Twitter: announcement machine?

20 Sep

My Twitter account is @ChenTing1001

I never used Twitter before and using it for these few days is a brand new experience to me. However, besides checking the tweets from my followings, I did not tweet for a single time. I did not want to share my Twitter account to my friends. To be honest, just sharing my personal life within 140 characters without any professional perceptions seems meaningless to me.

I chose some news media, brands, advertising/marketing agencies and journalists to follow. Before using Twitter, I thought organizations may use it as a two-way communication channel between company and its users/audience and build relationships. Within few days of following, I found out that most companies (including media organizations) just use Twitter as one of their medium to share news, policies with an URL. It seems that to most of them, Twitter is as a quick announcement machine. To the followers, their tweets may become some kind of “headline organizer” which just provides instant information.

From my Twitter experience, I cannot say that I agree with Shepherd’s opinion toward the myth of the “end of geography.” Of course, most people care about things which are related to themselves. However, I do not think “interest” would be geographic limited. Take myself for example; I am interested in advertising and marketing. So I chose to follow many advertising agencies. In my following list, there are Ogilvy (which is an advertising agency by the way) Worldwide, Ogilvy London, Ogilvy New York. And I also have JWT Worldwide and JWT Atlanta. From those followings, I can catch the market information from all over the world. In this issue, geography is definitely meaningless to me.

The other thing I want to mention is that I think the function of Twitter is like Youtube’s. In which, people do not pursuing serious issues but things they think interesting or entertainment. Take the Iranian election and the death of Michael Jackson case Shepherd mentioned about for instance, I think people care about the news about Michael Jackson instead of Iran because the latter news is unfamiliar to most people. Tweet is an immediate feeling sharing. Most people would not do homework before they tweet.

By the way, I found out that Coca Cola’s Twitter is quite different than other company. The only thing I can see in its Twitter is its interaction with others. They did not try to make an announcement on Twitter. And the languages it uses are more than English! However, the interactions are most “we love you too” and “we are happy to follow you!”

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4 Responses to “Twitter: announcement machine?”

  1. aflaten September 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    I definitely think there is a certain level of pretentiousness that you have to commit yourself to when you sign up for Twitter. You have to really dig deep down and say, “Why, of course everyone wants to hear anything and everything I have to say! Why wouldn’t they?”

    You touched on a point that I wrote about as well, which is the whole “glorified RSS feed” idea of Twitter. I do feel like the primary use of Twitter by most companies and professionals is simply that of the “headline organizer,” as you stated. I found your mention of how Coca-Cola uses Twitter to be really interesting, since I have never read their tweets. I briefly went to go take a look, and their feed looks exactly like your average person’s from the street… with 123,000 followers.

    It’s a novel approach and I wonder how effective it is. Like if anyone goes down the soft drink aisle at Publix and says, “Well, Coke gave me a shout-out on Twitter today while Pepsi totally snubbed me. Time to load up on some Coke!”

  2. Carol September 24, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    You mentioned about the “end of geography” happens when people just go for their interest. I kind of agree that most people will follow the tweets that they are interested in without considering which culture/places/country the tweets come from. However, I think the language could become a barrier for people to follow the thing they are interested in. For example, if I want to follow a French celebrity that I am interested in, I can only follow the tweets that is in English or Mandarin. I will not be able to understand the information in French. Therefore, I think the geographic boundaries can still be found on internet everywhere.

  3. Mindy McAdams September 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    “Most people would not do homework before they tweet.” Ha ha!! Good one!

    I think the brands on Twitter are very different from the media organizations and celebrities. You chose a very interesting and well-focused set to follow. I think maybe AdAge will be one of the more interesting sources for you.

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