Anyone who was watching television knows how the news about Osama bin Laden’s demise filtered out. First there was the announcement on the crawl that the President was about to address the Nation on an important National Security issue. Talking heads began the guessing game. Could it be this? Could be that? What does it mean for this? And what does it mean for that? Then their sources gave it up. But long before that the breaking news they were seeking was right there on Twitter. Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant, sleepless in Abbotabad, heard the Chinook and Blackhawk down in his neighborhood and Tweeted about it. Others chimed in on the Twittersphere and they all had some idea that something serious had gone down. But no one knew until after the television news.
The problem with Twitter is that everybody everywhere is on it and they’re free to Tweet about anything at anytime. Consequently, any news of importance is just a tiny needle in the global haystack of Tweets. And in this case, our media outlets were not paying attention to this particular needle or haystack at this particular time. All of which is good for keeping important secrets locked up until the right time. But, yet again, it shows the problem for all who work in the social media marketing sphere. Social media is mostly about being social. Getting it to work as a marketing tool in a predictable way continues to be challenging. With social media, marketers always need to consider the place and time when their targeted demographic is likely to be paying attention and ready to receive the message. It takes more than a Tweet or two to get noticed.
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