Social Media Strategy

The 60% of 'Non-Pointless Babble' on Twitter

August 21, 2009

BabbleA recent study conducted by Pear Analytics raises some interesting questions on the opportunities for brands and marketers on Twitter.  Of course, many of the subsequent articles have focused on the 40% of ‘Pointless babble’ that was the highest scoring answer.  Let’s be honest – it would appear on the surface that the survey selections were skewed to show Twitter as an unfavorable medium for marketing with ‘Pointless babble’ being a choice in the survey.  Wouldn’t a more neutral choice such as ‘General chatter’ or something that is less biased have been more appropriate?

Either way, that still leaves the other 60% of tweets that have potential value for marketers.  For example, the second highest scoring selection was ‘Conversational’ with 37%.  If we are doing our jobs as marketers in social media, isn’t this really the sweet spot we should be focusing on?  Throw in the ‘Pass along value’ and ‘News’ tweets, and you have what is arguably a substantial volume of activity that has potential to provide value to marketers and consumers.  I think the glass if half full here.  Babble or no babble, there is real opportunity for those who choose to tune in and participate.

If another report came out tomorrow that concluded that a low percentage of people used TV for ‘Watching dumb commercials’, should we call into question the effectiveness of advertising on TV?  Of course not. Perhaps this is just a case of people not understanding how to filter out the noise and benefit from the dialogue on Twitter.  Email spam is a big issue too, but most people haven’t stopped using email to communicate.  There is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water here.  We can choose to ignore the babble and focus on the real value that lies in the conversation.

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