Social Media – WTF is Twitter and Why Should I Care?

Amazing what you find behind the metaphorical sofa of the internet. Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of social media, I liked this presentation, given in April this year at the Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media Event at The Barbican.

But, I’m afraid, it still doesn’t convince me that there’s much of a case for Tweeting Teams – which, surprisingly (for me anyway) a lot of companies, brands and organisations seem to think are a good use of time, effort and money – or for a focus on social media as a major platform of your communications/marketing strategy.

I’m going to re-visit this topic (Here! On the Blog That Nobody Reads!) – mostly because I can (that’s the beauty of blogging, no-one tells you to shut up – well, not yet, anyway) – but I’ll leave you with this thought. Why is it, when you get involved in any discussion about social media and how it can be ‘harnessed’ (which is the point at which, normally, I try and find the bar) you only ever hear (I am generalising, obviously) three names mentioned – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?

I can only think of two reasons. One, the lack of general knowledge out there about social media is frightening and/or two, none of the other social media are of any worth (Bebo, Myspace, Audioboo, Ipadio, Brightkite, Maycontain etc etc). So, either we’re running before we can walk, or/and there’s nowhere for us to run to.

Enjoy the presentation.

Twitter for beginners presentation

2 thoughts on “Social Media – WTF is Twitter and Why Should I Care?

  1. Valid points. I think there are a number of reasons why those three are mentioned over and above the others. Size of PR budget helps, but one reason is that they are household names, because their penetration is so wide. They all have hundreds of millions of users, and the bulk of those users are consumers. Consumer applications are always going to get more press attention than business or tech ones

    However, just because they have such widespread use, that doesnt mean that they are necessarily useful to a corporate communicator. Certainly, other applications dont get the same amount of ink, but dont write them off yet. Yammer, a Twitteresque micro-blogging tool used only for internal comms, for instance, is used very effectively by the BBC. They also used Sharepoint (another internal comms social media application) to great effect in sharing information across global news teams during the last US elections. We wrote an article about both of those ( Likewise check out the way that Scania communicates with the media through its Social Media Newsroom ( It’s brilliant, using blogs, RSS feeds, YouTube and Flickr to great effect.

    Some of the other applications you mention are also very consumer oriented – but mainly suffer because they should have spent a bit more time in development. I think Audioboo will take off massively but its still too obviously in beta.

    • Thanks for this – agreed, the Big Three get mentioned because they are – as you rightly say – household names and because they have the penetration. I am still concerned, however, that people’s casual use of them as examples whenever social media is mentioned ia symptomatic of an underlying malaise – the vast majority are simply not interested in social media and it is enough, for them, to have as uperficial knowledge. As we know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and in this case it’s dangerous for the future and for the development of what could, and I stress could (as I’m still highly sceptical), be, at some point in time, a useful addition to the communicator’s toolkit.

      And thanks also for the references to Yammer and Sharepoint – I’d not considered social media and internal comms in isolation before, and it’s a big topic.

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