Can traditional businesses make money using Twitter?

uhavThe simple answer, as this succinct post from Jason Tryfon points out, is ‘yes’.

The questions that it is probably more apposite to pose, however, are:

Is your company capable of representing itself credibly in the social media space? Can you help it find its human voice?

Are you prepared to give things away (e.g. content) to get more things back (visibility, relevance, customer relationships and yes, revenue)? Can you stay in business whilst doing so? How are you going to manage relationships with paying institutional and corporate customers whilst facilitating zero-cost access to content for interested individuals?

What are the strategies that you intend to deploy in order to achieve this? Are you intending to attempt to reorient all of constituent parts of your business simultaneously, or establish ‘pathfinder’ social networking details across your corporation?

There’s no easy answer to any of these questions, but the last one is particularly taxing.

On the one hand, you don’t want self-appointed ‘social networking experts’ who hand out dictats to the rest of the division for the simple reason that everyone – to some extent – needs to be participating in helping migrate elements of the business into the W20 space if the enterprise is going to work.

On the other hand, no enterprise is going to ‘switch off’ the drivers of its existing revenues and dive into a means of distribution and exchange that it is neither fully formed, nor replete with proven, thriving business models.

A hybrid, which neither genuflects before the pronouncement of gurus, nor expects (in the first instance) all of its employees to contribute but instead creates nodes of social networking enterprise across its business, and then sees how they join up, may be an avenue of enquiry worth pursuing.

Each industry will need to feel its own way in this regard. I think the way forward for publishing is beginning to emerge from the smoke, but whether what is revealed is what the industry wants to see is another question altogether.

Thanks to the author for the link

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