Skip to main content

Twitter Marketing and the Wall of Worry: The Twitter IPO

I am not an expert on picking stocks, though I do dabble in the stock market. One of my favorite ideas is that "Stocks climb a wall of worry." As someone who teaches social media marketing, consults on it, and has many, many inside connections to real small business marketers "in the trenches" struggling with how to spend their ad dollars, I wanted to share some thoughts about my "wall of worry" about Twitter, Twitter Marketing, and the Twitter IPO.

The Wall of Worry About Twitter and its IPO

  1. ROI. The ROI (return on investment) for nearly everyone I deal with is always the best for SEO. SEO, of course, is getting to the top of Google or Bing for free, and the reality is that generally speaking when people are ready to buy something they go to Google (or perhaps Amazon) but not Twitter. The ROI on time on Twitter marketing is weak, at best, for more companies. Wall of worry #2: A worrisome sign if there ever was one: who will advertise when the ROI is so poor on the free stuff?
  2. Twitter and Users. Every time I teach a class in the San Francisco Bay Area, I ask my participants - do you use Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Google? etc. Overwhelmingly the least used: Twitter.  No contest.  Highest use: Google. 2nd highest: Facebook. 3rd highest: LinkedIn. Wall of worry #2: how can Twitter succeed when so few "real people" use it?
  3. Brand identity. Small business people hate Yelp the most.  I cringe when I mention Yelp and social media, as I have to get ready for some rotten tomatoes at me.  Yelp is the most hated site among small business marketers, based on my anecdotal surveys. No. 2? Twitter.  People do not hate Twitter but they find it silly, or irrelevant Wall of worry #3: marketers find the brand silly or irrelevant.
  4. Fake or passive users. I have a Twitter account (@jasoneg3). I use it to a) check BART schedules, and b) read jokes.  Every once in a while, I use it to watch TV in real-time (e.g., American Idol or the Presidential Debates).  It is not something I find particularly useful.  So I "exist" on Twitter but am far from a power user. Similarly, there are oodles of passive users on Twitter who check it rarely, if at all, and there are oodles of fake users. Wall of worry #4: there's no there there behind the hype.
Twitter IPO and the Wall of Worry
Beyond those worrisome factors, there is just the plain hype of Twitter.  Twitter has done an amazing job of hyping itself, especially via its use by high-profile celebrities like Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.  Also the use of Twitter by politicians (e.g., Obama), and on TV shows has contributed to its sex appeal.  Twitter clearly works for those groups, but for most real businesses this is a Red Herring. Its use by Obama does not mean that the local hair salon can use Twitter in any serious marketing way.

Twitter seems to be very overhyped, so my expectation as it goes public is for a slow (or perhaps rapid) crash in value as people "look under the hood" and see the a lot (80% ? 90%? ) of Twitter use is fake, or hyped, or just nonsense.

Twitter Works

But then again Twitter clearly works. For these clear uses:

  • Movie stars and celebrities. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry. Ashton Kutcher (I have never understood why he is as famous as he is.  #overfamous).
  • Politicans and news junkies.  The Tea Party.  The Heritage Foundation. Obama.
  • Coupons and discounts.  WOOT, REI, and others that use Twitter to share coupons and discounts.
  • Insider deals.  Juicy Couture and others that Tweet "insider" deals to their craziest and most loyal fans.
  • Taco Trucks and Food for Lunch.  Kogi BBQ and all that.
  • Big brands like Ford, Toyota, Geico. These are folks that just have a huge marketing budget to keep pounding their brand image into the heads of consumers.  I am not sure if they really use metrics or just have such enormous budgets that they try anything, do anything.  They are sort of the Red Herrings of Twitter.  It "works" for Ford because Ford doesn't measure anything real (?)
Beyond that, do you see any real marketing uses for Twitter for real businesses?  Twitter IPO - is it or 

(Share in comments below)


  1. I read your post and got it quite informative. I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to. I would like to thanks for sharing this article here. social media tracker app.

  2. Extremely useful information which you have shared here. This is a great way to enhance knowledge for us, and also helpful for us. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this.
    First Smm Panel

  3. I am attracted by the presentation of this article. This information about smm panel really good. I really appreciate your work. It is a gainful article for us. Keep posting. Thank you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quality Issues on Social Media Marketing Workbook?

Grrrrrrrrrr.  Amazon is reporting "quality issues" on my Social Media Marketing workbook . But, oops - there are NONE.  I've called in to complain and get them to remove that annoying "warning" but so far, nothing. Oh readers.  Those fun folks who have trouble with their Kindle and blame it on us poor and struggling authors. #OHWELL.  Always, contact me if you have issues with the books. I'll move heaven, earth, and Amazon to fix it.

Conflation: To Blend or Confuse (Perhaps with the Purpose of Misleading Someone)

There's inflation (to get bigger) and conflation (to bring together). You may have heard people say something like "she's muddying the waters," evoking the idea of someone stirring up the dirt so you can't tell where the water begins and the dirt ends. Or two rivers coming together like the mighty Rio Solimoes (the Amazon) and the Rio Negro. In arguments, conflation is used when you try to point out to your opponent (or audience) that the thinker is taking one thing and confusing it or muddling it up with another. An example might be something like: Hitler was a terrible person. He was really immoral. Hitler believed that the world was round. The world can't be round, because Hitler was immoral. Oops, you're conflating Hitler's moral character (or lack thereof), with a statement of truth or falsehood ; whether the world is flat or not. We're conflating two separate logical concepts. The world either is, or is not flat, independent of H