Is Twitter a Failed Business Strategy? The Overweight Doctor Dilemma
Have you ever had this experience?
You move into a new community and you are looking for a new doctor.
Having no one to give you expert guidance, you do a quick Google search and choose a doctor with a strong reputation, a large practice and a convenient location.
However, upon arriving for your scheduled appointment, you are greeted with a dilemma when you finally meet the doctor.
He may be a recognized expert in his field, but you can’t help being concerned when the doctor is nearly as large as his practice.
I have nothing against overweight doctors necessarily. But if a professional is advising you on good health, should he not practice what he preaches?
The same can be said of some of the larger professional agencies in the Social Media arena. I call it the Overweight Doctor Dilemma.
The Overweight Doctor Dilemma
Let’s review Twitter as an example:
The Top 10 Social Media companies, as rated by TopSEOs.com, are listed in the Table at the end of this post. These are all fine companies, with enormous revenue and substantial clients, and like all experienced online entrepreneurs I respect them mightily. But upon closer examination of their actual Twitter results for their own companies, it begs the question:
Why are their Twitter followings so small?
In the Bible, Luke 4:23, it is said: “Physician, heal thyself.”
The phrase alludes to the readiness and ability of physicians to heal sickness in others while sometimes not being able or willing to heal themselves. This suggests something of ‘the cobbler always wears the worst shoes’, i.e. cobblers are too poor and busy to attend to their own footwear.
Alternatively, it suggests that some physicians, while often being able to help the sick, cannot always do so and, when sick themselves, are no better placed than anyone else.
So What’s Going on Here?
None of the companies listed below are too poor to attend to their own footwear, to use the Biblical context. In fact, according to TopSEOs.com, they had combined revenue last year of somewhere between $39 million and $62.1 million.
So, are they too busy? Perhaps. But also according to TopSEOs.com they employed between 348 and 500 full-time employees. Seems like they are neither overworked nor understaffed.
That leaves us with only two choices:
- Either Twitter is a failed strategy, not deserving of their time and attention, or
- These are physicians who need to heal themselves.
By definition, none of these companies believe that Twitter is a failed strategy, because at least to some level they are recommending Twitter to their clients. More likely, the reason is that they may be less experienced with Twitter than they might be.
In a recent post entitled Women’s Social Media Success Stories — Kraft Foods and Irene Rosenfeld, I quoted Steve Forbes asking Ms. Rosenfeld of Kraft’s success in Social Media:
“What have you done internally and with the agencies you use to really push that forward?”
Her response was instructive. She said:
“… we’re demanding that we think about what we call 360 marketing from all of our agencies, which means we want to make sure that we are addressing all the potential touch points for each of our brands as we market them.” She continued, “And increasingly, we’re finding some of our agencies are not as able to make that leap as others. I think we started when we began though there was a sense that we wanted to try to find one-stop shopping and I think increasingly, we’re discovering that there are different places that have different skill sets and we are well served to be able to capitalize on the strengths of each of them.” (Bold type mine.)
Twitter is a Strategic Choice
Not every Social Media Strategist believes in Twitter. It is a strategic choice. For my part, I believe that Twitter — or the next variation on the same theme — can lead to a major strategic advantage. I feel so strongly about this, that the strategy I have developed over the last year (the E 13 Social Media Strategy) endorses Twitter as a core element.
What are the take-aways from the Table below?
I have devoted a full year to the development of Jericho’s Twitter campaign. As of today (May 9, 2011), we have nearly 40,000 engaged Twitter followers, more than the Top 10 Social Media Companies combined.
I believe Twitter is a singularly powerful business strategy. If you share this view, we should be joining forces to prosper your business.
The Facts Speak for Themselves
Take a few moments to review the Table below, and please drop me an email or call with your opinions.
|Ranking||Company||Twitter Followers (5/9/11)|
|7||Web Advantage, Inc.||478|
|Ford (Scott Monty)||53,174|
|Jericho Technology (July 9, 2011)