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Thursday, 22 October 2015 07:50

FiG Marketing Thought: To Tweet or Not to Tweet

"To tweet or not to tweet... that 'tis the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind To suffer the slings and arrows of marketers' fortune Or to take arms against the seas of troubles."

Twitter has suffered some slings and arrows this month. They have been declared dead yet again.

Maybe not dead yet, but certainly dying. Again. This month the company laid off about 8% of their workforce and hired a Google executive, Omid Kordestani as their Chairman. Twitter stated these layoffs were necessary for innovation and to keep up with the fast pace of the industry. On one hand, this statement is sugar coating. On the other, I see the optimism in taking steps to improve their brand.

I had a wonderful professor who taught me to watch for trends in companies that are growing too much. Growth can be wonderful, but too much of it can indicate trouble. Umair Haque authored an essay titled, "Why Twitter's Dying (And What You Can Learn From It). Haque noted that upon its inception, Twitter was glorified and growing. It was supposed to be a place where people could have a conversation. However, it has turned into a place where people criticize, bully, and gossip. Haque explains, "Twitter could have been a town square. But now it's more like a drunken, heaving mosh pit." Trolls flood the marketplace and misinformation spreads like wildfire.

Is Twitter really to blame? No. The social network does not control the content, only the platform in which people speak. Regardless of who is to blame, Twitter is feeling the repercussions of the disrupted marketplace and intense competition. That doesn't mean to say that Twitter doesn't have a positive side and can't bounce back.

The social media platform is a diverse epicenter. Haque's view was very US-centric. Twitter serves a wide range of audiences, across the globe. NPR reported that Twitter's monthly users grew by 2 million from March to June 2015. Plus, its reach creates opportunity. Take the Texas schoolboy who was accused of bringing a bomb to school, even though it was a clock. After his story had gone viral, he was invited to the White House to meet President Obama. A wonderful opportunity that may not have happened otherwise.

Twitter's New Features and Benefits

Social justice and the instant gratification of information gathering are just a couple of reasons why Twitter is still alive. Along with the organization restructuring, the social media site has recently come out with new features.

Moments - Instead of following accounts, a user can now follow moments to get the story, stats, or scores delivered right to their timeline. Moments gathers the best pictures and information for the user.

Direct Messages - Twitter removed the 140 character limit from direct messages. While this does not impact public tweets, it does open another line of communication for the user and keep him and her engaged on the site/app instead of using another medium.

Finally back to our original question, to tweet or not tweet? This marketer will take arms against the seas of troubles for Twitter and keep tweeting. The spike in users and the flow of information is enough encouragement for everyone to keep on tweeting.

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