Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

The Bloom is off the Twitter Rose…Finally

Posted on | June 19, 2009 | 3 Comments

twitter-logo-copyYou’re probably familiar with those great time-to-market-saturation charts that pop up in PowerPoint presentations every so often. It took, for example, a number of decades for the telephone to penetrate the majority of homes; fewer decades for the radio, fewer still for TVs, VCRs, and cell phones.

The same might be applied to social media platforms.Twitter’s torrid traffic numbers flattened out in May. As an aside, it was amusing to see coverage from social-media cheerleaders like TechCrunch, which reported that Twitter took “a breather” in May. TechCrunch could just have easily written that the traffic slowdown portends a massive reversal, as evidenced by things like the Harvard Business School study that shows lousy recidivism among Twitter sign-ups and most Tweets are posted by less than 10 percent of Twitter nation.

Jason Clark, of VIA Internet Studio, spoke truth to power on iMedia Connection this week: “Why Twitter Will Soon Become Obsolete:

Participating in the social web will be helpful for the success of businesses, but not vital. The online community is hyper-sensitive to marketing tactics, and as soon as a social media marketing tool becomes spammy, it immediately becomes irrelevant.

For many marketers and PR agencies, Twitter is Doctor WhizBang’s Marvelous Elixir of our times. Too many people are putting too much stock in it, and it will turn around to bite them in the, um….. nose. But, hey, you make your bed, you sleep in it.

All of which leads me to ask:

Does any company social media guru in the deep-technology space find Twitter really useful for your company, and if so how and why?

Like Clark, I like Twitter. I find it useful for my purposes, which are sharing blog posts and building community and finding people who can answer questions I have. But Corporate Twitter is a different dynamic. It can be a handy customer-service channel, but for marketing it’s not getting traction. Any anyone who’s betting her marketing or PR career on it, should hedge that bet soon.

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3 Responses to “The Bloom is off the Twitter Rose…Finally”

  1. Loring Wirbel
    June 19th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    It is no accident that these conclusions happened the same week that Jeff Pulver hosted the “140 Character” conference in NYC. Whatever the conclusion or topic at hand, Pulver is always wrong. And it’s about time the Twitter Wurlitzer was partially deflated.

  2. Lou Covey
    June 19th, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    To be successful in social media marketing it is crucial to understand one thing: Social media is conversational.
    If you all you do is push messages out to the market and take nothing back in, your marketing effort will fail and you will have wasted time and money. The reason Twitter and all other social media platforms hit a wall in growth is because there are too many people that don;t understand the paradigm shift.

  3. Kerri
    June 19th, 2009 @ 5:45 pm


    Look at @comcastcares and @dunkindonuts and @southwestair and tell me it’s not working. When you have folks like that in the market space, it’s valuable. My guess (hope) is, more companies will realize what these folks are doing RIGHT, and emulate. You don’t want to be the @usairways — but when you have the right circle (the people who are in your industry), you have to wonder what you did before Twitter. I don’t want to email all these people directly to see what they’re up to. I only met them at a conference, for example. But the value I get from their conversations is immeasurable.

    Also, note that Twitter’s popularity is in direct proportion to its prevalence in the media, and little else. Bet you’ll see a bump next month, after all the Iran mentions in June.

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