Matt vs.Twitter: What I’m Learning About Social Media and Marketing From Twitter

by Matt @ Kurb on January 4, 2009

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Just doing some reflective new yearsy type posts for Music Marketing Management and decided to put my current thoughts on Twitter into a seperate post.

It’s better for SEO that way, and to bring twitter freaks from both my twitter network and search queries from all the twitter fiends out there.

There are a lot of people going nutty on twitter, and it shows no sign of relenting in terms of the buzz building around this site. What really blew me away recently was a big nerd face off that went down between some of the most heavyweight bloggers around the issue of “twitter authority” – how google and other big web platforms should recognise what and who is important on twitter.

And this debate really drove home a few points about twitter for me and of course all of social media development. All these power geek influencers are now swarming around twitter, and the pick up that myspace got in 2006 is starting to kick in with 5-10,000 new memberships and new random followers for me everyday.

But the thing is back in the myspace days, you could develop your brand extremely powerfully, you could do relatively what the hell you liked, and thats why the thing blew up. I built this business and several brands solely on the back of Myspace in 06-7.

Twitter doesn’t allow you room for much branding. You get 1 picture, a background, a tiny little blurb and as many 140 character statements as you please. If a picture says a thousand words . . . well you can do the math how many “tweets” (140 character messages) you’ll have to send out to start building a brand on twitter.

If no one knows who you are outside of twitter than no ones going to care inside of twitter.

That’s why I always saw twitter as a place where a lot of powerful “alpha” brands and personalities could herd their online tribes. The less powerful your brand to leverage such communications, the less of a powerful tool it is.

Now that’s where I’ll have a lot of garden variety “social media experts” (which I refer to as “goody 2 shoes bloggers” or “chris brogan fanboys”) disagreeing with me.

One thing that twitter taught me is that “Social Media Expert” or “Guru” is basically become a by word for “online dilettante”. Hey. Call me a spammer, call me a blackhat, but DON’T call me a “Social Media” anything. I wash my hands!

[a RECENT Chris Brogan post suggested why social media experts should avoid trying to sell their services to one another. OH MY GOD CHRIS YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!! HAHA ROFLCOPTER]

They’ll tell you that twitter is all about the conversation and “listening” and adding value and basically being a big cuddly internet nice guy a la darren rowse the problogger.

And that’s fine for some people, especially if you’ve already established your “nice guy” value adding social media brand and you’re doing well with it.

But take a leaf from my book. I provide value, I’m building a strongly differentiated brand, I don’t work for a boss, I can say what I like, and I don’t have to kiss up to people all day on twitter to build a brand that will get me more business. I provide value. So I have a business.

So we havent really moved on that far from Myspace, Facebook etc. stop dicking around looking at pics of girls and messaging your buddies and get off your arse and create content that actually matters to people!!!

I’d rather be me knowing I can afford to be a bit irreverent with my brand because demand for my high value services is so solid, than spend the day slithering around twitter looking for crumbs like a lot of people seem to do.

If you do read my blog you’ll read about how Twitter (and being censored from Music Think Tank) really forced me to start thinking about my brand.

Because I’m not one of these goody two shoes social media expert blogger guys whose going to write you a prescription for how to build revenue just by being nice to people and hoping they’ll feel sorry for you or something,

My whole angle is that you should get on the net and start making cash. Take me, I’m trying to stay away from too much twittering and blogging because I’m losing money – that time could be spent on more profitable activities.

But hey. We’ve all got to contribute value through content if we’re going to get anywhere.

Don’t be an asshole about monetizing of course, being pushy, self obsessed andself aggrandizing.

But don’t muck around being all touchy feely warm fuzzies on the net – I mean maybe you want to quit your job, or feed your family, or maybe you want to ride round in your late model German Automobiles with beautiful models like me.

So if that’s your dream, get on with it!

The choice is yours. I mean It seems everywhere right now, everyone’s always complaining how they’ve got no money.

Oh there’s a recession on. It’s just going to get harder.

How come I don’t have that problem?

I think playing the nice guy and giving out ridiculous amounts of value is great if you’re raking in cash from it.

If you’re leveraging it.

If you’re not raking in cash, then you’re possibly not on the right track.

I always know I’m on the right track because I just check my bank balance.

Now getting back to branding on twitter, I called myself MattNZ on Twitter, which turned out to be a real dumb to rock the NZ brand because one of the best things I’ve got from Twitter is interaction and insight into whats going on locally both in the music scene and the internet marketing scene. And connecting with heaps of kiwis through twitter has been cool for me on a social level since I’m couped up in front of the computer on my own 10 hours a day with only musicians to interact with who obviously have a very limited understanding of internet marketing practice.

If you’re a New Zealander and would like to follow some local guys who are active and intelligent social media users and do the whole interacting with the community thing in a way that makes sense

Check out Simon Young at by following him on twitter at @audaciousgloop

Or Ben Young at by following him on twitter at @bwagy

They are not related but are both smart “young” social media / internet marketing guys, and whats more, they’re working on a twitter ebook.

Being the “nice guy” and embracing the community and the conversation isn’t quite the brand I’m moving forward with.

Creating value and creating revenue, and leveraging the digital environment, and perhaps being a little bit cheeky because I know no one can fire me – that’s my bag.

To me, it’s powerful because it differentiates me and gives me a unique angle from all those people trying so desperately to build up there social capital.

The reason I point to these guys is that one of the most important things I learned from Twitter is basically what not to do. I don’t want to explain too much, just give you some examples of my experiences.

You’ve got all these “experts” banging away about the “conversation” and “listening” and what do they do???

They don’t follow you back and just spend all their time talking about themselves.

No wonder NZ is such a joke in digital developments if these people are supposed to be our experts. Where were they when I was creaming it on mysapce in 2006?

I don’t follow everyone back because I’m not interested in all the newbie internet marketers that follow me, because I know the canned headset that they’ve pulled out of the latest stupid internet marketing info product or coaching course they purchased out of desperation.

On Myspace we were able to use “automation” powerfully for promotional purposes. But so were the spammers which killed myspace, and on Facebook, the stance is aggressively anti spam, which has carried over to twitter.

People don’t like weirdos hanging around.

Automation killed myspace in the end, for that reason, and the experience users took from a spam filled myspace, you can’t use heavy automation or spamming techniques on Twitter, it’s just not going to get traction.

You either have to be a nice guy, or build reflective value elsewhere, like me.

Because you’ve got all these clueless social media noobs piling onto twitter because all the big boys, and every two bit internet marketing guru is telling them that it’s the future when really the only thing it’s serving is to keep them within their favourite faux guru or A-list bloggers sphere of influence.

To me it’s very revenge of the nerds. You’ve got all these uber powerful nerdlords trying to enforce their heirarchy of popularity on twitter, it’s just like being back in high school, all the biggest bloggers back each other, and all their all their vapid, clueless little followers, the ones that leave hordes of sycophantic blog comments on their every post, maintian the established hierarchy.

Do you know why there were no A listers on Myspace? Because they are generally ugly nerds with sticks up their butts. But Twitter solves that problem. I wonder if all the hot girls on myspace are on Flickr now?

There are a lot of people on twitter talking out their arses. I mean, it’s amazing that they made it as far as twitter, to be honest, and haven’t learnt a few basic clues about social media. As I said, I was a professional “myspace expert” there for a while, which taught me so much just about social media etiquette and how the whole thing works. I often say that facebook was a great big fail for me because I was so busy working on myspace I totally missed the boat, as I was so ingrained into the myspace way of doing things.

And that’s why I point to twitter as possessing the ability to educate new social media users and new social media marketers and musicians and small businesses of course – how to do social media right because it’s as I’ve always said:

Myspace, Facebook, Twitter . . . the names in the evolution of social media change but it’s still the same journey, it’s all part of the amazing revolution in communication that’s taking place and changing all the rules around commerce that is based on communication.

I’m not exactly a soft seller, I like to make money, you know that, but Social Media is about leveraging the access and communication you have to create positive branding messages that make your followers want to get involved because they’re engaged outside of whatever you’re peddling.

In fact it’s a great opportunity for musicians to jump on and absolutely not try to make money or sales at all because it’s about providing positive value, winning support, and creating rewards as a result of that.

I mean, hey, I know a whole lot of faster ways of making money, but you;re a musician, you MUST keep it real, create goodwill, create positive word of mouth, garner the support of the everyman.
Though I must say I often lament that unlike myspace, there are no girls throwing themselves at you on twitter. If you know me personally, you’ll know not only do I have a passion for online marketing, music, monetizing, and German automobiles, but I am also a keen and avid supporter of the modelling industry, and there are very few models on twitter.

So I say, Twitter never got me laid, but I get a whole lot more done these days!

And I guess that’s a big part of Twitter’s appeal.

Streamlining the processes of communication, the environment and the execution of communication is evolving and twitter is very much a part of that.

I used to lose WHOLE DAYS tuning up girls on myspace. Sure, I’m obsessed with the twitter buzz as much as the next geek, but it never takes more than an hour out of my day.

As I say, this branch of social media is going more into the streamling of social media based communication.

It recognises stuff, like that we’re busy. We’re all busy, and we’ve all got stuff going on.

When I see links around twitter, what I see is really efficient communication. I don’t want to break it down too much, but posting links which you found valuable is a huge part of twitter. It’s about sharing and interacting with shared content in more meaningful and more efficent ways.

It’s about people like me curtailing some of my worst excesses – huge posts like this one!

So, there you have it. Get involved and participate in Twitter for sure, but don’t let me make you think it’s a tremendous idea because the real value available for aspiring artists and creatorsis still pretty dubious but there is no doubt of the opportunity to learn and experience how social media is developing and whatever you think of twitter as a platform, the social media experience is still rapidly developing as one of the most defining aspects of 21st century culture.

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Why Twitter is great for branding | sy-ENGAGE
02.06.12 at 1:56 pm

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Simon Young 02.26.09 at 11:07 pm

Thanks for the link and the mention, Matt! Interesting post.

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