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Seeking Trust and Transparency In A Comps For Tweets Stripscape
For the information addict, Twitter is like shooting the purest form of heroin. For those who like actual content, thought and debate Twitter can be the most annoying thing in the universe. I love the friendships formed by following strangers with similar interests, other times I wish I could get back all the time I've wasted drowning in a sea of re-tweets for the occasional piece of info gold. Sometimes, I contemplate pulling the plug on this Twitter thing altogether. For me, the key to successful twittering is limiting the number of people you follow to solid thinkers in the subject areas that tickle your boopsie. Overtweeters and regurgitweeters are promptly given the boot.
A month ago, I started working on a feature length article about how casinos use Twitter as a marketing tool. Research for the story has required reading a blizzard of 140 character posts from a wide ranging cast of characters in the Las Vegas Twittersphere. Ewww.
The crux : y'know that voice that follows you around the hotel & casino? The one that describes luxurious shopping when you are riding up an escalator? Or the one that mentions juicy steaks when riding in elevators? Or maybe the one that tells you about all the exciting shows while riding on people movers? Those guys and gals are casino marketing... now - thanks to Twitter - they can listen in to the snarky conversations you are having with friends and will occasionally @ you back if you press the right elevator buttons.
Don't be fooled, their job isn't to help you have a good time, but instead to convince you to have a good time - i.e. spend money - at their property. If MGM Mirage's @vegasconcierge was a true Vegas Concierge and actually followed people who they follow, they would've seen my tweet about finding pubes in my room at the Mirage and had it taken care of with a flurry of direct messages and calls to hotel management. Despite their friendly demeanor and occasionally personal attention, you must remember that these folks are not your friends, they are advertisers invited into your social stream. Friends don't recommend Criss Angel's BeLIEve.
Social media - Twitter, Facebook and to a lesser degree, Digg - are the hubs of what professionals call "word of mouth marketing." Here, traditional advertising models don't work, so marketers have developed ways to get users to discuss and/or mention their products repeatedly in their tweets/status updates and postings, always in a positive light. One method marketers use to start conversations is by offering free products, goods and services to "social media influencers" in exchange for their facilitating word of mouth marketing on the companies' behalf. The company could be anything : Beer Garden, Dairy Queen, an artist/musician, TV show or - in our case - a casino resort.