The curious case of the Twitter Quitters


One of my customers is a brilliant management consultant. An engineer by training, he does not come by marketing instinct naturally and asked me to help.

This is a customer tailor-made for Twitter:

  • Small business-owner
  • Enormous, global market potential (needs a lot of awareness)
  • Small budget
  • No time to blog, develop content, etc.
  • Tech-savvy
  • Is a charming, bright person with engaging personality.

And yet he WILL NOT TWEET.   I coaxed, cajoled and threatened.  I’ve trained him patiently and even prescribed a daily Twitter regimen.  I demonstrated the power of the platform when I found him a potential new business contact on the first day of operation.  He didn’t follow-up and seems content with his tweet-free existence.

This may seem strange, but it isn’t.  I’ve found similar resistance from many people who can benefit from this business tool. I asked my client “why” and (published with his permission) here is his answer:

Not sure why really.  I guess the idle chatter (which is mostly what I seem to see when I log on) just doesn’t make any sense to me.  There’s obviously some self imposed barrier that I can’t or just don’t want to cross.  You were kind enough to introduce me to Twitter, and I appreciated that.  There’s the old expression about leading a horse to water.  Guess I’m just not that thirsty for Twitter water… at least yet.

This type of reaction is not unusual. In fact I was a Twitter Quitter myself and had to really push through a few weeks of of this non-intutive communication platform before I had an expereince that changed my view forever …

I was bored one night and noticed a trending topic titled #newnameforswineflu.  I clicked on it and was entertained for a half hour as people from all over the world chimed in with alternaitve names like “Hamthrax” and “The Aporkalypse.”  Although this event was playful, it dawned on me that I was watching a real-time global brain-storming session.  Now THAT was very cool.  That was something that could never have happened before in the history of mankind.  I got it. The light bulb went on for good.

I’m wondering, what did it take for YOU to “get” Twitter? Was it simply perseverance? The fear of falling behind? Or did it take an “a-ha” moment like me?   For the 40 percent of us who didn’t quit after trying it, what lit the lightbulb for you?

Illustration: Natalie Dee

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