I never liked Twitter. I was very much against it for a very long time. I can look at my actual stats starting only in September of 09 and see literally a month where I only ‘tweeted’ 29 times. Now my stats for the first 23 days of January and I’ve tweeted over 1,000 times. That is half of my total tweets ever, just having passed 2,000 a couple days ago.
Yep, I’m addicted. My business has improved ten fold, my personal network has exploded, and I have actual metrics showing Twitter as my #1 referral source for traffic to my web site, and to this blog. Incredible!
Recently @AliciaSanera shared a video with us by Seth Godin, author of “The Purple Cow” (which is a must read). Seth talks about being remarkable, and here I am, a service provider and I struggle to see how talking about Captain Crunch cereal equates to what I do. I think my eureka moment caused me to jump about six feet out of my bubble bath when I finally grasped what Twitter was all about.
Twitter will never truly be mainstream. Twitter is for the innovators, the otaku, the early adopters, the purple cows. Sure there is noise, there is chaos and spam but the wonderful thing is you can just unfollow those sounds and move on. I look at my Twitter feed and I see trend setters, risk takers, explorers, and thank God, I see friends.
Imagine the value of the Social Media Club’s around the country, or of our own here in San Antonio? Imagine the value of a conversation between two innovators, between three, between a room full of trend setters and early adopters. That is what we get every single month at #BMPR, that is what we get every single day online tuned into this community.
If the true success story is the man who listens, who better to tune into than this community? If you could follow @NanPalmero around for a day, you’d probably be exposed to 15 of the next decades biggest innovations. Not so much by what he does, but by what he WANTS or what HURDLES he deals with, create something that is exciting to @NanPalmero and there will be a blog article, a community site and 417,000 eager tweeters watching. The attuned listener will thrive through social media. I get it.
I am just humbled, and grateful and in awe of the wisdom and innovation all around me. I am better because of Twitter, and while many people try to hop on the bandwagon to use those same old failed marketing techniques to spam the Twitterverse, it is the few and the wise and the innovators who are truly towing the line. I get that now too.
Twitter will never go mainstream. Celebrities will keep jumping on, and jumping back off, they want this for the wrong reasons, they are not the purple cow, and they’ll never get it.
Lastly, let me say a special thank you to @ColleenPence of Social Media Mentoring, were it not for her nudge and encouragement I would still be spinning my wheels with 29 tweets a month wondering what the big deal was.
I am blessed, and reminded every single day. Thank you.
We are at a sensitive time in the lifespan of Social Networking. Many marketers, myself included, are looking at Social Networks as new ways to reach people they could not reach before. With this access, this power, comes a responsibility not to damage the audience’s view of the internet, and their trust in social networks. Are we going too far? With the birth of paid conversations and bloggers essentially becoming reviewers-for-sale, there is potential for damage to the image of blogging as a form of expression. Would blogging survive readers wising up to all this paid content?
You’ve seen paid blogs. Writers are paid a few bucks to write about a product and create buzz and conversation for that product. This is one of the core purposes of blogs to begin with, consumers sharing their honest opinions about a product they have tried and found to be worth your dollar, or often not worth your dollar. These reviews in their infancy were taken as they were: real people posting to their livejournal, their myspaces, their wordpress blogs. Real people sharing their opinion and garnering a little audience, a little relevance, in the process.
Where we are now is web sites advertising “sponsored conversations”, bloggers paid to share with you their “love” of a product or service. Much like Search Engine Optimization has white and black hat Optimizers, I guess we’re getting to the point where a blogger’s integrity is just as for-sale. People who yesterday were just another cubicle worker are now being paid or sent free products or taken fancy places in order to garner their love of a product so they’ll write about it. It is becoming a much more effective advertisement than anything I could post via Google AdWords.
This would be absolutely fine if you sent a product to someone, and you let them decide, but what is happening is people are being paid to pretend to think a certain way. The more bloggers succumb to this temptation, and the more consumers catch on to this practice, the less the general public is going to trust blogging as a way of sharing information. You liked District 9? I bet someone paid you to say that! You’re enjoying your new Oreck vacuum? How much did they offer you to recommend them over a Hoover?
It is our responsibility in the marketing sector to not ask people to sacrifice their integrity when marketing our products. We should share review copies in order to garner real honest reviews, not pay someone to give a favorable review of a bad product. We’re the ones creating this content and when we cross that line we set in motion events that will lead to the internet returning to an age of pop up windows disguised as honest opinion pieces and banner ads that look a lot like your neighbor endorsing a food chain.
Will the public come to trust certain blog sites, while ceasing to follow those who are paid to review? Does your average blog reader follow a site, or stumble upon an article when googling about a product they are curious about? If bloggers were forced to put ADVERTISEMENT on paid blogs the way a magazine advertiser is required to label their adverts, would these paid conversations be as effective? Is blogging the new banner ad, or will readers wake up to the fact that you simply can’t trust everything you read?
Matthew Egan has been developing online content since 2001. Leading the strategy for Image Freedom projects, Matthew busts myths and develops revenue growing SEO campaigns for our clients. Read More >>