For those immersed in Twitter, there’s usually a weekly hot topic that has the community abuzz and last week was no different. Ashton Kutcher threw down a challenge to CNN to see who can hit 1 million followers first. This seemed to not only be the crowning moment for Ashton, as he won the ‘race’, but for Twitter and it’s increased mainstream popularity.
The following day, Ashton was on the Oprah show (via Skype) and talked Twitter, along with guest Evan Williams (Twitter CEO). That episode, along with Oprah‘s joining and promotion of Twitter, has skyrocketed Twitter’s name. It may seem like a great time to be on Twitter but there has definitely been mixed emotions about this mainstream recognition.
Ultimately, I see people on two sides of this debate – the Optimists and the Detractors.
The Optimists feel that this increase in popularity, though may be saturating our fun little niche platform, will only benefit those of us who are utilizing Twitter for social media strategy and helping businesses learn more about and connect with their community. Those that have been at the forefront, not for our pseudo celebrity status that many have been accustomed to, but for the hard work put into this platform and the subsequent results (other than number of followers) shown.
On the flip, the Detractors find this sudden spurt of fame (or infamy) as a possible downfall of Twitter as the medium is now going to be filled with celebrities who don’t “get” social media and feel this new breed will somehow be seen as the “experts” in social media. Twitter has all of a sudden hit a “tipping point” in many eyes, as they fear the change that is happening.
I understand what was once our special platform that only tech geeks and social media heads knew about, has now grown (and continues to do so) into a large playground where many people enjoy dabbling in. But how can we responsibly say that this platform is doomed? Why jump the gun and immediately shun the notion of celebrities joining and mainstreaming Twitter. Even better, why should they have to “get” social media? I’d go out on a limb and say that a huge majority of Ashton’s community has no idea what social media is and probably don’t care.
So, here’s the optimist in me. Do YOU. Meaning, do what you have always done, do what’s been working. Continue to push the boundaries and test strategies within social media, for your business and for your clients. Sure, things might change a bit and mainstream media might infiltrate even more, but shouldn’t that make us want to work even harder to show companies our value, that we get it, and that we’re the ones who will still continue to bring in results?
Sure most celebrities will broadcast their messages, but who cares? They’re in a much larger bubble compared to ours. Their bubble isn’t as scalable as ours is and their use is always going to be different than our use.
Either people really hate change or our egos are taking a hit because we’re no longer the big dogs of Twitter – whatever the reason, why do we fear mainstream media? I don’t think Ashton or Oprah are going to form the next social media agency and take all our clients, or better yet, trivialize Twitter – do you?