Posted by Chrysty Beverley Fortner.
I’m fully engaged in the assault on social media. I’m a warrior. I love it. I have a website to maintain for work, two blogs, a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook account, two groups, a cause and two fan pages; I text often, I live on email and Blackberry, I message through myEmma and now I “tweet.” However, I don’t yet see the true value to the one-sided conversations I have on twitter. Most of my “twittersations” are one-sided because I’m rarely sitting at a desktop reviewing who’s saying what to whom throughout each day and responding. I think I’m burned out.
I’ve committed to one tweet a day for the State Fair and abhor the 10-tweet overload I receive from some of my “followers.” People are over-tweeting and it’s getting excessive. I don’t care to know that much about anyone or anything. Am I cynical? Maybe, but I’m practical. It’s hard to calculate the ROI from an oftentimes open-ended “relationship.” I’m not old by any means, but I’m old-fashioned. I still like interaction and reciprocation. All that said, I get excited when someone “retweets” one of my announcements or mentions me in a “#follow friday.” It’s like a glorious train wreck…you can’t stop looking and you are horrified at what you see.
Do we know who really reads our tweets? Who takes action on them? Who is capitalizing from them? I am beginning to wonder if there is any more substance to the platform than feeding my own ego. Today’s blog is completely rhetorical in nature, but I really do want the answers. I can’t help but want to put a practical value on each initiative and my time.
With my website for instance, I can track visitors to my site, see which pages they viewed, know how long they were on my site and tally each city and state …that is something I can sink my teeth into. You can’t judge a tweeter by his followers, that’s for sure. There are people out there with thousands of followers who think that actually means something…then I see the content of their messages and think, “will someone think I’m like these cheesy salespeople?” Quite honestly, I’ve seen so many of these “get rich quick” or “multi-level marketing” people on twitter its scary. Is it a smoke-screen that gives an appearance of importance, of wealth and of value? It seems that you can be anything or anybody you want when the conversation is controlled by you. You can tell people anything you want about your wonderful self…whether it’s true or not. Should this frighten us about the future and integrity of social media? Again, I just don’t know the answer.
It’s a double-edged sword…now that I have followers, I am committed to sending a message…but even if I tried to stop cold turkey (I say it as if it’s like an addiction, because it is) I can’t stop…my people are WAITING…as if news from the Tennessee State Fair could change the world. Seriously, would they notice if I stopped? I’d like to think there are people hanging on my every word, but chances are, they’re just hoping that I mention them in one of my next tweets. Yep, I’m twitterfried for sure! And speaking of fried: @tnstatefair Don’t miss the TN State Fair September 11-20; home of the Deep Fried Goo Goo Cluster! It’s relentless.
DL Okada says
Great to see this post as I just started Twitter three days ago and I’m already burnt out! It was my intention to really start focusing on using this social media wave to promote my business more creatively as well as an outlet for more personal interests. My impression of Twitter at this point is that of a feeding frenzy, a well-intended application that has been invaded by opportunists. Like any other recent communication innovation (e.g. email 5-10 years ago) it will be exploited by those who profit from the exploitation, but eventually more controls will be put in place, like the new celebrity Verification system they’ve just announced.
Returning to your first paragraph, it’s all about one’s purpose for Twitter, isn’t it? Are you connecting socially, or using it as a platform to convey information about a particular organization, i.e. advertising?
Thanks for your post, it gives me a lot to think about! And if I find myself in Tennessee around September I will make it a point of stopping by the Fair!
Casey Dawes says
I have to agree (well, not about Deep Fried Goo Goo Clusters, having never been to the Tennessee State Fair) about Twitter to some degree. I’m taking a step back from it a bit as I try to figure out how it fits into my whole marketing strategy.
I think Twitter is going to wind up being a research tool as much as anything. So if you wanted to find out about a propective company or individual, you could search Twitter (along with the rest of social media) to learn something about them.
Also, the really smart people in places like Google, are hard at work trying to figure out how to provide this information with some cohesiveness. I think Salesforce.com already has a tool that can do some of this. Google just announced the Google Wave Technology.
It’s a changing world!
Nancy Taipale says
THanks goodness someone said that out loud! I have only been tweeting for about one month now, but honestly, I have to say I am not keeping up with it!
Like the author, I too, have a blog, a website and two businesses to run. While I find it fascinating that someone wants to follow me, I would much rather they came to my site, read my blog and followed me there!
I was recently asked to cover an event by twittering the night away, rather than doing my usual “interview/fact gathering” mode and then turning that into an article for my site or the local media. I found myself heads down most of the evening, fingers racing over the keys, not communicating with my husband, nor the people I would normally talk with about the evening – rather, I was sitting and tweeting.
I am not old fashioned, nor do I scoff at the latest and greatest to keep us connected (I am a crackberry addict), but I just can’t see the benefit of this, except for research and professional referrals. I’m concerned when I see a table of people all face down to their keystrokes and not looking each other in the eye and having a real time conversation!
How does the saying go “don’t hate me because I’m……not tweeting as much”!
Chrysty Fortner says
Thank you both for reading, caring and commenting. It seems we’re in this together. Good perspective and info. I’ll check it out. Cheers. C.
Monica S. Flores says
I love Twitter and I think the value of it is in real-time people-related search.
I use the last few updates to “feed” to my website and blog — I think the Twitter postings are an excellent tool for increasing results on keyword search for your business or organization.
In terms of tracking, I’m using the cotweet.com tool, which allows me to track how many times someone actually clicks through to links I post.
I also “pre-schedule” tweets on my own keywords, and I follow up via e-mail with people I want to connect with.
The people who have contacted me through my keywords on Twitter have pitched me business ideas, story ideas, and connections with other potential partners, interview subjects, or general allies.
I don’t think you need to keep track of all the conversations that happen in your Twitterstream — just the ones that are interesting to you for the project or endeavor you’re working on.
Chrysty Fortner says
Thank you, once again, beautiful and intelligent women! Sounds like the key to NOT getting Twitterfried is to use it as a resource like any other business tool. For now, I’ll stick to my one tweet per day plan, then bump it up when the fair opens and use it as a broadcasting outlet…we’ll just see how it rolls!