Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tweet This

I just read this brief article that suggests Twits are "overTweeting" and it got me thinking: do people really Tweet instead of communicating with those they are with in person?

Tweeting does seem to distract me from living in the moment. I may have spent more time in front of my computer screen than in front of the television when I watched the Superbowl and the Oscars. I was Tweeting and reading Tweets. I watched these shows looking for things to Tweet about and wondering what others would Tweet. The constant feed of live Oscar and Superbowl Tweets in my feed let me know others were doing the same. And that's just the people I was following.

So, I can see how Twitter distracts people, but I'm not sure that it's always unhealthy behaviour. It was therapeutic to see clever Tweets about the terrible Black Eyed Peas performance. It made me feel less alone: others hated it too. Please don't think I seek comfort from Twits. I do have friends. I let my family know how I felt too. I always do.

I don't substitute Tweeting for real conversation. And I don't consider Tweets, even @cartooninperson Tweets, real conversation because they are often so one sided. A conversation never lasts for more than a few Tweets and it shouldn't. Who wants to look at your feed if it's loaded with your Tweets to other people that probably only make sense to the people you're directing your Tweet to? I only @ message people if the message is something that will make sense to others, something that could be Retweeted because it's clever and others know what I mean.

I wonder if companies using Twitter for online public relations can promote their company effectively while Tweeting effectively. To do this effectively, I think, companies would have to also Tweet about other things besides their company to really connect with people. Check out Starbucks' Twitter. The company @ Tweets to other Twits, but the Starbucks only seems to be @ Tweeting to respond to customer service type questions. I want to know why anyone would want to ask customer service questions through Twitter. I can see Tweeting to Starbucks about how amazing their marble hot chocolate is, though. Delicious!

Now maybe Starbucks will Tweet this blog entry. I'm going to @Starbucks them to find out. That would be amazing, as they have over a million followers!

Do you think Twitter is an effective tool for companies to reach their fans? Which, if any, companies do you follow on Twitter and why?


  1. Hmmm. I don't tweet so I do not fully understand the addiction. I can't even say my name in 144 characters or less...

    The thing is, I can see how that sort of thing CAN become a problem. I've been in a few important life situaitons where I'm caught up in trying to figure how this will look in a blog.

    ... And I only blog about once a week. With tweets, every moment is a potential one-liner. I suppose some folks can get thrown off course by whatever is handy.

    I'll think about this some more.

  2. I run the twitter with my boyfriend's company and I'm always looking to engage others in conversation or look to tweet about things other than the company, just to flesh out our profile. It's work!

    I agree with you that Twitter isn't replacing real conversations, but it does make it a lot easier to connect with just about anyone directly.

  3. Does Stephen Colbert count as a company? No? Then only Criterion Films, because I wanted to enter a giveaway. Now that I follow them it's kind of interesting though because they talk of movies I've never heard of.

  4. An interesting post, Homebody! I don't tweet, but if I did, I don't think I'd follow 'company' tweets. Companies/corporations are already too much in my face. Most so-called news is corporate controlled advertising disguised as news. If I want to hear 'tweets', I go out into the backyard, and listen to the birds...now that is tweeting!

    Oh, yes, if I was to follow a company tweet, I, like one here has already commented, would follow Criterion.

  5. I only follow a few companies. When I first started Twitter, I tweeted quite often over the day. Now...not so much. It's just too easy to get caught up in Twitter and waste the day away, for me, anyway. I'm trying to get in the habit of clicking the tweet button for posts that are interesting. Usually, I forget.

  6. I don’t think I understand the whole twitter thing, so I generally avoid it. I don’t follow any companies as far as I know.

  7. While not religious, I follow a small Belgian brewer religiously simply because their usually-linked content is 90% interesting (to me). I've no need to "speak" to them, but I am inclined to buy their beer.

  8. Katy - I Tweet, but I don't understand the addiction either! I guess it is easy to overTweet or want to Tweet about everything. Thanks for your comment! It's nice to see you again!

    theTsaritsa - Oh, how fun! Yes, I think it's important for companies to Tweet about things other than their company to gain respect and interest and more followers. It definitely is work, but it's really fun. You get to meet great people, have great conversations and learn lots! Thanks!

    Christopher - Nah, Colbert doesn't count! Following a production company sounds cool! Thanks.

    Myth - Great point. Companies and advertising are already so "in your face," so they'd have to do something really great for me to follow them!

    Helen - A few seems wise. It is SO easy to Tweet the day away! Thanks.

    Jane - Yeah, I didn't start using Twitter until I "got it." Thanks!

    Anonymous - You sound like a great customer! Thanks!