Saturday, 7 April 2012

Twitter: My cents-worth observations

I had not paid much attention to Twitter until a few weeks back when I was first introduced to the whole new world of media tools and technologies and the possibilities they portend for public relations. My experience with new media has been basic. For the longest time, I have happily worked with the email and short messaging service for both business and social purposes. I tried working with facebook specifically to set up an alumni association for my former high school. That was a real hit.

Like so many people in the 40-something age-bracket who proudly belong to the telephone and television communication age, my first reaction to the new tools and to Twitter specifically, was: what good is another communication tool? why the 140 characters restriction? Where is the time to follow and keep the pace when the information floodgates open? Two weeks later after that first introduction to Twitter, I am still learning how to put the tool to full use and enjoying it. Meanwhile, here are my cents-worth observations with the tool thus far:

1. I value the knowledge sharing opportunity presented by Twitter. And because people ordinarily share from a self-interest point, I have benefited immensely from the many different views expressed by my colleagues with whom I have been studying the subject of PR and technology during the last six weeks. Learning in this way is both rich and challenging. To get real value from the learning, there are as many links to follow as there are information sources to cross-check for credibility.The self-expressive power given to each of us by the new media makes us all publishers and influencers in some way.

2. Twitter is a perfect medium for forming and sustaining groups regardless of their geographical boundaries.When motivated people share a common interest Twitter makes it easy to stay connected to the group.

3. I have found Twitter useful for sharing real-time updates whether from conferences, symposia, media events etc. Because I 'follow' Porter Novelli, for example, I was able to get real-time updates from the recently concluded 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival held in Austin, Texas.

4. Twitter can be effective for gathering real-time research data to generate PR campaign insights. In the Domino's Pizza Turnaround campaign that I came across in the internet recently, Domino's used the customers' feedback generated on Twitter to reinvent its brand successfully. It is also an effective tool for amplifying a campaign as was achieved by the Kotex online campaign (link was shared by a colleague). The campaign used Pinterest as the primary media for reaching inspirational women, but amplified it on Twitter, Facebook and on YouTube. The point is, on its own, Twitter cannot carry a campaign. It has to be embedded in the wider PR strategy.

5. Due to its interactive capability, Twitter, like other interactive media is a challenge for individuals and organisations because of its demands on personal and organisational time. Without a filtering mechanism, I have found that one requires a lot of time to sift through tonnes of content. An Agency would need a great content filtering mechanism to support Twitter's otherwise great uses.

1 comment:

  1. I see your point and I totally agree with you. In the beginning everyone feels that the last thing they want is to have to find and spent more time in another platform, to find more time to learn how it is working and at the end to prove that it wasn’t worth it…

    I often hear people telling that they don’t like Twitter. I love it. I like it more than facebook…since I can do all the things that I am doing in facebook in addition to some very important details. I can follow significant people with whom I cannot be a friend in facebook, hear their opinion, learn about new things that they do and I didn’t even know their existence. I can say that for me, it works better than Google search in some cases. If you ask me, if I had to choose I would pick Twitter!

    Here are some tools you can use in this platform: