When I was sharing a couple of beers with a friend last week, our conversation turned to Facebook and blogging. He doesn’t have a Facebook account. He doesn’t blog. Social media activities are, in his opinion, a waste of time and a risk to privacy. I, on the other hand, have a personal Facebook account as well as a page for my business. And if you’re reading this, you know I blog occasionally.
Then somewhere along the line I mentioned that I am active on Twitter. His response, which could be categorized as incredulous, went something like this: “You’re on Twitter? What the hell for?”
Honestly, I get this reaction more often than not from family and friends. Here’s my theory why: Most of my friends (many of whom are into double-digit high school reunion milestones) and family members (many of whom spend an inordinate amount of time talking about arthritis, bowel movements and dental woes) see Twitter as an indulgent waste time for self-centered celebrities, political activists wanting to overthrow a government or young people who don’t understand the phrase “too much information.”
I don’t fit any of those categories, though I’m thinking I may have a way, way outside chance at the celebrity gig someday once I take my singing from the shower to the street.
When explaining why I tweet, I steer clear of discussions about the benefits of social networking for organizations and businesses, the historic changes taking place in how institutions and individuals communicate, the value of relationship building, and the ability to learn and grow as an individual and as a business entrepreneur.
Why? Because the astounded “you’re on Twitter” look quickly turns to the “jeez, she’s boring me to tears” look.
Instead, I tell them that a relatively small investment of my time on Twitter has resulted in a new client. A paying client. A client whose interesting and fun projects have increased my company’s revenues.
Money gets their attention and validates my Twitter activities. Period.
If you need to justify Twitter but aren’t yet able to definitively point to revenue results, here are a couple of articles worth a read:
- 23 Social Media Facts to Share with Executives — Arm yourself with facts and figures from Jeff Esposito, who’s on Twitter at @jeffespo. He promises that sharing these numbers and statistics with management “can make jaws drop, and get the hamsters in their heads turning the wheel.” What more can you ask for?
- Twitter success stories: Explaining the ROI of Twitter — Mark Schaefer, who’s on Twitter at @markwschaefer, offers up a number of techniques you might be able to use when you can’t quantify the benefits of Twitter. Listen to Mark. He’s a smart dude.
- Olivier Blanchard Basics Of Social Media ROI — Check out this presentation on SlideShare from the guy responsible for The BrandBuilder Blog. Entertaining and practical. You can find Olivier on Twitter at @thebrandbuilder.
- Be Honest: What’s Your Real Twitter and Facebook ROI? — And because I think all people arguing for one side should understand others’ points of views, take a few minutes to read this article on Business Insider. Point. Counterpoint.
Photo courtesy of SXC.