part of business, large or small, as having a website is. Perfect! One topic of conversation that keeps coming up is Twitter and more specifically, “Should we be on Twitter and how do we do it?”

Well yes…and no. In fact, this question has led me to think about this in greater detail. Are you a person that likes social networking and finding stuff on the web? The answer is defo yes. However, what about being a business? Hmm, I’m starting to say “That depends”.

Twitter Overload!

This is starting to become one of my pet hates. I can remember a time when Twitter was all for and populated by online marketing people (or mostly). There wasn’t much of the hoo-harr or newsreaders say “Follow Me on Twitter” and it was an exchange of information for Online Marketing professionals. Now, everyone is there to tell people what they think about the colour pink, the overuse of hash# tags – #don’tyouhateitwhen – or my own personal hate, people who tweet 50 times per day.

There is a most certainly a finite number of people that you can follow on Twitter. You can see some people that claim they follow a few hundred, possibly thousands, of other people. How do you keep up with that many tweets per day? I did a quick calculation based on some averages on people I follow…and I don’t follow that many people.

Say you followed around 150 people. Each of the 150 people did on average 4 tweets per day. This equates to having 600 tweets to check out each day.

Lets say half of those posted links to other sites/photos/articles. This takes on average 5 minutes to read each. This is (providing my maths is correct) 25 hours worth of reading time. That is a lot of time to spend on Twitter!

Of course I was generalising but check how many you’re following and see how many you are actually ‘following’. I would say mine is about 10-15 lucky people :-)

Is Twitter good for Business?

I get asked this question a lot and my answer is always ‘that depends’. Twitter is becoming a bit of a fad at the moment and just like my trend post, most people follow trends. Here’s some important points that businesses should think about before they should consider it:

What are you going to say? – Do you actually have anything worth saying or telling your audience? Commercial B2C companies have more direct contact and interest on Twitter than B2B companies as they can directly offer discounts and sales messages. Do you have anything that people will be interested in reading?

How are you going to get people following you? Is there already an interest or competitors using Twitter from your market? If there isn’t then it will be hard to be part of a community of updates or people wanting to read your information. You may then find it hard to get people interested in you – cue the ‘auto follow’. If you have a blog, this is the best place to start as you can entice people to read your Twitter for further updates and to become the all important authority on the subject.

Who will administer your Twitter? Quite a forgotten part this one as it may become difficult to get the right person to take ownership of the project from the start. ” We’ll nominate Marjorie, she like to gossip”. I’ve heard that before and Marjorie’s response was, “What is Twitter…I don’t even have a Facebook!” Not a good place to start. Finding someone who will interact with Twitter and be able to use it effectively by promoting the brand and also being part of the target market community is vital to success. Also, you don’t really want someone who will post photos of the drunken Christmas party on Twitpic or post 300 updates per day about rubbish. That will certainly do more harm than good.

So is it useful? Yes, I love Twitter but I love to be in control of who I follow and how much time I spend on it per day. There could potentially be a lot of wasted time telling people what you had for breakfast and how that compares to Opera Winfrey’s.

BTW: Follow The Tai Pan on Twitter 😉