I’ve succumbed to the call of the “tweet.” In the Web 2.0 checklist of the best, I can add Twitter to the short list with the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Yammer. And although the novelty still lingers, the whole thing seems like a lot of work. But is this constant connectivity beneficial in the business world?
Many execs are unsure about Twitter (what are the business benefits? Is it too time-consuming? Is it actually effective?). Further, with ROI more important than ever, the inability to measure Twitter’s influence and success is unsettling. Without a way to track ROI, how can anyone justify spending time throwing around status updates?
From a companywide perspective, the thought of being in constant contact with your peers and colleagues is attractive – but only if everyone is using it. If it’s just you and your five closest work buds in a Yammer social circle, where’s the business value in that? Shouldn’t this be about connecting with people you wouldn’t normally get the chance to share ideas with? But if the entire company connects and shares insight and ideas – well, then we may be on to something.
The Twitter turn-on for me was the spider-web effect. If I can follow a certain number of knowledgeable, credible people in my field (and get them to follow me) I’m exposed to their followers, possibly their followers’ followers and so on. So now, rather than just asking my team of co-workers if they know of a CIO with a PMO I can tap for article insight, I can tweet about it. With the right followers (and a little luck), I can find a CIO directly who wants to talk about PMOs. I can find out what people are saying about it, test the waters for interest levels, make connections – all in 140 characters or less. But, again, that’s with the right followers, and finding them can be tricky.
For now, I’m embarking on a Twitter trial (a Twial?) to weigh the business benefits. I invite you to follow me and share your thoughts on Twitter (or below): a beneficial trend?