Should Entrepreneurs Twitter — No says USA Today


Share on LinkedIn

No is the opinion of Steve Strauss a small business consultant in his USA Today article. He gives 4 reasons:

#1 Your are in business and it is not a club or sorority. You are in the business of selling products or services – you don’t have to be their friend.

#2 It offers just too much information. Do people really want to know what you are doing at 3:47 am?

#3 It requires too much time. If you are on Twitter for fun, great, but if you are on there to drum up business you better be darn sure that it is going to pay off.

#4 What can you say in 140 characters.

Check out the full article at

I must admit that I have had some of the same reactions in the past and know a lot of people who still don’t know why a business person should be using Twitter, much less how to use it.

Well, I have now been on Twitter for 4 days and learning fast. Mostly, I am learning that there is a lot of non-business sense stuff there. But, there is good stuff and lots of interesting people who are sharing ideas on how to thrive in a new business environment.

I am also just completing a series of interviews with business people that get at why and how they use Twitter. Look for my article in an upcoming article on CustomerThink. If you haven’t figured out the why and how of Twitter this article will give some insights from people like yourself.

If you are Twittering, your comments and insights will be a welcome addition.

John Todor
John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of the MindShift Innovation, a firm that helps executives confront the volatility and complexity of the marketplace. We engage executives in a process that tackles two critical challenges: envisioning new possibilities for creating and delivering value to customers and, fostering employee engagement in the innovation and alignment of business practices to deliver on the new possibilities. Follow me on Twitter @johntodor


  1. I registered for Twitter over a year ago. But didn’t use it at all. Until recently that is.

    I have found over the past few weeks of learning to use Twitter that although there is a lot of stuff about pets, parties and just plain uninteresting stuff, there are also some great Twitterers out there that you can learn from. I have made contact with a number of people working at the cutting-edge of customer-driven innovation that I didn’t know before. And I have learnt a lot from conversations with them and from the articles they pointed me to. There are also a lot of people out there who might be interested in what you have to say too, providing you actually have something to say that is.

    To be blunt, Twitter offers a lot of value as a new form of social media, but like all new things, you do need to learn how to use it to best advantage. And you do need to use it where it really adds value as part of a socila media strategy, not just for the sake of it.

    Maybe the author of the USA Today article should get with the Social Media programme too.

    Graham Hill
    Customer-driven Innovator
    Follow me on Twitter

    Interested in Customer Driven Innovation? Join the Customer Driven Innovation groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more.

  2. I recall when Second Life was the hot thing. All the gurus were talking about it and people rushed to join and see what was the fuss.

    These days I’m not hearing much about Second Life. The current buzz is about Twitter. Will it share a similar fate?

    My opinion is Twitter is here to stay and will become a fixture in business, because networking is always a Good Thing.

    Based on my 30 days of Twittering, it’s possible to participate and get value without being obsessive about it. We don’t have an endless amount of time to network offline, the same is true online. People will need to find their own comfort zone.

    On CustomerThink, our “product” is content and Twitter now accounts for 1.5% of our in-bound traffic. Zappos gets great marketing exposure, JetBlue improves customer service, and the list goes on as companies experiment.

    I share some of the concerns of Strauss, but don’t agree with his conclusion.

    Bob Thompson, CustomerThink Corp.
    Blog: Unconventional Wisdom

  3. John

    Having read the two pieces I feel that Sviokla’s analysis is more carefully thought through and mature in its perspective. And that isn’t because I use Twitter most days.

    I have heard some of the same arguments that Davenport uses against Twitter against blogs and wikis in the past and against communities more recently. These social media tools and Twitter are not for everyone. They are tools that can be used as part of a Social Media Strategy, but they are not mandatory. They do provide value for many people, groups and even companies. For me they extend the number of ‘weak ties’ that I have outside of my more immediate social network. If they provide value for you, feel free tp use them.

    It is interesting to see the swathe of third-parties who have developed complementary tools to make Twitter easier to use, to extend its capabilities, even to earn money from Twitter. This Twitter eco-system is surely a good sign that it will be deepened, expanded and extended to add value in new ways in the future too.

    Graham Hill
    Customer-driven Innovator
    Follow me on Twitter

    Interested in Customer Driven Innovation? Join the Customer Driven Innovation groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more.

  4. Bob and Graham,

    The distinction between “weak ties” and “strong ties” is very relevant. The fact that Customer Think get 1.5% of its inbound traffic is a testimony to the positive impact of “weak ties”.

    There are people who using twitter to aggregate “bird-of-a-feather” online and then using offline gatherings to develop the relationships. Just about to submit an article on twitter for business which discusses a couple of examples.


    John I. Todor, Ph.D.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here