Is Twitter Really Not Right For Business?

Earlier this week, The Times ran a story titled “Twitter may not be right for business“.

Despite the title, the article seems to be more about the shortcomings of companies, and why that makes them unsuitable as users of microblogging. To quote the article “Nevertheless, I think there are several fundamental reasons why companies are unsuited to microblogging,…”.

The article goes on to list 5 reasons why companies are not suitable;

  1. Companies are incapable of dealing with things in real time
  2. Companies are incapable of brevity
  3. Companies are not open
  4. Companies are neither altruistic or reciprocal
  5. Companies do not have distinct voices or personalities

I don’t think I’m alone in being relieved I don’t work in a company that behaves as described in the article. One which is probably not fit to deal with its customers, is certainly not fit to manage and develop its employees and is unlikely to have a very bright (or long) future.

The biggest problem with the article, is of course that all five of the statements are wrong. Many companies are very good at dealing with things in real time, and can be both brief and open. Altruism and reciprocity are not unknown qualities in the world of business. Virgin, Disney and Nike are just a few examples of companies with a distinct voice and personality.

If you actually read the story, you’ll find the tone is clearly tongue in cheek, but that won’t stop some people attempting to use this as evidence that Twitter has no place in business.

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