According to a recent study by the research firm MarketingProfs in early and mid-April, the main intention to use Twitter is learning in more or less real-time, then comes social networking benefit or pushing the ‘digital ego’.
The results of the study revealed that almost…
– 100% of the respondents said they value “getting information in a timely manner” and “I find it exciting to learn new things from people”
– about 80% like to be connected to lots of people.
– 70% answered “I find it gratifying to have people follow me,” and “I want to generate new business.”
The question that divides the Twitterati population is if a large number of followers makes you more respectful, or not. On this statement…
– 39,9% strongly or mildly agree
– 45% strongly or mildly disagree
Seeing the large number of followers as a perception of intelligence was tested with the question “People who have a large number of followers are smarter than those who don’t”…
– 81,7% strongly or mildly disagree
– 5.9% strongly or mildly agree
In the eyes of Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, the benefits are …
“Twitter lets people know what’s going on about things they care about instantly, as it happens” (…) “In the best cases, Twitter makes people smarter and faster and more efficient.”
And yes, Twitter is turning around the media world if we look at the eMarketers summary ‘Twitter tally’.
But, hold on… One question makes me think about these results of the MarketingProfs study in combination with the authenticity of the answers and the first idea of the micro-blogging tool. The question “I feel bad when I tweet something and nobody responds” was answered as follows…
– 52,7% strongly or mildly disagree
– 24% strongly or mildly agree
– 23,3% neither agree nor disagree
Now, if Twitter is like a mobile phone for text message dialogues, meant to communicate with followers we like and rate, is this communication not going back to being a monologue then? So, are we really sending out some kind of information just for the sake of informing others? Don’t we await an answer if we send a text message with a mobile phone? If we tweet ‘I am in the tube’ or ‘Just got breakfast’, then probably nobody expects anything. But not if people are writing scientific papers of 500-750 words – and then tweet the headline and the link. In my opinion Twitter is moving from a communication tool to some kind of personal branding tool. Otherwise, we might ask: Why do people spend an average of 2¾ hours per day on Twitter (average using time for Twitter according to study!), instead of being productive, picking up the phone or meeting up with clients for lunch or in the bar? This is real communication, and not limited by 140 characters. And if someone has written the scientific paper it is on the web, it’s public, so if people are interested, they will find it. But Twitter spreads the word much faster. And is not this the reason why people love and use Twitter?