There has been a lot of talk in the wake of Twitter going public, meaning it will become a publicly traded and owned institution. Financial experts are asking questions about the company’s profitability, the level of disclosure in the company’s IPO and details about the company’s advertising sales. While these questions raise valid points and spur necessary discussions, they are usually only interesting to the Wall Street Journal crowd and financial types, as well as to me.
Public relations professionals and pre-professionals are already well aware of how Twitter can be used as a communication tool for building brands, and for disseminating information. Organizations, celebrities, and other public figures can build massive followings, which make it easy to share information quickly and efficiently with millions of people at a time. This social media activity can be easily analyzed and measured. Companies, individuals, and organizations can look at the activity of their Twitter accounts—how many followers they’ve gained and/or lost, as well as the number of retweets and favorites their tweets have received. This information can be useful in analyzing the effectiveness of a certain message or tactic. People are also taking the opportunity to compare Twitter to Facebook in terms of success, number of users, pervasiveness and popularity. Sorry Twitter fans, it can’t be avoided. If you look beyond Twitter as just a “Facebook competitor,” you will see that Twitter has many unexplored uses.
Twitter is no longer restricted to use by public relations representatives; Nielson uses Twitter to measure the online activity associated with television shows. Last year, the company began offering Nielson Twitter TV Ratings to television networks as an additional source of information about a shows’ ratings.
As more uses for Twitter are discovered, its popularity is sure to grow among professionals in the workforce. The future of Twitter maybe not be easy to predict at present, but it will certainly be interesting to see how it unfolds.