Thursday, 11th June 2009
Tim Buckley Owen
Yet more exhortation to business to take social networking seriously – as if more were needed – comes now in the form of a Thought Leadership Presentation from Reed Seminars, called What Executives Need to Know About Social Networking: understanding how Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites can be used as valuable tools for your company. The 60-minute CD seminar claims to help executives understand how they can and should capitalise on the phenomenon, discuss it effectively with other executives at their company and make sure they’re targeting the right opportunities (http://digbig.com/4yxcn – $250).
Offering answers to the 10 questions most frequently asked by executives, the ‘how to capitalise on social networking’ industry almost seems like a bandwagon riding on a bandwagon. We need to be moving beyond a situation where LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are uttered in the same breath.
Remarkably though, it’s the frivolously titled Twitter that seems to be the one making the running in business at the moment. So seriously is it taking its wider responsibilities that it has recently announced the rolling out of Verified Accounts in beta format to protect the identity of high profile Twitterers.
As Nancy Davis Kho explains (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e20564) it’s partly doing this to avoid the risk of litigation, and it doesn’t have the resources to launch the service on more than a small scale at present; Outsell’s Kate Worlock pointed out last March (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e17338) that Twitter hadn’t yet demonstrated any means of generating a revenue stream for its services. Its Verified Accounts service doesn’t cover businesses at present – yet the enthusiasm of business for this unlikely communication medium remains unabated.
The phenomenon has prompted the consultancy MarketingProfs to publish a case study collection called Twitter Success Stories: how 11 companies are achieving their marketing objectives, 140 characters at a time (http://digbig.com/4yxcp – $49 to non-members, free excerpt available). MarketingProfs’ survey of 200 Twitter business users shows 83% expecting their use to increase over the next six months, with Twitter ranking behind only blogs as the social media tool that delivers the most value.
So three questions for infopros: Are you up to speed on the best practicable business applications for Twitter? How long will it be before Twitter finds a way to monetise its services? And, in an age characterised by information overload, isn’t the principle that ‘if it can’t be said in 140 characters it isn’t worth saying’ actually quite a good thing?
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