There is so much talk about Social Media that you might think the Internet Messiah was en route. Social Media is not a money making venture. So the sudden push to monetize this channel is humorous but expected. Make no mistake, I really like getting into the conversation and collaborating and sharing stories and solutions. But let’s get real for a second. Dell claims to have made $2 million via Twitter since 2007 according to this USA Today article. In all of 2008 the revenue for the whole company was $61.1 billion. If my math is right that would be .00003%.
This isn’t really fair since the Twitter revenue spans more than the fiscal year 2008. So it is likely the number is much lower over the same date range. This is why I don’t get too excited at the prospect of making tons of money off Twitter. If a small business were have annual revenue of $1 million in a year then they should be happy if they make $30 a year from Twitter? I don’t claim to be a math genius, but if my motivation is revenue, Twitter does not appear to be a profitable place generate revenue. The overhead is surely going to outweigh any revenue gain for the small business person.
Not all is doom and gloom though. I suspect there are many more small businesses that are successful at managing their customer expectations and comments via Twitter than Dell is able to do. But I think it is important to point out that Twitter is not a cash cow waiting to be sliced and diced. Without a clear execution plan your expectations can get in the way of reality.