Should manners and protocol apply to Twitter?
After all, it’s just a throw away micro-blog, right? With over 55 Million tweets sent out every day, how can one rude or unthinkable tweet be traceable or even matter? Would anyone be bothered by racist comments or foul language meant for friends only? How easy it is to forget that anyone can read anything that you publicly post at any time. On US election day, 6 NOV 2012, the amount of tweets peaked at 327,452 TPM (tweets per minute)… Wow.
How many Users??
As of SEPT 2012, Twitter boasted 500,250,000 registered users, with nearly 150,000 new users signing up every day. Can you even visualize how many people that is? The Staples Center where the Lakers play in Downtown Los Angeles can seat up to 20,000 people. I have been to several events at the Staples Center. The crowd is phenomenal and almost unimaginable, even as you sit there and look around. University of California State Fullerton had over 37,000 registered students this fall semester. That is nearly twice the size of the city where I lived in Indiana. Hard to comprehend. But that number is less than 0.01% of the number of Twitter users.
Lurkers and Searchers
The funny thing about Twitter? More people read and click than type and tweet. Users go to find information, to learn about products, to seek out real-time data, to search out details, to locate people, companies, and brands. THEY look for you. You don’t have to look for them. That is the beauty of Twitter; it is permission marketing at its best.
A few years ago, I created a Twitter column on Tweetdeck which captured any tweet that mentioned the word “recruiter.” I didn’t even hashtag it. Searched, located, and highlighted tweets rolled past, real-time. I was shocked by what was being posted about recruiters, the language that was used by those who were dealing with recruiters and the contempt and disgust that was sometimes spewed. I started re-tweeting what was said. I wanted recruiters to know that smarm was alive and well. I also wanted to show the power of Twitter and for what it could be used.
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Not a Swing Set, It’s more like a Slip-n-Slide
What you tweet can be tracked. Follow along on a Twitter chat every now and again and you’ll realize how important and impactful instant communication and collaboration can be. Ask the numerous individuals who have been fired for tweeting indiscriminately. Ask the restaurants that are using Twitter to monitor what customers like and dislike about their food and service. Ask the universities that want to know what their students are tweeting about. Big Brother has his hand in this cookie jar, too. And we have all heard of random Direct Messages that accidentally went public. Ahem, Anthony Weiner.
This isn’t a swing set on a playground. No longer the new kid on the social media block, Twitter is a powerful business tool that commands respect and deserves it.
*Twitter Statistics and Photo Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/