“You’ve either got or you haven’t got … twitter”

“You’ve either got or you haven’t got … twitter”

There are two types of people in the world: those who get twitter and those who don’t. But it’s not genetic – at least I don’t think so.

Purchasing InsightI used to be one of the latter. It was 2008 and there was a buzz about twitter. I knew I didn’t get it so I decided to immerse myself and see if I’d get it then. I signed up and tweeted ‘I’m on a train’. And then I waited. I waited to see what would happen. I waited to see if I got it. But I didn’t get it.

After a few days, I began to get spam followers. I learned that if you follow people at random they follow you back so I tried to get lots of followers. But the futility of it all was depressing. I concluded at the time that twitter is just a lazy facebook – and I don’t get facebook either.

Why do I now ‘get’ twitter and where does twitter fit into the professional B2B world?

Purchase to pay and twitter

To those that think twitter is a free-for-all conversation about nothing where people share the most mundane parts of their life in 140 characters, you’re right. For those that think social media is a tool for celebrities to promote their fame – it is. For those that think it is a communication medium that allows business to get their message across to a specialist community – it is that too. You see social media is what you want it to be. Think of all the places you might interact with other people in the real world: a night club, a trade show, a church, a casino – very diverse places but they all attract like minded people and amongst like minded people is where you need to be if you have anything to sell or are looking to buy.

The way we digest information in 2011 is very different from the way we did only 10 years ago. From a marketing perspective social media is very powerful. It allows punchy messages to get to the people who are looking to hear them. But it is much more than marketing. In a fast moving world where we need to keep on our toes, used properly, twitter can be used to filter the important messages into bite sized chunks.

Whether it’s in the context of procurement and purchasing or sales and marketing, twitter is a useful and important business tool. Social media is the new information marketplace. Not getting on board is like attending the wrong trade shows. Don’t underestimate it’s power.

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