Later today in my area we’re having a tweetup at a local hotel. This is different than the norm in that the hotel is helping to sponsor the event, whereas normally someone decides where to meet and we just show up there.


by Jonathan Powell

The link above will take you to the post I wrote about the upcoming event. I had it show up yesterday early afternoon, since it’s not my event, and of course it gave me something to write about. I waited a couple of hours to see if it would take, then I asked some people specifically if they were going.

To my surprise, every person I asked about it said they didn’t know anything about the event. When I asked if they’d seen the link to the post I wrote about it, they said no and that they each get so many messages that it’s hard to keep up. This also surprised me since it had only been out a couple of hours; what’s going on here.

First I stated that particular thing about my post. Then I mentioned that the news had been on Twitter for at least 3 weeks or so, and that it’s surprising they hadn’t seen it from anyone else. They countered saying maybe they didn’t follow the same people I do, but I knew that to be a crock. Even one of the top social media people from Syracuse University had retweeted the event; I know few people locally that I follow that don’t follow her.

It got me thinking about a lament I’ve written on not being well known where you live. I’ve been attributing a lot of it to the general lack of interest it seems I get from local people via Twitter and how I’d love to be seen more prominently locally, which Twitter is something that affords us the opportunity to do. However, some of the people who were helping to promote this thing are big on social media locally, yet it seems that even their tweets were missed whenever someone was talking about the pending tweetup.

I’ve talked about some people who have high Twitter numbers and wondered whether those numbers really meant anything or not. Of course I tend to think they don’t because I visit many of these people when supposedly they’re starting to follow me and I don’t see many of them engaging with anyone else. I’m always thinking “who wants to continually read links and the like from all these people they don’t know”?

I think the answer is “no one”. When all is said and done, Twitter can be a great medium for reaching out to the masses, but the masses have to be paying attention at the time one puts something out there. For instance, when I wrote my post about how Finish Line treated me as a customer and an affiliate, I really expected it was something that local Twitter folks would jump on to a degree; after all, we have a couple of those stores locally, kind of prominent. It got maybe two local people who said anything, and mostly people who weren’t from here reposting it. I was thinking it was just my voice at the time that people were ignoring, but it seems to be prevalent for almost everyone’s voice.

In an odd way, that kind of points out one of the major failings of social media. Yes, statistics prove that companies that start to employ some social media aspects grow in the number of prospects they can reach, but social media can’t seal the deal, and it can’t help if no one is listening. Even with 50,000 people following, if no one is specifically looking out for you then your message is falling on mainly deaf ears. That’s disconcerting to say the least.

How do we cut through some of the Twitter blather to be seen and heard there? What makes the few people that may or may not have figured it out seen and heard and responded to? I think that’s the next great study; I wonder if I’ll be trying to do it… nah!

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