A, an editor of a print publication, asked me: “What’s the use of Facebook or Twitter?”
I hemmed and hawed. Finally I said:
“We don’t really know how such social media platforms will turn out in the future so we’re just staking our presence there.”
B, the managing director of a firm, said over lunch that he is interested in entering the Facebook platform but not Twitter.
If I recall correctly, he dismissed Twitter as something of a fad.
Such dismissals are quite common in Singapore, which largely stems from a couple of reasons.
- Newsmakers’ clients are largely conservative and not tech-savy. Based on anecdotal evidence, this sample ranges from 40+ to 50+ years of age, which puts them in the silvering generation. Ipso facto, the majority of the spending power also lies with this group. They are the ones who buy Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Jaguars. And they are probably Mandarin-speaking, consume traditional media and have traditional family values.
- Online media is not as advanced in Singapore as it is in the US. We have the daily broadsheet, The Straits Times, here, which is consumed massively in terms of circulation. Print media is still deeply entrenched in the mindsets of the population.
All these reasons, I realised, can be subsumed under one giant set: Compared to print, there is no money to be made on the Internet.
What’s the ROI from Twitter? A very difficult question to answer, yet you’ll find the solution if you can also measure: “Whats the ROI of a conversation in real life”. Since many brands have an objective (return profit to shareholders or owners) ensuring this is a high priority task will be difficult for many corporations.
Jeremiah Owyang, “Why Brands Are Unsuccessful In Twitter“, Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang
There are no answers right now. But having conversations with your stakeholders cannot be that bad. It’s called networking.