Twitter: Community Party Phone Line

Twitter is the online equivalent of the party phone line systems of the early to mid 20th century.

Twitter connects a community of like minded individuals together to share conversations and ideas and yes, eavesdroppers and interlopers can listen in.

Just like the community party phone line of yore, your twitter account will run out of useful capacity, i.e. how many people you can effectively follow and communicate with, and may have to be replaced.

Like the teleco’s of the last century they had to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate the needs of its clients, increase revenues and stave off competition.  Does twitter need to change its model? Is it the responsibility of the community or a combination of both?  Are we happy with the community party phone line

Giles Crouch of shares his views…..

Consumers and buyers increasingly want companies to engage them in Social Media. Our experience has shown (and others too have noted this) that when we’re relly angry at a service or product we tell our friends and colleagues and not always the company we’re angry at. We might call the company’s customer service, but is it perhaps that we don’t really feel we’re getting the resolution or response we want?

Humans are inherently social and as marketers know; when you’re unhappy with a product you’ll tell 11 people. When you’re happy you’ll tell 3 people. Odd how that works. When it comes to Social Media however, we have the potential to reach thousands or even millions, whether we’re happy or angry.

How can a company effectively respond to millions or even just thousands of people? The key factor here is the Power Law Curve. A-List bloggers are also victims of this curve. We’ve monitored Chris Brogan’s increasing popularity (rightly so) with Social Media blogging and his challenges of answering all the Twitter comments and emails. Gary Vaynerchuck has commented a number of times on his blog on attempting to handle the volume of comments and requests he receives. Both try very hard, but they face the same issues as a large or even small company – you can only respond to so many people at a time.

Once you have a large audience with many people commenting and discussing, you become a “Broadcaster” since you are now communicating one to many. The laws of one-to-few or one-to-one change radically. Yet your audience or customers “expect” a personal response. So far, no Social Media tools really exist to enable that to happen, and likely never will. Since well, we’re all different and truly one-to-one requires an intimacy time just wouldn’t permit.

Is this a failing of Social Media? Is it really “Social Media” when you can no longer have a one-to-few “conversation” anymore? Not necessarily, since others can and do, take on the conversation from the original author or company, becoming advocates or enablers. The nature of the conversation changes, but it remains “social” and within a media. Splitting hairs? Perhaps.

A company cannot be everything to everyone and cannot possibly respond personally to all customers. This is true of small companies as well (unless they have very few clients.) This is where PR pro’s can play a key role, and anyone who can better tailor their responses. We doubt consumers or fans will think about this now or in the future, but having this perspective and accepting this reality can help in creating better responses.

(Badger Author: Giles Crouch)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

~ by vwbora25 on 10/21/2008.

One Response to “Twitter: Community Party Phone Line”

  1. Enjoyed your article on Twitter/Party Phone Line analogy. Power Law curve explanation way above my head. Nonetheless, I do find that receiving personal @ responses occasionally from some of the “power twitterers/bloggers” assures my continually growing interest in what they have to say; including attending their seminars and purchasing their products. Of course, there’s always the understanding that no personal response is likely to their overload of @ replies. As a newbie internet marketer/student, it is exciting to be able to follow the thoughts and actions of my mentors and heroes. Twitter rocks!

    Alissa Fereday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: