Why I Hope the IPO Doesn’t Ruin Twitter

by Jennifer Beever

A long time ago I heard a marketing expert tell an audience of marketers to think of Twitter as an online radio show. On this online radio show called Twitter, your broadcasts are free.

I thought this was a great description. It tied what at the time appeared to be a weird new social media platform that only allowed  140 character messages to a marketing medium that we know – the radio.

And it was true. Broadcasting messages on Twitter is free. You say what you want, and if people want to listen to you, they follow you. For a long time, Tweets that contained certain keywords displayed on Google and other search engine search results.

But then Google went into social media with Google+. It did an IPO. And it all became about how to get more revenue. So Google doesn’t recognize Tweets. It is more interested in pushing Google+.

When Facebook did its disasterous IPO, the company made money but investors didn’t do so well. Immediately after the IPO, Facebook stock values dropped 17%. If Facebook wasn’t about putting revenue first before it’s IPO, it certainly is now.

One social network seemed to become better after its IPO. That’s LinkedIn. I say it’s better because it has higher quality content to read and share. I do get more solicitations from LinkedIn now to pay for certain services, but at least they are optional, not changes to the core of how LinkedIn works.

I like using Twitter. I know for a fact that businesses that use Twitter to share relevant articles, studies and messages about their products and industries get results. I participate in a great Twitter chat for B2B marketers every Thursday at 5 PM PST. It’s a really effective facilitated discussion each week about best practices in B2B marketing. I also like how Twitter has been adopted as a key way to do real-time marketing. Think Oreo’s Tweet during the Superbowl blackout, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

For those reasons and more, I hope this week’s IPO by Twitter doesn’t ruin the benefits we get from it.


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