I had a conversation with a photographer about social media the other day. He owns his business and has just started dabbling into the world of social media. Our conversation centered around Twitter, and as we chatted about the ubiquitous entity, I couldn't help but notice there is a discernible pattern to people's perceptions and observations when discussing Twitter. Here are a few of the statements he made that I hear often.
"I've heard about it for a while now, but how do I know this isn't just a passing fad?"
I usually answer this in two parts. Firstly, social media has a massive audience. Between Twitter and Facebook alone, there are few demographics that are not engaging in social media properties. Secondly, lets think of Twitter's life cycle. Even if "the next big thing" comes around in a few years, do you really want to miss out on a captivated, traffic driving, rapidly burgeoning population to avoid a potential cost center?
" I understand it, but I don't really like the time investment at all- seems like a lot of work"
Yes, it will take a lot of work. But so do other forms of customer relations, marketing, and advertising. When was the last time you shut down your customer service department because they took too much time? Business strategies should be based on effectiveness, not tradition. There is an entire ecosystem of App's that can enable you to cut down on time.
"My industry doesn't fit with Twitter. Consumers don't care about what my company sells or is doing"
This is often true. Maybe you are B2B, or don't sell direct to consumers. Sometimes being an active participant isnt the best step for your company. But there are always opportunities to listen. Social media has given marketers an inside look at the global stream of opinion and sentiment. If people are unhappy with your company, it will end up on Twitter. Why not be there to respond?
I love talking about social media with people outside of the tech bubble- its refreshing to hear people's perspectives.