twitter, wisdom, crowds, Toby Elwin, blog

High 5, the wisdom of Twitter crowds

Twitter, social media, wisdom of crowds, Toby Elwin

Now that I am unanimous

I have not heard a more savaged social media tool than the negative comments I hear about Twitter.

What do I hear time and again about Twitter? “I don’t want to hear that someone is waiting in line for coffee. I don’t care”. My response: if you have boring friends, you have boring conversations.

Twitter is opt-in on who follow and who can follow you, just as LinkedIn and Facebook, are also opt-in. You choose who to follow and receive Tweets from, you don’t have to follow anyone’s Tweets. Who you associate with in your social media circle may be why you feel Twitter is a waste of time.

There is also a belief in the neophyte Twitter and social media world that the higher the quantity of followers you have correlates to you as an online maven or social media success.

It is both shallow and incorrect to believe the amount of followers or the size of your network is a measure of success.

Your reputation and your organization’s reputation is built on the quality of your network: customers, suppliers, rivals, and peers. It is the power of your network, not the size. Communication in the age of saturation is quality, not quantity.

The Power of Sum

I believe Twitter, at this moment, is the most powerful social networking tool for you and your organization. You have 140 characters to make a valuable statement, introduce a valuable idea, move a conversation along, recommend a video, highlight a comment in a book or article.

If you can’t say it in 140 characters, then don’t believe you can in a brochure, a presentation, or any other conversation?

I look at Twitter as a radio station: My Twitter feed is on receive mode 24 hours a day, just like a radio station broadcasts 24 hours a day. I don’t read my Twitter feed 24 hours a day, but like a radio station when I tune in I want to hear a cool new song the DJ recommends or a song I already like. If I tune in to a radio station and never hear a song I like, I don’t go back. Similarly, when I check in on my Twitter feed I want to see something valuable within a quick scan.

If you don’t like the results, prune your network, here are other options:

  1. Use Twitter’s search feature to build an interesting feed of challenging sources and check in on your feed for a quick update on topics;
  2. Comment, forward, and re-Tweet those of interest;
  3. Make your Tweets interactive, not just consumable; like great music, turn others onto your discovery and you become a source;
  4. Create lists, another great Twitter tool is the list option, sort your feed into topics and then scan for topical ideas. What a great way to categorize important thoughts and trends, within 140 characters;
  5. Post a question and watch the power of your network, alternatively discover the fizzle of your network when no one cares to respond

Twitter is a great option to keep people aware of your thoughts, what you have to say, and what your value is. It is not about how much, it is about how valued: Casio sells watches, Rolex sells watches.

Both tell time.

The profit per Casio watch is far less than the profit for each Rolex. Casio relies on lower grade, never confused with low quality, but a large number of sales to cumulatively drive revenue and profit. Rolex relies on high-grade and high per watch profits to meet their target.

Both Casio and Rolex deliver value to their user, but use a value model from two ends of the spectrum.

Save it for a Tweet

Does your social media metric rely on a motley mass with low quality or smaller amount with high quality?

How do you invest in your social media and what do you bring to their lives?

If you don’t understand Twitter, perhaps you don’t understand social media marketing. Don’t act like the old guard who wish Twitter and social media would go away so they can get back to selling and pushing and controlled content.

You won’t outlive the dinosaur.

  • Check in on my business and talent development Twitter page @TobyElwin
  • Look for the new Massachusetts Bay Organization Development Learning Group Twitter page @MassBayODLG and find out more about what the group has to offer through their LinkedIn Group page
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