None of my friends are on Twitter

Brought up on the mean streets of Elgin and educated at Aberdeen and Napier Universities; Chris has written on everything from exorcisms to the drinks industry for a number of publications. After a spell in advertising and marketing he is now editor of Scotcampus – Scotland’s largest freesheet for the 16-30 age group. When he isn’t writing, editing or commuting he’s normally trying to convince his girlfriend they really don’t need a cat. Ever.

It would be fair to say that anyone reading this has friends. It’s also probably likely that they’ll be on Facebook and that a good proportion of their mates will be too.

But what about Twitter?

Twitter has been a revelation since its creation. It’s been the cause of high-profile political fall-outs, bands splitting up, sportsmen being suspended, journalists being disciplined, obituaries being written prematurely, companies re-focussing their marketing strategies, and Justin Bieber almost heading to North Korea on tour.

I use four Twitter accounts with work – each for different aspects of Scotcampus and its affiliated Freshers’ Festivals. Twitter has been invaluable in not only bringing the paper and events to the attention of advertisers it has also helped me source good freelance writers and photographers at short notice. Many of the relationships that have come about because of this strange Twitter introduction look like they’ll grow over the months and years and hopefully benefit all involved.

But is Twitter only any use for those promoting business to business ventures? For those in the media shouting for attention? For those keen purely to promote something?

I ask this because hand on heart of all my friends, both close and distant; there are maybe only three or four who Tweet for personal use. They Tweet about the weather, what they had for lunch, what they’re doing at the weekend and what’s on the TV. They’re not buying, they’re not selling, they’re not marketing or promoting. They’re just pumping their thoughts into the vast universe of similar sentiments that is Twitter.

Twitter is almost the antithesis of Facebook in that it’s seemingly more popular with businesses than ‘people’. And whilst I can’t knock either, Twitter’s success as a marketing and networking tool might be significantly greater if it could appeal to those ‘normal’ 20-30 year olds out there who are suspicious of its uses and purpose.

As it stands I don’t envisage a flurry of my peers flocking to Twitter any time soon – they haven’t had any desire to yet. I’m not even sure what my own personal (and vastly underused) Twitter is for really. And I’d argue that it’s this uncertainty and suspicion that needs to be addressed before the true marketing potential of Twitter can really be determined.

Whether those at Twitter feel there is a need to address such an issue is of course another matter entirely.

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