Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tweeting To The Threshold

Twitter makes me feel like Old Man Moses. 

Perhaps it's because I'm an entire generation too late to the social media game. If my little band of 600 followers and I went up against the thousands or ten of thousands following other people, I'm sure we'd find ourselves sufficiently spanked in record time. Thankfully, Twitter isn't a full-contact sport. I'd be too bruised to write a word.

I work in IT, so generally I have a pretty good handle on all things techie. As a writer, the word limit for tweets isn't such a challenge. I understand and use hash tags and retweet up the wazoo.

Yet at the end of the day, I still don't get it. Maybe it's my age. I simply cannot understand how Twitter can serve as any kind of viable marketing tool. It's the equivalent of converting the New York Times into multiple pages of classified ads. It's not an easy read for someone who grew up before texting.

As a graphic designer, I've created my share of marketing ads. Elements like imagery, fonts, layouts, color - they all play a key factor in drawing the eye and helping to sell the product. Perhaps what I find so baffling is that Twitter typically has none of these things. It's all rather bland. More classified ads than my eyes can follow, popping up on the screen every minute, all looking and saying pretty much the same thing - buy this, go here, read me, see me...

Tweets. It's an accurate name. Millions of little birds chirping at once. The racket is enough to drown out everything around them, even the sounds of their own voices.

Still, millions of people can't be wrong (right?)

Sounds like a little experiment is in order. I recently heard about Hootsuite. Not from Twitter. I'm still unable to follow anything on there - I'm just too old and slow. Hootsuite lets you schedule tweets so they'll kick in at pre-programmed times throughout the day or night. Sounds like a better alternative to my three tweets a day habit.

I have my tweets scheduled in, programmed to chirp out every two hours (which sounds spammy to me, but maybe that's just old school thinking). I'll be hopping on and retweeting everyone I can find over the next day or two. We'll see just how effective Twitter's hundred-ad-a-minute system really is as a marketing platform. If I can manage to sell one book - just one - in all that time, I'll completely change my opinion of Twitter's shotgun advertisement system.

If not, I'll be headed back to Goodreads, where honest to goodness human interaction with real people has already helped my bottom line and my social life. At least there, I don't have to worry about being overwhelmed by a constant barrage of text every second.

I swear, I wasn't always this slow. Thanks Twitter. Like the grey in my beard wasn't grating enough.