Written October 9, 2013
Twitter is seen as the source of celeb commentary, variety show news, company and industry chatter, and as Instagram’s sidekick. Twitter can be used to promote your website or blog, to tell the world what you had for lunch, or to spread the news about a great cause or movement. But most importantly, Twitter can be used to network and learn about an industry or company, and companies can now create and build conversations with their consumers and colleagues continuously. The access to the dialogue of companies, executives, thought leaders, and industry gurus are now unlimited via Twitter.
Twitter also has the power to connect and share short sentences that can educate, inform, humor, and even help people. From the tweets of celebrities to the average grad student, Twitter can make you laugh, gasp, and land on a dream job all in one news feed.
Plus, unlike Facebook and Instagram, reporters and bloggers are actually scraping up news material from Twitter, adding to the strength and popularity of this new medium. It has become the new source of information for news clips, various dialogues, global awareness, and diverse entertainment.
However, Twitter’s power can bring out the best and worst of people. When it comes to celebrities and companies, Twitter is used to showcase their power and authority on topics and events, which can make news headlines. This can be good, bad, or sometimes humorous. For example, on October 3, Fox News published an entertainment news story about singer Lady Gaga and her latest tweet that day. She tweeted to promote the controversial ObamaCare plan to spread the word. She tweeted a photo, a hashtag #getcovered, and the ObamaCare website. But opps, the photo was posted sideways and the website was written incorrectly. So she retweeted and gave a better photo, but with the incorrect website again. On the third tweet try, her team got the website correct. And yes, this was actually a news article.
But how many people clicked on the wrong website? Does this make the ObamaCare communications team look bad? Did Lady Gaga just not know enough about the program herself to even post the correct website? And should we care?
To answer one of those: Yes, we should care. I believe we should care because the content of some tweets pack so much more than what we think today. Content is power, and power is influential.
A prime example of how Twitter is now viewed as another news outlet and informant. See the Fox News article here: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/10/03/lady-gaga-tweets-for-obamacare-sends-out-wrong-address-twice/
This also shows how Twitter is becoming a powerful medium where anything you post can become a controversy.
Another example: The Huffington Post did a short news video commentary on the aftermath of singer Miley Cyrus "twirking" on singer Robin Thicke at the VMAs in September. In the segment, it discussed how Cher spoke on TV criticizing Miley for her performance, but later apologized to Miley in lump sets of continuous tweets on Twitter. The commentators ragged on Cher, saying Twitter is not suppose to be used for that type of dialogue, yet it worked. Cher made headlines, and now her twitter account is even more popular now. See the article link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/18/cher-says-miley-cyrus-cant-dance-pink_n_3946913.html
There is a long list of celebs and companies who have made embarrassing mistakes by posting poor comments on Twitter. It also shows just how humorous celebs and people can be in social media, and still get millions of followers and fans on a daily basis.
As a student, jobseeker, or PR executive, you can access the power of Twitter too. Many companies now post internships and job openings on Twitter. Some companies even tweet back to you if you ask for job tips, which may be the closest you’ll ever get to a HR rep in the company. For professionals in any industry, you can find and post great articles about anything on a topic on Twitter.
Today, businesses and organizations use Twitter as a secondary outlet to share and report information, as well as to gain more publicity and feedback from their consumers and colleagues. Companies follow other companies and CEOs follow other CEOs, in an effort to cozy up the gap and merge the industry together. And it works. Great ideas and trends are shared, expanding and growing an industry and their network.
The best part: Anyone can do the sharing now. You could make yourself look like an expert, and be the source of new information and ideas for others, allowing you to have your own power, dialogue, and voice. That is the true power of Twitter.
And for the hilarity of it still, well…..we can just leave it to the celebrities. They do it best!
(This blog post was written and also published on the class blog of my NYU Social Media Strategies Class)