Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

Is Twitter a strategy, a tactic or the next Second Life?

I was witness to a phenomenal Hoola-hoop performance at a middle school talent show.  The incredible sixth grader did a routine including putting on a soccer uniform, complete with shin guards, doing some fancy footwork with the soccer ball and balancing more than a dozen hoola-hoops to the tune of “You’ve got to move it, move it” from the Madagascar sound-track.

Remember the hoola-hoop?  I do and it was a global fad before I was even born.  Like all fads it was eventually replaced by a new one.  But unlike some fads it had a second life. More than 50 years later its still around.

Second Life?  Remember than phenom?  Cover of Business Week!  This was going to change everything.  Virtual meetings, virtual collaboration, virtual storefronts, virtual banking. There was a land rush from Adidas, Wells Fargo, Wired Magazine, Reuters, H&R Block, Reebok, Dell, IBM, Sony/BMG and on and on and on.

 

The story that launched Second Life

The story that launched Second Life

Forrester recently declared Second Life as virtually abandoned by major corporations with the possible exception of IBM.  Oh, its still around.  Just not quite the way anyone expected.

Which brings us to Twitter.  Is twitter the next Hoola Hoop?  A big fad that will fade away?  A big difference is that the Hoola Hoop was profitable right from the start.  And the company created the Frisbee as a follow-up.  Wham-o!

As for Twitter, the business plan is still a work in progress.

So next on the list?  iPhone Apps anyone?

The lesson for marketers is that these are tactics, not strategies.  Maybe good for some short-term PR.  You need a strategic framework to evaluate the new tactics, to see which make sense and which don’t.  

And the lesson for start-ups is that you need a business plan.

Will tweet for food…

In case you missed it, Pizza Hut has announced a nationwide search for a Twitter summer intern.

Wonderful move to get PR for a summer internship. And it sounds like a very cool job.

On the other hand, it worries me a bit that Pizza Hut is relying on an intern — with all due respect to the intern — for something as important as being a public spokesperson for the brand. Twitter is still a nascent medium, perhaps nothing more than a short term fad.  But for the short term it is having an influence over other conversations.

This might also be the beginning of a new trend.  Out of work actors might begin tweeting for their favorite restaurants instead of waiting on tables.  A whole barter system of tweets for sweets could grow up.  I am thinking of getting my cat to do some tweets for me but she’s rather curl up on my freshly laundered clothes and fall asleep.

Beneath all of this is the larger question of how do companies adapt to and adopt changes in media without wasting money and without losing opportunities.   Trial and error may have a lot to teach us as we grope our way forward into the brand new world of multiplatform media with odd-ball names.


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