To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the #slings and #arrows of outrageous fortune…
Speaking of fortune, most every Fortune 500 company in America has jumped into the social media fray over the past year, whether it’s a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, or both.
Facebook and Twitter have undoubtedly given companies new ways to get the message out beyond the traditional press release, corporate website, or a corporate blog for that matter. The challenge, of course, is not saying something — but actually saying something meaningful.
Whether it’s a short Facebook status update or a very short 140-character-limited Twitter post, knowing what to say and how to leverage this new medium has corporate executives scrambling to find value.
Corporate leaders are also wrestling with the individual vs. business nature of social media. Twitter by design is the short muttering of an individual, even when it’s in the name of an organization.
Since its inception, individuals have flocked to the Twitter platform to chronicle important events such as: “Just had a great bowl of chili,” or “Sitting on tarmac at JFK already hating person in 24B sitting next to me.” Not quite the makings of Pulitzer prize-winning material.
Then comes along a CEO or the SVP for Communication or a Business unit head, and a new Twitter account set up to drive corporate messaging, and it quickly goes from the personal mundane to corporate tripe.
Yet, with all its warts, I still think this new medium has something to offer and should be taken seriously.
Throughout our nation’s history, business enterprises have sought to leverage each new wave of communication innovation, including the printing press, radio, television, and the Internet. And at each juncture, trial and error has eventually given way to a valuable return on investment.
For example, as recently as ten years ago, many traditional brick and mortar stores struggled to find value in an online presence. And today, many of them are leveraging the Internet not simply as a supplement to their bottom lines, but as a huge driver for their bottom lines and highly cost-effective way to reach target customers, e.g., Walmart.com.
Ten years from today, the same will be said for the micro-blogs. Already, Twitter and Facebook have literally helped change the geopolitical landscape in countries such as Egypt, where these new forms of communication have played a leading role in spreading ideas, actions, and change.
I’m betting these technologies will also soon lead to innovative business practices and the next generation of successful enterprises and corporate leaders, who will find smart ways to leverage their potential.
That will be something worth tweeting about.