Why Is Twitter A One-Way Broadcast Medium?

Twitter as a broadcast, one way medium

What Are The Implications Of People Using Twitter As A Broadcast One-Way Medium?

ALL of the research suggests that contrary to all the expert advice on Twitter, companies and individuals use Twitter as a one-way communication method; in short a broadcast medium.

There is very little two way communication or conversation that goes on, and the research findings are both consistent and reliable on that point.

What Does It Mean?

It means that both companies and individuals use a medium in a way that makes sense to them, taking into account the features and limitations of the medium. So, if you want to understand how a particular medium works, don’t listen to experts — look at how people actually use it.

It’s clear that the limitations on Twitter (and there are many) push users into broadcasting, rather than conversing. There are exceptions, of course, but the overwhelming majority of tweets are one-offs that receive NO response.

In a sense, the users know something the experts don’t; that Twitter doesn’t work well as a platform for conversations.

In terms of business, whether for marketing or providing customer service, one has to remember that the amount of information one can exchange on Twitter alone is very limited, hence the problem with conversations. It’s incredibly clumsy to handle anything but the most basic customer inquiries or concerns, which is why customers have to be “moved” to another way to communication – usually phone or email.

Bottom Line:

Twitter IS best suited as a broadcast medium, not a conversational one, so consider this in your use of it as a customer service strategy.

Author: Robert Bacal

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