Some people really struggle with the concept of Twitter.
It does amaze me the defensive stance a simple tool that only allows the use of 140 characters at a time can evoke.
Historically it is not unique.
The written word is such a powerful medium that governments of all types have tried to destroy certain works in fear of them inciting unwanted behaviour.
In fact “Book Burning” dates back as far as the 3rd Century BC in China, but have been seen in the US as recent as the 1950’s with the FDA’s order to burn several books by William Reich.
There are many more notable incidents of “Book Burning” through history.
Can’t Tweet Won’t Tweet
So I was not surprised when, during the Q&A session of a lecture I gave this week at the Anglia Ruskin University; I got read an email from a leading marketing company in the UK, sent to the University, denouncing the effectiveness of Social Media, more specifically Twitter.
The basic idea was that they did not use Twitter, and were proud of that fact; they saw it as an ineffective tool for business and an excuse for other marketing companies to sell expensive training courses. Instead, they advocated the more traditional route, of Pay Per Click, Email Marketing and Banners.
Denounce the Heretic
From a traditional online perspective the way marketing is moving towards Social Media must feel quite scary. Whilst methods such as Pay Per Click are nowhere near defunct, companies are starting to divert online budget to the social space. And if your marketing company has no expertise in Social Media, your business model is under threat. Therefore “denunciation of the heretic” is your only course of defence.
Pay Per Tweet
Worse still are those marketing companies that try to offer the “£1 a Tweet” option. There are always circumstances where managing a Social Media campaign means sending messages on behalf of a client. But any decent marketing company should realise that the real long term opportunity is in helping their clients set Social Strategy as part of their overall business strategy. Providing them help with Social Media monitoring and training in using the various platforms to get there. And if you don’t have the knowledge to offer Social Media as a service, self-educate or hire someone that does.
Don’t Fear the Tweeter
So my answer to the email? Use Twitter or don’t use Twitter, it’s a business choice. Just be aware that your competition will be, as will customers and potential customers. In the Social Space the conversation continues with or without you. If you are part of it you can influence it, if you’re not you can’t.
How do you deal with change in your business, do you “Burn Books” or self-educate?