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Twitter-smart entrepreneurs or spammers?

July 8, 2009

pizzakid I just love the fact that you can track a Korean BBQ truck, a gourmet ice cream truck and even a Sprinkles cupcake-mobile on Twitter. You can get discounts on pizza, cupcakes, hear about the latest trend in donuts and a whole lot more.

OK, but why do I think it’s cool? Because these businesses are getting into my favorite way of communicating. Because I can say they’re innovative, cutting edge, smart. Because they see the value of one of my favorite sites and that indirectly makes me cool (sorta).

On the other hand, I hear discussions everyday about the commercialization of Twitter and how horrible it is to see ads popping up everywhere. We call them spammers. But not Naked Pizza, we call them forward thinking.

So, my question to you is this. Right now we praise entrepreneurial companies like this. Smart people who saw the promise of social media and acted on it. But when there are thousands of them wanting to be part of your network, when you get RFID targeted DM‘s of coupons based on your phone’s physical location, will you still think they’re cool?

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  1. This was a great article and I applaud these businesses for using the technology now available but, I’m sorry have you ever seen a kid more happy for pizza in your life? I mean seriously.

  2. I totally agree Roxanne, as more smart business people join Twitter we’ll be able to learn from each other. Win, win, win all around.

  3. I finally made it, 24 hours late. 🙂

    I have an organizing principle that is simple if not easy: “It’s all about the energy.” Many businesses are on Twitter in a panic; so they come across as needy, pushy, spammy – all the things real people aka potential customers find off-putting.

    I like being able to interact with people and with businesses, as both can answer my questions, solve problems, teach me things I didn’t know. But if it is only about the latest coupon and they talk and never reply, well, “there goes the relationship!” I do see people learning though and as Twitter becomes more populated with business brand accounts, the learn by osmosis energy should get easier and easier.

    FWIW, I am not a fan of RFID by DM though it is a brilliant idea. When I went to Bali 2 years ago, my phone started zapping me with sales text messages literally within 10 seconds of entering the terminal. Talk about buzz kill! But I know there are those who love da coupons. 🙂

  4. Whether we’re pushing a product or promoting our own personal brand, everyone is involved in sales in some capacity. When I encounter the hard-sell, spam loving marketers that are prevalent on the social web, I’m reminded of my days in direct mail. We buried prospects with mail and hoped that they’d convert. It was time consuming and expensive – everyone looses money prospecting. Social makes it easier & cheaper for marketers to increase contacts but without a long-term strategy it’s just noise. The people I do business with online follow my posts & understand my needs. They engage before selling and take a long-term view of the relationship that sets them apart from the crowd. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the space evolves.


  5. I feel the same way. I think it’s incredibly fun to see how small bizzes are finding ways to use Twitter and other social media sites now but once the bloom fades it’s going to get old.
    RFID is something we had all better get used to, but at least these seem to be opt in, so that is OK by me.

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