Twitter is digital cricket

Twitter is on a meteoric rise. In 2007 folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day; 300,000 times a day in 2008; 2.5 million per day in 2009 and now it’s 50 million tweets per day. This month the whole shebang crossed the 10 billion tweet milestone.

Which of your eyes would sell for a growth chart like this?

But dissenters say that folks don’t stay involved. That 60% of people who sign up, get bored within weeks and don’t return. That the noise from the few is deafening and that the many just listen and regurgitate. They’d say (ironically, probably via a blog) that it’s all a narcissistic fad.

Businesses are looking at Dell as the poster child of Twitter use and think they can all show offers in 140 characters that convert highly. But the fact is transactional sites get less than 10% of Twitter’s exit links, the majority goes to other content driven sites (social media). Others take a more puritan stance and think it’s the conversation – engagement – that wins in the end.

Personally, I’m likening the whole thing to cricket. Is there a more polarising game in existence?

Chances are if you like cricket, you’ll love cricket. You’ll want to skive off work and sit for hours watching what many would call ‘nothing much.’ You might even want to drop your fabulous music career for cricket commentary (Lily Allen does). The non-believers would laugh at you and say the whole thing is a waste of good grass.

Understanding and liking Twitter is every bit as binary. You either do, or you don’t.

But the one marketing area that unquestionably lends itself well to Twitter is sport. Take Lance Armstrong. Lance is the Stephen Fry of tweeting sports personalities and his build-up and insight to the Tour de France will be fascinating.

F1 newbie, Lotus are also on the guerrilla marketing bandwagon, allowing chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne and others to give us real time access to their thoughts. During the Bahrain GP he actually told us that Jarno Trulli was pitting on the next lap. In the ultra-competitive and secretive world of F1 racing that level of engagement with outsiders (fans and rivals, obviously) is astounding. I’d argue that it’s to the benefit of the Lotus brand – to its share of mindset, to its growth, to its media coverage (as others write about it) and to its value as we get closer to the heart of Lotus as an organisation and build a relationship.

What about you and your organisation? Will you be donning your digital cricket whites this summer or would that be a time-wasting bore?

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