What Is All the Flapping About Twitter?




By Bill Taylor, President, Corporate Ladders

Social networking is all the rage and it seems everywhere I go there is someone downloading, talking about, or using Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter. Well, there must be a reason for all this buzz, and Twitter recently received (and declined) an acquisition offer in excess of $500 million from Facebook.

Who is using these services, or … “tweeting?” Everyone! Or so you would think based upon the level of conversation. Nevertheless, the best I can glean as of today is there are between 1.5 million and 2 million users on the service and the adoption rate is moving more rapidly every day. All this made me wonder about how social networking can be really be used to help us in business.

I saw an article a week or so back in Information Week about how CIOs are struggling with defining the ROI for adding social networking apps into their environment. Some of the motivation goes beyond ROI. Not allowing “in-house” social networking will drive employees into the cloud where all sorts of bad things can happen to people and company information. Good financial case or not, IT executives recognize the only safe place for corporate secrets is behind the corporate firewall and they are working hard to keep them there. Some have reported the “soft” benefits from social networking – making people more interactive, feeling connected and integrated. A case for “hard’ savings can be made too by using the ecosystem to assist in solving problems, i.e. providing help for common computer problems before calling the often outsourced help desk.

So making this huge world ever smaller, improving communications, harnessing the brainpower of many to solve the problems of one, and saving money are the reasons. Well, yes, those and tweeting a picture of you standing on the semi-submerged wing of a plane that just made an emergency “unlikely event water landing” in the Hudson River at rush hour.

I guess I am starting to understand the reasons … Now how can we use it to make money for our business and improve effectiveness in the channel?

Bill Taylor is president of Corporate Ladders, a management, sales and business development consulting and coaching firm specializing in technology, telecom, Internet, health care and financial services companies. He is the PHONE+ Channel Coach and a member of the 2008-09 PHONE+ Channel Partners Advisory Board..

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