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Twitter is Just a Tool

Twitter will just fade away. So, said a colleague of mine the other night; he just didn’t see value what he viewed as the useless tweets.

A persuasive-minded enthusiast, I naturally spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince him otherwise and rattled of a list of use cases: DellBest BuySkittles, and Zappos to name a few.

And now even local businesses.

This morning I read this blog post (the link has since been removed) which pointedly writes that Twitter is “not about the tool. It’s what you do with it, and why.”

Now, I find myself wishing I could go back and instead of trying to convince my pal of Twitter’s viability had simply asked him why felt that way.  Twitter *is* just that: a tool, like a telephone, email, a blog post, an advertisement or a press release.

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Every tool has benefits and drawbacks. Each has its own accepted principles of etiquette. In as so far as marketing is concerned, the unifying factor in all of these tools is the intent to promote a product, a service or perhaps, an idea.

The first two steps in any marketing or public relations program ought to be audience identification and then the development of key marketing messages aimed at this audience. In the process of doing so, the what and the why – and by extension so too does the selection of tactics and tools – become more obvious.

Though I’m an advocate of new innovative practices, this demonstrates to me how easy it is to get lost and it’s good to be reminded of the basics.

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Photo credit:  Flickr, Tony Hall (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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