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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


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If a tweet falls in a forest…

Mary Schmidt

Dec 20, 2010

NYT: 8 Percent of American Internet Users Go to Twitter, Report Says

Now, here’s how survey results gets skewed and abused,  First, the article says:

A new study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center found that 8 percent of Americans who are active on the Internet are enthusiastic users of the social networking service Twitter.


The results of the study found that the 8 percent of Americans who regularly use Twitter are primarily  “young adults, minorities, and those who live in cities.”

Taken out of context, the second sentence makes Twitter look a lot more popular than it actually is, which could really mess with someone’s brand spankin’ new, new wave marketing plan.

If  I were selling to young adults, minorities or city folks, I’d certainly consider Twitter as a marketing tool.  However, I’d also look at my customer base, the type of product I’m selling, the locations in which I’m selling, and how I want to provide customer support.

Further, good tweets take time and effort (as with any other type of communications, the shorter, the harder). That’s why many people - including Sarah Palin (and John McCain ?!)  - pay someone to tweet and Facebook for them.  (If only Ashton and Demi would do the same, maybe we’d have less photos of her butt on the Web.  But I digress…:)  Such outsourcing negates the whole high-touch, personal aspect of social media.  If customers know your approachable, honest CEO is actually a paid ghost writer, it kills your credibility.

So, the survey info is certainly good to have…but…

Now, I’m going to go ponder - once again - how Demi is aging backward while I continue to age forward. (At one time, she was older than me…)

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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