Twitter has slowly crept up on many almost like a wolf in sheep’s clothing and news of an I.P.O. for the social media tool being imminent, its real value as a marketing tool is something that should give the ad industry the jitters.

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Like the music industry that never understood how Napster would change the musical landscape forever, Twitter has been “allowed” to gather steam after being fobbed off by many three years ago as something puerile and childish where people tweeted silliness and self-indulgence.

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However, when power brokers like Rupert Murdoch and, recently, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, go on Twitter, it’s something to think about and plan for the future.

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While Facebook plods along and on a downward spiral, the real power of Twitter remains unknown.

To those who buy “followers” through various means and others who use the medium for casual conversation, so be it. They belong to that Facebook generation and are on Twitter as it’s the place to be.

How do others use it?

At least when it comes to the three industries that matter most to me- horse racing, advertising and music- its usage is in its infancy and where many in these industries are led by their noses by newly-formed “social media” agencies and “social media gurus”.

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A handful know how to use Twitter effectively and as a vital component of any marketing program.

To others, it doesn’t even feature in their presentations which shows a distinct lack of knowledge in “traditional marketing”.

“Traditional marketing”??? Marketing is marketing is marketing just as music is music is music.

This need to label and separate everything from their Motherships is what has brought about the splintered thinking and devaluation of so many industries.

Often too much knowledge is not just a dangerous thing, it’s made to be a stupid thing and where wheels not broken are pulled apart anyway to fix problems that don’t exist.

In the music world, the Beatles and so many others did fine by staying to the basics- and making these basics work for them and relying on creativity and talent to move things forward. The technique- nor the technology was never the idea.

In many ways, Twitter is forcing us to get back to the basics- and at a time when many are over-thinking and over-complicating things which have resulted in “views” and “likes” and “followers”, SEOs and “Google rankings”- many of these painting a false picture painted by poorly paid child labour in places like Bangalore and other Third World Countries.

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As for Twitter, sure, through it, one can get to know people as well as anyone can in this online world, but when used in for BUSINESS, it’s still very much in the hands of gremlins who still have no idea how to even write or market their blogs and the importance of Google Search so they are actually read.

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Twitter underlines the fundamentals of marketing and advertising: Keep It Simple, Stupid- the KISS theory.

With a maximum of 140 words to use, it forces one to think carefully about every word and, as this is Twitter being used in business, what messages will stand out and found interesting enough to be Favorited and retweeted.

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This also shows the speed of Twitter, the cost-effectiveness of the medium, and the streamlining of marketing teams needed with no need for fancy offices with the bells and whistles.

Twitter is at our fingertips to almost single-handedly change, enhance and even over-haul any industry that needs to more effectively communicate with consumers.

And if your tweets mean something to them, they become part of an online marketing team who can bring about even greater change. It’s a chain reaction.

With Twitter now letting you know when one of your tweets has created a Klout moment, this gives you the information to revisit what was tweeted and what made those less than 140 words so effective.

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Being able to tweet visuals, links to YouTube, links to your sites, connect through Instagram, you have the power at your fingertips to boldly go where no individual has gone before and where David can take on any Goliath- and win.

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If I were still in advertising, I would be scared- very scared.

If in advertising and one cannot see how Twitter is making ad agencies and that thing once called advertising not only look dated, but also the equivalent of Muzak and unnecessary in its current form, well, then, that’s even scarier.

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