If you tweet it, they will come
Still not sure what this Twitter thing is all about? You’re probably not alone (here’s a little summary on twitter and other social media sites I wrote earlier). Over the past five months Quincy businesses have increasingly become aware of Twitter and are now utlizing it as a means of communication as well as a way to promote their product as well as keeping you up to date with the latest and greatest information.
As I suspected there are a good number of businesses and individuals who open a Twitter account, and update it 2-3 times and then fade away into the twittersphere never to be heard from again. Regardless of that, there is still a considerable amount of people and businesses who are keeping it going. It’s been fun to watch as people start talking to each other, watching breaking news unfolding by all major local news sources that are now using Twitter. It’s instant gratification to any excitement that’s happening around town. The balance between individual and business is currently askew, with businesses representing more local accounts than individuals…what’s up with that?
I had a brief yet interesting conversation recently (via Twitter direct messages in fact), about the ratio of Business to Individual. I declared that I wanted to see more local restaurants using Twitter, it just seems so obvious to me what a great way Twitter is to promote daily specials to potential clientele. The question/statement in response was that they felt there were plenty of businesses already on Twitter, but not enough individuals. I thought about it a while, and it was a very good point. This particular individual’s Tweets are directed to the public, not so much to other businesses. I typically think about Twitter the other way as an individual looking for a particular business. When I put the shoe on the other foot I realize there really isn’t much of an appeal to a business to use Twitter if people looking for their services are not in the audience. Quite a conundrum I’d say.
After additional thought I came to a conclusion. Businesses DO outweigh individuals currently….however I feel that going forward it will benefit the development of a local user Twitter network. Facebook is king currently in Social Media in the area. The last year and a half has been a migratory period in Quincy’s social media usage. Not long ago Myspace was the rage, and there was alot of resistance to the select few people who swore by Facebook. Nobody wanted to participate in a mass exodus to Facebook, all the photos, the notes, the friend lists….it was thought to be too much of a hassle. Somewhere in that period of time, the masses began to drink the koolaid and the light bulb started to go off, Facebook was/is simply a better written more accessible means of social networking. The minimalistic appearance, and uniform look and structure create a consistency and ease of use. I can’t begin to tell you how many people that used to throw fits about a switch from Myspace to Facebook have recently submitted a friend request in Facebook. The paradigm has shifted.
What interests me the most about this mentioned shift is that Quincy was about a year behind the mainstream of heavy Facebook usage. The lag I mentioned earlier is the culprit in my opinion. What does that mean for Twitter? Twitter is just NOW seeing its amazing spike in larger cities, you see mentions of it in magazines, on TV, in large retail chain businesses. The Twitter revolution is in full swing. Meanwhile back on the ranch here in Quincy, I think everyone is so consumed by Facebook, and the lag being in full affect, we won’t see a mass exodus to Twitter for possible a year or so. I doubt people will ever abandon Facebook entirely, however I think They will additionally begin to use Twitter, especially given that Facebook and Twitter are so compatible with one another. What I am excited about is that though Quincy may not yet be a hotbed for Twitter, the groundwork has been established, businesses and a select pool of individuals have begun to develop its usage. These are the infant stages of the Twittersphere in Quincy. I hope that those on Twitter already can hang tight and be patient, I hope they can experiment with marketing strategies and really hash out a plan. The time of Twitter is coming. I estimate it will be a 6 months to a year until a huge shift occurs locally, however as the past has shown, Twitter’s growth has exponentially surpassed that of Facebook, and the time may come much sooner than I suspect. Until that time, I can only hope that businesses promote the fact that they are on Twitter, put it on your business card, put it on your website, put it in your email footers, help grow the network. The more the public sees and hears about this “Twitter thing” the sooner the network will continue to develop and blossom. Be patient, splash around in the kiddie pool, figure out what works for you. The days of Twitter still await us, ain’t technology grand?