Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Perspective: Survey on Self Promotion on Twitter

Based on my previous blog post, I decided to do an
informal, unscientific survey. I had one purpose in mind.
I wanted to find out more than anything how people felt
about advertising from individuals on Twitter in principle.

I asked 6 questions. 5 of which were True/False. The
6th gave each person the ability to address the questions
more fully.

The "sample" of people came from anyone who was one
of the first 50 to respond. I purposely kept it open,
wanting people who were both self-employed, and
employed by others the - perhaps obvious - reason
being that I figure those who are self-employed are
more likely to be skewed in favor of advertising and
promotion on Twitter.

However, because there are several potential "faults"
with the outcome of the survey, I want to address them.

It would seem conceivable to me that those most likely
to see the survey and tweet were those following
me. And because the were following me, they were very
possibly like me, and for that reason, I might get some
very like minded answers.

If a person who only tweeted once a day, and never
advertised was to ask the same questions, there could
possibly be a whole different result. In addition,
who could tell about any bias anyone forwarding it may
have had.

In addition, the number of responses was limited to 50.

I purposefully made the questions simple. I wanted to
"force" the issue. Is advertising/promotion on Twitter,
in general, considered OK?

A resounding 90% said, in theory, yes. Now, of course,
there were caveats. But, in theory, 90% of those polled
said "In my opinion, it is OK to advertise/promote
products/services on Twitter."
(see comments received)

Of those polled, 33 worked for themselves, and 24 were
employed by another, which means that some of those
polled apparently it would seem have work outside of
their current "job."

Interestingly, 17 say they never promote themselves,
and 17 also say they never promote others. However that
still means 66% are promoting themselves and/or others.

I don't have the breakdown of the results, so I am not
sure of how all of these answers come down by individual.

What occurs to me about all of this is that EVERYTHING is
about promotion, even if there is no currency attached.
Even someone who is on Twitter without an agenda to sell
a product or service is advertising themselves in some way.

I remember I was jumped on once by one of my followers
because I asked someone new why they were on Twitter.
Did they have to have a reason? Well - yeah. No one gets
on Twitter to be there by themselves.

I think there was some sensitivity due to the fact that
there are so many opinions on Twitter on how Twitter should
be "done." Interestingly, my opinion is that it can be any
way a person wants it to be, and when I ask the question
I am looking to find out how to interact with them, and
introduce them to others - essentially helping them get
what they want - even if it's "just" people to talk to.

Personally I feel that there is someone for just about anyone
or anything, and I am happy to spread the word. As a matter
of fact, when I started on Twitter, I randomly re-tweeted
(re posted a Tweet for others to see) others' Tweets, thinking
that if it was of value to one, it could be of value to others.
It didn't matter to me personally whether or not I found it
of value. There are many things outside of my scope and
interests that could be helpful to other people, why not let
them determine that for themselves?

I have a friend who will not share something unless she can
personally recommend it. I, on the other hand, am happy to
share anything. Just because I can't speak to it personally
doesn't mean that there isn't value in it. If, however, I can
speak to it personally, and someone is interested in hearing
what I have to say about it, I am more than happy to share my

I realize, given the Twitter climate, my impressions may be
unique. However, I'd say just having the conversation is
beneficial. Too often things are unsaid, and it creates
unhelpful dynamics.

In the wake of what happened recently, someone private
messaged me, and thanked me for having the conversation.
Apparently, they benefited from it, as others became aware
of what she was up to. How can people know what you're doing,
unless you tell them?

I got onto Twitter because I wanted to promote my radio show.
I have since found it to be a much better world than I could
have ever suspected. However, there are many out in the world
of Twitter who have no clue about my hypnotist self, my
recordings, or even my radio show at this point. One person
I spoke to once wore the idea that people didn't know how he
made his pay has a sort of "badge of honor." The message being -
be yourself and the work/pay will follow.

Perhaps. There is a whole other conversation about this that
I would like to have, but not now.

For now, I will leave you with the thought that if you are
entertaining the idea of being on Twitter, you will be wise
to carve your own way. Watching others and listening will
help, if you let it (you'll even see one comment to that

It is quite likely there will be those that will never follow
you. My perspective on that is that you can take it as a
blessing :-). As with anything, we get to choose, and our
choices create our experiences - just like we get to choose
who we interact with on Twitter, and create our experience

Last, but not least, in the wake of these events, I have
re-ignited a previous idea of mine. I would like to get to
know those who are in contact with me better, and help
them to get the word out about themselves (even if you
are only on Twitter to be social).

Please take a minute and visit, and
see if you'd like to be included. if it sounds interesting,
I'd be happy to add you if you send me your information.

Have a great day!


BeTweeted said...

I don't necessarily think it's "all about promotion." I think your findings are interesting, but it's overstated to think it's only about promotion, isn't it?

Elizabeth Alraune said... defines promotion as "Encouragement of the progress, growth, or acceptance of something; furtherance."

I would say that inherent in being human, and having a human experience, we are definitely promoting.

The question IN MY MIND isn't so much whether or not we are promoting, but rather, WHAT is it that we are we promoting?

As with any word, we bring meaning to it by our perspective and experience. What I did was use a word that is, these days, "loaded."

Sometimes I think it is helpful to see things we think we "know" differently. And, just to be clear (in case there is any question)...I never said (and don't believe) that "everything is about promotion," in and of itself, is a "bad" thing.

Thanks for stopping by, and leaving your comment, and asking your question. I love questions. Just wish I had more answers to go along with them, LOL. And, the answers I do have, well, I'd say they're *just* one perspective - mine.

For me, it is more important to have the conversation than to find
"the" answer.

Have a great day!