Tweet Tweet! But I Don’t Hear The Birds?

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I am not a social media junkie.But I want to be, I need to be.

I am currently studying public relations and every lecturer and tutor emphasises the need to ‘connect’ in this industry and advise us to utilise social media to the max. So thats what I am attempting to do.

Enrolment in this paper was the first step. The second step was creating a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account and well this blog. Oh, forgot to mention I already had a Facebook so that makes me a little less of a social nobody. 

Safe to say, social media was not my forte.

So now that I have distributed myself across a section of the social networking sphere I thought I’d dive in to Twitter, a simple network which I thought I could wrap my techno-inferior brain around.

And I did! I managed to follow, be followed, tweet, retweet, reply, hashtag and tag people. 

So am I missing a huge component of Twitter? Is that all you do? 

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For a company that is estimated to be worth around $9 billion and rising, I thought it was going to be a bit more magical. And since so many businesses see Twitter as a must for their company, I admit I am puzzled.

The one benefit I did find was with news items. Because a tweet is limited to a 140 characters, I was able to get basic information about all the top stories in a sentence or two. But as a consumer, I was not directed or influenced by Twitter to purchase any products or services so struggled to see the benefits it would have for businesses. 

Jason Hiner from Tech Republic disagrees and thinks that there are thousands of applications on Twitter that are of value to businesses and gives his top ten. This list of jargon such as TwInBox, CoTweet and Twuffer makes no sense to me and just confuses me further!

The benefits that I can see, are that tweets are real time. They do give personality to a brand and humanise a company but is that enough to generate profit?

Smaller organisations seem to agree with me and say that Twitter isn’t really beneficial to their business. Only 3% surveyed by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International  thought Twitter had the most potential for their business, as engagement with the audience is minimal and doesn’t generate discussion or profits.

I find Twitter to be an add on site. Adoption of another social media site to increase companies’ search engine findings, showcasing businesses value quantity not quality. The only other aspect that I see value for business is providing companies with a personalisation in promoting brand image – but not much else.

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Twitter for me is a platform that cannot stand alone. But then again are social media sites ever used alone?

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