Twitter – First or Last Tweet?

25Jun09

As social media breaks through and the heat around Twitter eclipses news items on TV and in the press, here’s a thought and a copy of the cartoon that appeared in The New Yorker on 1st June.

Why are people embracing social media in their millions?
Because it is an enabler, it empowers people and let’s them feel able to engage and participate; it leaves them more in control.

What opportunity does social media represent to businesses?
Social media will become the primary vehicle for facilitating business relationships and establishing influential consumer dialogue and loyalty. Because the consumer will increasingly refuse to engage with the ‘old model’ that made them subservient to a brand and restricted. The shift is toward enabling consumer freedom.

Surely a Tweet (a Twitter message) is too brief to possibly be compelling?
Think of sound bites, key phrases from memorable speeches, lines from poetry and verse. 140 characters is ample to evoke, change perception and persuade. Partcularly as the audience expect a continuing dialogue – not a monologue.

Memorable lines such as

Winston Churchill:
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” (140 characters)

Martin Luther King:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (135 characters)

But be aware – people were already engaged by and trusting of such speakers. So what they had to say was listened to.

Perhaps the first question you should ask is whether your brand will be listened to, because of your previous actions and interactions with your audience? Rather than: Will people listen to what you have to say, because you think it cool to join the Twitter bandwagon?

New Yorker Cartoon

New Yorker Cartoon

The New Yorker

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