Should Automated Twitter Integration Be Part Of The Video And Multimedia Platform?

January 24, 2009

Do you think we should add to the noise level on twitter?  We are a video, multimedia, and content management platform but that doesnt stop us from talking about other platforms and services that could be potentially complementary.

I dont know if I’m representative of many Twitter users or the atypical user. I have about 4500 tweets, find twitter useful in a social way, but not with *any* sort of business ROI. I’d guess that the group with the highest ROI onTwitter are the people that make money from telling you to use – the social media consultants, authors, bloggers, etc. To be clear, ROI for us isnt isn’t measured in the number of people that upload or view free videos. We measure your likely ROI by the number of likely customers that are “touched” by your message and our own ROI by the number of  people and  organization that see the differentiation and business value in our video platform and content management offerings. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of ROI for either of us with automated Twitter integration.

Why isnt twitter a better tool for your customer base? Discoverability of people outside of those that one follow is a big problem for making Twitter useful in a business sense. You cant tell by someone’s actions that they are in the market for a house, car, video, or insert product/service here without an explicit clearly written statement on their part. Therefore you have to invest a LOT of time per sale to find potential customers based on their conversation. This is different from other social networks where you can discern intent by their actions rather than their statements.

The issues here aren’t technical at all. Integrating with Twitter is ridiculously easy. The API has been around for some time now, is well documented, and any decent dev could have a simple mechanism for inserting automated tweets within minutes.  Many legitimate apps do exactly that as do many spammers.  Again, this isnt something I personally enjoy about twitter. Post occasionally about a blog post? no problem – i do that myself.  Having to tell the world about every single thing you are listening to on your playlist is another thing completely. Again, just me, but I often unfollow people simply based on the number of valueless automated tweets.

Our team had an internal discussion about automated Twitter integration several months ago and decided to invest in other more useful video functionality.  For instance, you can see some of the cool real estate video features that we’ve developed on our real estate specific video portal that runs on our platform.

The rationale for our automated integration hesitation is three fold:

– We aren’t about driving traffic to our own platform properties. We’re about using our platform to drive traffic to your site to buy your goods/services and search engines to your site to index the value add information that we provide there. In my view, if companies are using your twitter stream to advertise their own product/service by redirecting visitors to their site, you should be getting paid for it.

– If buyers of your product or service aren’t on twitter and/or aren’t following you, what is the value proposition?  We dont like the pollution level of automated posts on twitter as it is today. We’d rather continue to focus on syndication and distribution that have significant populations of potential buyers. In the absence of positive feedback, this may be one case where we say, “if Youtube decides to do it, so will we.”

– The FSBL platform has so many “events” that could be turned into automated tweets. Where is the line? is it when a video is made publically shareable?  Unlike video platforms that have open and very public video channels, our system is permissions based and often private to a specific organization. it’s more complex than a simple tweet/don’t tweet action.

You’ve heard what what we think about it. Tell us what you’d prefer.  If you’d like to see this integration implemented, what circumstances should it be under? If you are opposed, why are you opposed to it? Feel free to answer here or directly to me at tony@forsalebylocals.com.

EDIT:  Others have far better reasoning than us as to the lack of  business sense behind twitter integration.


One comment

  1. Any tool or service that expedites the process of posting, notification and syndication assists us in distributing our content.

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