Last week I wrote a post that posed the question as to whether the act of following someone on Twitter becomes meaningless once you cross a threshold of following, for example, 500 people. My thought process was that you simply can’t track and interact with this many individuals. The post created a fair bit of discussion in the comments, on Twitter itself and on a couple of LinkedIn groups to which I posted it. And it was on one of these groups that someone raised the issue of ‘monetizing’ Twitter.
To the original post, he answered: “Following or being followed means nothing if you cannot monetize it! Period. Over and Out. When I was in High School a popular phrase was Money talks and BS walks. I vote we bring that phrase back and use it in the world of social media.” This response actually made me a little angry!
The whole concept of monetizing Twitter in this context seems to completely and utterly miss the point. I’m not naive enough to believe that the likes of Starbucks, Innocent and Dell would be using social media to the extent they do if they didn’t make money from it (whether you believe Dell’s over-inflated claims is another matter). And I wouldn’t be recommending it to clients if I didn’t think it would impact their bottom lines. But Twitter and all social media are ‘social’ networks, not out and out sales tools. They’re about people and sharing and interactions, not flogging stuff.
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