March 22, 2010

Is Twitter dead? It shouldn’t matter.

Focusing on a strategy for Twitter

Is Twitter dead?

Every once in a while you’ll see an article asking “Is Twitter Dead?” even suggesting that if you’ve been avoiding Twitter as part of a “non-strategy,” it may be paying off!

The problem with that perspective is that Twitter is not a strategy. It’s not even a tactic. It’s a channel!

The strategy (and ultimately your goal) is usually specific to your organization so it’s hard to discuss. But we can identify a general growing audience: people who create and consume information, wherever and whenever, with increased frequency, increased brevity and often with groups of people (as opposed to one other person).

Think about how different that is from something that predates even e-mail: writing letters.

Letters were typically infrequent, long, tied to a physical location and timetable, and were exchanged between two individuals. We’re at the exact opposite of that now with text messages, status updates and micro-blogging in general.

As marketers, we need to be comfortable in these mediums so we can reach these consumers. Strategies to accomplish this include:
* Increase the frequency of communication with your brand consumers
* Drastically decrease the length of each communication
* Use more conversational language
* Enable consumers to respond or participate in the conversation
* Enable consumers to do this wherever they choose (e-mail, web, mobile phone, etc.)

Now, three questions: how much of your audience wants to communicate this way, what channel do they want it on and what information are they interested in?

Answer those questions and you’re on your way to some solid tactics.

One of those tactics may involve Twitter — a good channel to address the strategies above. But if Twitter dies, it doesn’t mean you were wrong, it just means people are moving to a different micro-blogging channel, and you should find out what that is and get involved.

Watch out for marketers who don’t have a firm grasp on the difference between goals, strategies, tactics and channels. Misunderstanding these components of a marketing plan can lead you down the wrong path.