The Power of Information Distribution using Twitter

18 November 2008

By Darrell Heaps

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ge_monogram_bigger.jpgA couple of weeks ago Darrell posted about how Twitter is changing the face of communication.? If you are not very familiar with Twitter I recommend reading his post as it’s a great overview of the service.

There is no doubt that social media is dramatically changing the landscape of communication and more and more companies are using Twitter to market their products or services and bloggers and journalists around the world are using Twitter to break news.

Two recent events come to mind that demonstrate the power of Twitter, one involving a recent exchange between GE and an investor and the now Twitter-famous Motrin ad scandal.
Late last week?GE and Todd Sullivan?exchanged tweets after GE posted some information via Twitter.

GE had announced via Twitter:

“GE?s dividend plan remains unchanged: There has been speculation in the media and among analysts.”

Todd replied with:

“Will Immelt ($ge) make an andrew Liveris ($dow) statement “this CEO will not cut the dividend”?”

GE had responded with:

“the Board of Directors decides on the dividend which they plan to maintain through the end of 2009”

There were more interactions in the exchange, but it was the first such interaction between an IR and an investor according to IR Web Report who Twitted the news.

The second, and greater indication of the reach and power of Twitter came over the weekend when Motrin launched a new ad.??? I noticed quite a few of the people I follow were talking about an offensive Motrin ad on Saturday so I checked it out only to find thousands of tweets, blogs and even a You Tube video containing a compilation of outraged tweets from moms everywhere.? All of this within a few hours of the first tweet that expressed outrage about the ad.

This promptly caused Motrin to remove the ad from their site and issue an apology. As of today blogs, tweets and video responses are continuing to flood the web.? In fact, in the 20 minutes I’ve been writing this post, Twitter search has yielded 86 more tweets with the keyword “Motrin

I was simply blown away by how fast and how far this news was distributed and here we are 2 business days into the week and a google search on ‘motrin ad’ is showing more and more blogs, news clippings and discussions about that controversial ad.? Now that is power of distribution.

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