Mainstream Twitter Does Not Equal Marketing Panacea

February 13th, 2009

Look, I like Twitter. I am logged into Twitter right now. I love that it is mobile. I love that it is fast, free and open to freedom of expression. I love that it is open API and there are already hundreds, if not thousands, of supplementary Twitter tools. I love that it lets you be super snarky. What I don’t like about Twitter is how important everyone seems to think it is.

The Fail Whale

In these rough economic times, it is easy for marketers to put their faith in quick rising new tools (Twitter is currently the fastest growing social media tool according to Wired). But the truth is that it is no magic bullet. The truth is that great customer service, a good product offering and interesting content will lead to good word of mouth recognition. There are some great tools in the social space to spread your content. But unless you have good content based on strategic planning, you will not succeed with any of the social tools. A big part of that strategic planning is knowing your audience and addressing their relevant concerns online, providing them a wanted service.

But, you say there are some companies out there who have been very successful with their Twitter accounts:
Dunkin Donut
, Dell, Comcast… Yes, but this is because they have embraced the tool and used it in a natural way. And all three use Twitter as one small part of the marketing presence or for one small part of their business. The big reason for their success is that they used Twitter to address an existing customer need/concern.

It seems like everyday there is another article published online feeding the belief that Twitter is the new cure all. Below are two very interesting articles on the pervasiveness of Twitter. Please use them for good, not as an excuse to sell the cure-all.

Twitter First Real Threat to Google

11% of Americans Read or Post Status Updates


  1. Ben says:

    Interesting…I have been hearing a lot of hype around twitter. I am glad to see someone else sees it as an additional marketing tool not something that replaces anything.

    What are your thoughts on the single best use for twitter?

  2. Bill Flavell says:

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for the comment man. I would have to say that there are two really good uses that I have seen with it so far.

    1. Instant customer service (a la @comcastcares)
    2. A way to spread localized deals or daily offers (a la @punchpizza)

    Can’t wait for the race. See you soon.


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