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When it comes to marketing, every option is fair game. Facebook has become a popular social media marketing option for many businesses. Twitter, on the other hand, has not proven to be as successful for many businesses. With only 8% of US population using Twitter, there isn’t a huge market to begin with, especially if many of those users are also using Facebook. So has Twitter been overrated by many in the marketing world?

Frank Reed on Marketing Pilgrim had a few interesting things to say about Twitter following their release of the Top 10 Trends on Twitter 2010. I have to agree the list is quite uninspiring. But then, on second thought, it is a list of what inspired Twitter users in 2010. This then leads to that question as to whether or not Twitter has become overrated as a marketing channel.

The flip side is, when it comes to social media marketing, perhaps we as marketers have lost the plot. Are we trying to force a square peg into a round hole? Twitter has always been primarily the online version of a mobile text message. A short and sweet commentary on what interests users right now. As a marketing channel, it is great to see what is trending right now. As a communication channel, it certainly has its limitations.

Frank Reed observed:

Twitter is getting pretty full if itself when it has the stones to call these results “most meaningful”.

I tend to disagree with him here.  To Twitter users, it is probably a list of what is ‘most meaningful’ in their lives. Just because it doesn’t fit into our marketing picture is really irrelevant since Twitter’s primary goal was never to be a marketing channel. As marketers, our role is to take what is topical today, and to try and use it to our advantage.

The only way you can change that list is to inspire others with your message so that it becomes one of the hot trending topics. But then, that is what every marketer aims for. Twitter is highly successful in some niches, not because it follows trends, but because it offers something of value to those who are interested in that niche.

Is Twitter overrated? Possibly! Have we lost the plot? To some degree, yes!  But then, has the marketing world really got a firm handle on how to use Twitter? Probably not! What are your thoughts?

Oh – and for the record, the top 10 Twitter topics for 2010?

  1. Gulf Oil Spill
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. Inception
  4. Haiti Earthquake
  5. Vuvuzela
  6. Apple iPad
  7. Google Android
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  10. Pulpo Paul

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