Everyones talking about it – the old man of IT?

So there is this article at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/small-business/news/article.cfm?c_id=85&objectid=10599533
Patrick Kershaw works in IT, and apparently believes that twitter is no good for marketing. Whilst im sure hes a nice person, and great at his job, i wonder if hes based his opinions on trial at all?

Whilst anyone who’s been on twitter realizes there are a couple of profiles about that tend to fit most businesses & people online.

The Talker

There are the celebrities who just post to raise profile and, according to Patrick “personalise”, and generally more often than not show fans they are just  normal people, in fact often small minded and somewhat clueless. I have to admit however, some celebs have actually proven they are better than i originally thought! More often than not they post and never reply to anyone. They may have over 1,000,000 watchers, but only watch 90 or so people themselves, proving in effect that a) they dont care much for your opinion anyway, and b) its really impossible to keep up with that many people!

Spammers

These are the people that just mass follow people, and spam their link any way they can. Often bots, but occasionally some person has it in their head and heard that twitter was good for marketing and just spams all their followers till they get blocked.

Normal People

These are your every day people, some get along, some don’t. They come to socialize and generally “hang out”

Pets

These are usually done by “Normal People” who just thought it would be funny to have a pet stream. Depending on how ‘funny’ they are is how many followers.

Legitimate Businesses

Now this is where we come down to the biggie. According to Patrick this just doesn’t make money and bring in people other than a particular market. Im confused where he gets his information here because i travelled from Cambridge to Auckland just to visit @thewinevault – and i dont even drink, I have however recommended him to many who do. I happen to know hes extremely well liked because hes NOT actively trying to spam his website and business all the time, but takes the time to talk to people as a normal person.

Ive seen @rgoodchild procure a lot of business and interesting ideas for her own businesses and her website http://www.askrachel.co.nz , ive seen a group of 20-30 people turn up at @giapo ice cream parlour on queen street because they talked regularly on twitter (and often im seeing people tweet about his ice cream!).

Then there is of course the bigger players, @vodafonenz who almost caused mutiny when they handed his twitter account over to marketing the 3g guy.   I firmly believe he fixes more problems on twitter than the customer support currently, and in 1/8th of the time. He’s the first place i go for support when i have a problem, and one of the best things vodafone ever did for company image.

Until recently i had never heard of idealog magazine ( @idealogmag & yes i dont get out much!), however having spoken to many of their employees online i even bought a copy recently.

If i ever need diet advice the first person i go to is @RealNutrition ( http://www.realnutrients.co.nz/ ) who is not only friendly, but not overly pushy about marketing.

And not to forget @THEFALLSNZ ( http://www.thefalls.co.nz/ ) who is hosting the next ‘tweetup’ and can pretty much guaruntee a party of at least 30 people or more! http://ow.ly/qaGW

@coupdemain from http://www.coupdemainmagazine.com say “we would be nothing without twitter. twitter is pretty much THE reason we had like 164,386 hits on our site last week.” (link)

So to most people on twitter, who move with the times. Patrick seems to sound somewhat like that proverbial old man down the road who lives in the dark ages, refusing to accept new technology.

Quick update note: Im a system administrator by trade, i run servers (web/mail/etc).  I dont have my own company but do web hosting for friends, and friends of friends. I’ve had more website hosting requests in the last 6 months than i can keep up with , and had to automate things as if i was a proper company. This is business purely based on twitter, my prices are nothing fancy, about the same as any other decent hosting company, and to be fair because im so busy im often slow on the update to respond to any requests. Most people see my twitter stream and realize that im actually busy not ignoring them, and dont appear to have a problem (though im trying to automate things to save the lagg!)

  • Wow another nay-sayer who hasn't even used Twitter. It's easy to critise what you don't understand, and that columnist doesn't have a clue!

    More here:
    Don't whine about Twitter before you try it: http://thesalon.blogspot.com/2009/04/since-when

  • I think the biggest complaint is that everyone is doing it, and they dont want to do it purely because everyone else is on that band wagon.

  • Agreed. I also didn't understand Twitter until I started searching for people with a certain purpose – last year I found tons of tech-industry kiwis and even found my current job through it.

    I have to say it's been a godsend but I had to stop caring about what other people were doing on it and focus on my goal with it. Seems like some just give up – I just wish they'd keep their uninformed opinions to themselves. Seems like small to medium sized businesses benefit the most from Twitter. Just look at @giapo! Huge growth in business the past 30 days, and most of it due to Twitter, I'd wager.

    Good thoughts all.