Agoracom Blog

What The @#$! Is Twitter? The Best Business Intelligence Tool Of All Time

Posted by AGORACOM at 2:27 PM on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Don’t laugh at the title.  When CEO’s, investors, lawyers, brokers, friends and family hear me talk about Twitter, the overwhelming response I get is “What The @#$! IS Twitter?” In fact, it has become so prominent that I purposely set people up by asking things like “What’s your firm’s Twitter policy?” / “How often do you post to Twitter?” and – my favourite – “How many Twitter followers do you have?”

At that point they just burst out about how they keep hearing about it but don’t know what the hell it is.  Within a few minutes I’ve got them breathing easier.

Given the number of times I have to explain what Twitter is, I decided to post a screencast that will be mailed to our clients, prospects, partners and members.  Why talk or write about it, when you can actually demonstrate it.

Feel free to use this to help answer the questions in your circle – but keep in mind this is targeted to:

  • Non-users or novice users
  • A financial audience.  CEO’s, investors, brokers, etc.

Nonetheless, the underlying principals are the same, so it can be used by anybody.

UPDATE: Ironically enough, within hours of posting this, AdAge published an article titled The Rise Of The C-Tweet. Must Be an Issue on Everyone’s Mind Lately.



7 Responses to “What The @#$! Is Twitter? The Best Business Intelligence Tool Of All Time”

  1. 95% of all links in twitter feeds are from third-party url shorteners like tinyurl because of the charachter limit. I’m sure none of these services inspect these links for harmful downloads. If it becomes the norm for twitter users to click on these urls with complete disregard for redirection, there could be a true epidemic with malware as twitter becomes mainstream.

  2. Tom Allinder says:

    George, great article; some very good commenting too. I am personally finding it easier to filter Twitter through FriendFeed. Unfortunately, it seems Twitter has exploded and there is getting to be a lot of noise. But, Twitter is one of several Web 2.0 tools that publicly traded companies (if used correctly) can utilize to listen and engage with not only prospective investors and shareholders, but prospective clients and customers as well. Twitter is easy to misuse and abuse though. However, Twitter is only a small part of the Web/IR 2.0 world though…

  3. AGORACOM says:


    The online world, including Twitter, is driven by search engines and communities of people that share common interests. Think about how you discover info on the web and the process for CEO’s is no different.

    For example, if you like baseball, you are searching or reading about baseball stuff. Inevitably, you share that info with friends of yours that also like baseball. “Hey, check out what this guy says about the Boston Red Sox”. In return, those same people share baseball info with you. What you are reading and sharing is relevant content about baseball that is produced by somebody else.

    Moving over to Twitter, a CEO would get hooked into investors in either of the two following ways:

    1] When one of Twitter’s 5,000,00 + users searches for “gold” or “widgets” or “small-cap”, etc., they’ll find content from small-cap CEO’s that are publishing information on these subjects. If the information is good, they’ll follow the CEO.

    2] Once they start following those CEO’s, they’ll start sharing the CEO’s info with other investors they are personally connected to who have not discovered the CEO.

    If you need a real life example, take my Twitter feed. I’m about to break through 400 followers. Many of them arrived by searching for “stock market” , “investing”, etc. Once I built up a core user base (50), they started spreading my information for me. The more useful the information, the faster it gets spread by investors who want to share it with other investors.

    The beautiful thing is that your number of followers accelerates as you grow. Whereas I was once acquired a new follower every few days, I am now acquiring 2-3 new followers per day.

    All I have to do is continue to provide my stream with great information and my followers will do the rest. “Hey, look what this guy has to say about Chinese Small-Cap companies”.

    It is human nature. Always has been, always will be.

    Hope this helps.


  4. JC says:

    Shocking to see how Twitter exploded into the Web 2.0 world.

    George just answered the question that millions of people continue to ask. It’ll be very interesting to see if Twitter actually comes up with a viable business model or perhaps get swallowed up by the likes of Google.

    Check out twitteraholic to see the top ranked by followers:

  5. Al O'Grady says:

    Maybe it’s an age thing for guys in their mid 40s. I still don’t get it. I think other CEOs in their mid40s and older probably feel the same way I do. It might have been helpful if you actually had a small cap company using Twitter and how that generated extra investors, capital dollars etc instead of Shaq and the LA Fire Dept. What’s their ticker symbol?. What’s the demographic of those using Twitter? Does it coincide with the demographic of an investor in company x? From what I saw, I think I can see someone who has put company x on their radar and then keyed in company x as part of their search on Twitter. But for someone who doesn’t know that company x exists in the first place, I still don’t see how Twitter can connect company x with a potential investor. imho.

  6. Franklin says:

    I think that Twitter is like the CB (radio) of the Internet. It’s quickly becoming one of the quickest and most comprehensive news-getting tools on the web.

    If anyone would like to access some more detailed, step-by-step tutorials on how to set up a Twitter account, just visit:

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