Twitter: Your Weapon in the Internet Marketing War

Update: With all the interest generated by this post, we want to know how you really feel.

blaster weapon
Image via Creative Commons

Word is out that social networking is more popular than email. I’ve seen a lot of content out there lately touting the power of Twitter as a branding tool. But, the usefulness of the social networking site from a broader marketing perspective was made evident after I listened to a webcast with Guy Kawasaki last week.

Repeatedly referring to Twitter as a “marketing weapon” last Friday, Guy gave an interactive audience his tips for using the popular micro-blogging site as an unbeatable business tool. A on demand version is now available for download. A recap of the webcast and related tweets has been published at Search Engine Watch.

Swords of Qādisīyah, Baghdad
Image by Jamesdale10 via Creative Commons

People are obviously interested in hearing how the next big thing in social media can help them achieve their business goals. Five hundred people registered for the hour-long webcast presented by Incisive Media in partnership with Search Engine Strategies New York. The event was a preview of the opening keynote Guy will be presenting at the Internet marketing conference, taking place March 24-26.

During the webcast, the co-founder of “digital magazine rack” Alltop spoke about his newest book, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition. Based on years of experience in the venture capital and tech worlds, Guy compared the book to a Chicago Manual of Style for business strategy. But when it came time for Q&A, questioners wanted to know about one thing: Twitter.

rusting tank
Image by Christiaan Briggs
via Creative Commons

New statistics were released last week about the growth and user numbers for Twitter. According to Compete, the 33 percent growth in the last month brought the total of Twitter users to more than eight million people. With so many people adopting this young technology, it’s easy to see how some questions still remain in the minds of marketers. One attendee of the recent webcast asked: “Other than brand building, what’s the point of devoting resources to Twitter activity?”

Sounds like something I might ask. Branding is such a commonly used buzzword that it sometimes seems to be eating up the industry conversation. But Guy’s response opened my eyes to the reality of the situation. As he explained, businesses are in the business of building their brand. In other words, branding your business is your business. From your product to your sales pitch to your marketing to your customer service, everything you do, every move you make as a company is in effect building your brand.

Check out Guy’s Twitter stream for an example of how the master leverages Twitter. Then listen to the webcast. You’ll be trained the art of Twitter weaponry in no time.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (73)
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73 Replies to “Twitter: Your Weapon in the Internet Marketing War”


“If a person uses Twitter in a manner that you dislike, unfollow them and move on?” “Why is everyone whining about not liking Guy’s Twitter style. Just shut it off.”

Because he’s giving advice to other people on how to use twitter, and a lot of people find this way of using it extremely annoying and will unfollow you if you do it as well

Lisa Barone is right. I dropped Kawasaki just days after following him because he is an incredibly annoying twitterer. His following has been established because of his credibility elsewhere and I’m not dissing the guy at all, he’s a genius. But his Twitter stream sucks.
Just because someone is at the top of his field doesn’t mean he always does things right, and for people who use Twitter to actually converse rather than push information blindly, Kawasaki is obnoxious.
Want to see a celeb who does it better? Stephen Fry. His tweets are personal and interesting and he engages on some level with his followers even though they number into the hundreds of thousands. He is there to share, he is there to be with the community, and the community loves that. (Which might just be why Stephen Fry kicks Kawasaki’s ass by about 140,000 followers… just sayin’)

Why were my comments attributed to Peter Vader above?
I take exception to the reference of Guy Kawasaki as a Twitter spammer. Really, there’s no such thing as Twitter spam anyway because it’s opt-in. Also, I rec’d a DM from him two weeks ago. I follow a whole lot of folks (who I know personally and who have a fraction of his following) who have yet to DM me. Lastly, Twitter (to me) as a micro-blog site presents a diverse range of interesting content. That happens to be what Alltop does. Twitter and Alltop compliment one another well. Imagine having to search for all those resources on your own? Holy Kaw!

I absolutely agree with Lisa’s first sentence: “I would definitely not recommend anyone follow Guy Kawasaki’s method of Twittering. :)”
I absolutely disagree with everything she said after, including “Guy uses Twitter *horribly*” and “He doesn’t talk to anyone. He doesn’t respond to anyone. He doesn’t engage anyone,” and especially “he really is missing a huge opportunity to build his brand”
And I completely agree with Nick’s comment above.
Guy Kawasaki is a genius. I think most folks are a little jealous that they can’t build the same following as him. I really became a fan of him only AFTER I got to know him through twitter.
In my short experience, I have found Guy to be the most effective Twitter user, period. I consider what he is doing to be an extremely graceful form of marketing.

I came so close to un-following Guy so many times but there was always something to keep me from pressing that button. Now I’m resigned to his style. Why does Twitter have to be a conversation not a blog? It is what I want it to be. For me, it has replaced RSS, blogs (when I can opt to follow instead), the Delicious home page and it added the aspect of being in a room with smart, interesting people of my choosing. Guy is on my invite list.

I take exception to the reference of Guy Kawasaki as a Twitter spammer. Really, there’s no such thing as Twitter spam anyway because it’s opt-in. Also, I rec’d a DM from him two weeks ago. I follow a whole lot of folks (who I know personally and who have a fraction of his following) who have yet to DM me. Lastly, Twitter (to me) as a micro-blog site presents a diverse range of interesting content. That happens to be what Alltop does. Twitter and Alltop compliment one another well. Imagine having to search for all those resources on your own? Holy Kaw!

Peter Vader

Twitter has taught me two things: I should admire Shaquille O’Neal more and other people less. Mr. Kawasaki is still a net plus to my universe (and bookshelves) but the smug reaction to honest disagreement leaves a bad taste.

I think Scott Allen said it best.
How many of us could walk into someone’s office, such as Guy’s, and request to see him, and the receptionist just puts you through? Hahaha!!! If you think that would happen, you’ve never been in sales.
Just because you have the privilege through Social Media to follow someone does not automatically mean they have lowered all of the protections they have in place to protect their time and their priorities. If Guy posts a lot of links, I am sure it helps him bring in Revenue, which I would assume helps him pay his bills. I could hear the argument now if Guy blocked his Twitter account…”That snob, he’s so arrogant he won’t allow ‘the little people’ to follow him!”
Give me a break people!

I follow Guy, and seem to recall a brief exchange or two with him outside of “here’s a link to my stuff.”

I just generally don’t go in for angst about what Twitter “should” be for or about. Between follow, unfollow and block, you can get something resembling whatever kind of experience you want out of it without a lot of work … and others can do the same for themselves.

I love watching Guy’s stream, yeah I don’t click on every link but I often find things that spark a thought, its Twitter, if you don’t like it unfollow.

The poll is a nice addition, I love data. ;-)

I see I’m in the minority, and honestly, I started feeling some guilt in comparing Guy to ill-fitting underwear (no matter how true). I wouldn’t have followed him in the first place if I hadn’t found what he had to say interesting, but frequency is difficult to judge before following (at least for me). We all have our preferences.

Lisa, You do realize that you posted a comment about Guy, in response to a blog post referencing Guy, and started an entire thread about how Guy uses Twitter? Most people wouldn’t mind branding like that.
There is no defacto measurement for success on Twitter, nor will there be. One individual’s 100,000 followers *could* be just as valuable as another individual’s 10,000 based upon who their audience is, what information they’re sharing, how they’re leveraging that audience, and a host of other variables. Needless to say, firing shots at someone’s use of 81k followers with no frame of reference probably won’t instill a lot of people with confidence in your judgment. Especially, when just doing simple math alludes to the massive undertaking it would be (with no clear ROI) to actually do what you’re suggesting.
Guy is doing something right & it works for me (and 80,918 others). The one very important piece of constructive criticism I’d give Guy that his Twitter background burns my retina. Lucky for him I have TweetDeck or he’d be at a lowly 80,918 followers!


Funny thing, I’ve only email-conversed with Guy on one occasion(very congenial fellow). He follows me on Twitter (not like I post anything of interest), and we’ve never talked since (almost 6 months ago). No big deal. He’d not miss me if I didn’t follow him. Oh, and then there is this, don’t follow him if you don’t want his “spam”. Unsubscribe/remove/block him or whatever. All this grousing is getting old. He’s using it well enough for his purposes. Let’s move on.

Twitter is *not* IRC or a chat. How many times you did follow someone that posted something uninteresting or inappropriate? I do prefer links to a bunch of “going to sbuck for my latte” messages and if you don’t like what he writes, how about removing him from your follow list? I think that the sad truth is that many twitters are jealous of what Guy accomplished (even long before twitter) and obviously make him an easy target.

Posted comments to this effect last week on my blog. Guy is using the system as it should be used or exploited. Its a network system and in the end you can listen, follow, or opt out of the process. Don’t blame the tool, blame yourself!

It is funny how good he is at morphing to the the challenge of a new market – you have to agree he is clearly one of the best!

I love twitter because I can get the info I want. If someone’s tweets are irritating, I just shut them off. Why is everyone whining about not liking Guy’s Twitter style. Just shut it off. Complaining about this is like buying a house under an airport flyway and then complaining about the noise.


I wanted to reiterate there is a significant contribution to Twitter from GuyK as well. He delivers as much as he take away from Twitter. He might be selling alltop, but whats the product? It is content aggregation, knowledge and easy way of following a group of topics. Imagine its because of GuyK that I now follow easily on few topics of my interest in under 2 min. There are hundreds of uses of Twitter: GuyK sells, I consume with other 80K followers, some use it as a web-based bookmark, blah blah

Twitter is just a tool, not a lifestyle or a community. To use it effectively depends on the expectations of your audience. As Guy says, it’s all opt-in, so unfollow if you don’t like what you get. This post of mine yesterday explains further the mistaken assumptions that many people seem to have about Twitter:

Totally agree with @Scott Allen. People tend to be so caught up in their own user habits, they forget the saying, “To each, their own.”

I’m one of those followed, un-followed, re-followers of @guykawasaki. I started using twitter as a personal communications tool (follow & unfollowed Guy), but then eventually wanted it to offer me social media news as well (re-followed). User habits change, so usage of tools change. Aren’t the web and digital tools all about flexibility?

So to sum it up – take a chill pill people and just enjoy the interwebz.

Brian Clegg @rbclegg

I am a loyal Guy Kawasaki and alltop fan, but I’ve had a hard time following him on twitter.
I rarely hear Guy talk about himself or interact with others (although noticed the Rich Dad, Poor Dad tweet a few minutes ago). Generally, following Guy has made it more difficult to follow other people I’m interested in hearing from. I’ve dropped every other twitter spammer I’d previously followed, and it will be a sad day when I have to stop following @guykawasaki. Definitely will affect the brand.

Agreed with both graywolf and Dr. Pete, so I won’t repeat those observations.

What kills me is people’s ridiculous sense of entitlement. Sure, social media creates an unprecedented level of direct access with people like Guy Kawasaki, and that’s cool. But the expectations people then turn around and place on them is absurd. Guy has 80K followers. If even 1% of those people sent him a message in a given week, that’s 175 messages A DAY!

Come on. Get over yourself. If Guy doesn’t reply back, it’s not personal. He doesn’t think he’s better than you. He’s just busier than you. He doesn’t owe you a reply. He doesn’t owe you anything. If you think he does, you’re the one with the ego, not him.

[it’s netmeg, not nutmeg]
I’m not particularly annoyed with him; just wasn’t my cup of tea. So I just went away.

@Dr Pete As usual, great response

I’m a member of both clubs I followed Guy, then got overwhelmed by all the shouting about Alltop so I unfollowed, then I missed all the great content that I like retweeting and followed him again. He’s an Icon has some interesting things to say and has responded to me both time that I engaged him with a question or comment

I’m a member of both clubs I followed Guy, then got overwhelmed by all the shouting about Alltop so I unfollowed, then I missed all the great content that I like retweeting and followed him again. He’s an Icon has some interesting things to say and has responded to me both time that I engaged him with a question or comment


When I followed Guy, I assumed it would be mostly an RSS feed of his How To Change The World posts and a few random tweets, which would be fine. But instead it’s the Alltop channel, which makes me wonder why he didn’t just use @alltop for that.
But then I realized that Guy has done one thing well: he’s taken a stance that some people might not like, but some apparently love. That gets people talking about him, which is why he’s still part of the conversation, rather than a forgotten early employee of Apple.
That’s why I still follow Guy, so I can learn from a master.

In response to the first comment which is representative of the others like it, if anything, Guy’s one of the few A-listers who respond back in my experience, either via Twitter or email, and quickly. (No it wasn’t automated because of the nature of the messages either.)

Like @MM says, try engaging not just Guy, but people, with a question. It actually works.

As for countless links, check out the person’s stream ahead of time and you’ll know how they post. Otherwise, stop complaining and unfollow/don’t follow in the first place. I’ve found a lot of cool stories through either Alltop or Truemors.

@graywolf I still hate to death the ridiculous ways that people want to kiss his ass. I hate venture capital with a vengence, or at the very least I do not understand it’s need well (I know this is a weird view, but it is truly mine).
There seems to be less innovation and more “How to get venture capitalism”.
The passion that used to go into creating real shit has turned into “How do I follow the right people that will put me in the right place at the right time?”
I have been thinking for awhile of opening a debate with an interview with some venture capitalists where my questions would be like “So, how does it feel to destroy creativity?”
Actually to be less dramatic, I would open a dialogue abut what the pros and cons of venture capitalism are. I see many cons and would love to hear some peoples (including Guy’s) take on it.
I just hate the battalions of uncreative robots that come out of wanting to appease this person or that person because of greed.
I like making fun of it.

At the end of the day, it’s your followers on Twitter who’ll decide whether you’re “doing it right or not” – there is no “royal road” in view of the heterogeneous type of clientele you’re bound to collect on Tw.

You will find many different camps of Tweeps. Mentioned above is unfollowing for only posting retweets, however, there are many webinars, popular users, et cetera, that will tell you to do just that. There are advocates for every style of Twitter usage, as long as you use it. Just as many naysayers.
As for filtering, you’ve got the imperfect TweetDeck. It works fine, but has its flaws. Categorize who you follow, separate your RSSers from your conversationalists, and keep it moving. In addition to TweetDeck, there are a host of other Twitter helpers to declutter your stream.
So much is written about an application that only allows 140 character blurbs. Perhaps overanalyzing? Let’s all take a deep breath and tweet on.

I think the creators of Twitter said it best on ABC. People choose to follow who they want on Twitter, if you don’t like what the people are doing or saying, “Turn it Off” – You choose to follow them, they didn’t come to you.

If Guy wants to use Twitter specifically for his own purposes, great! Its his choice how he wants to used it.

Twitter is elegant in its simplicity. Guy has adopted the tool to market and promote top line news stories from Alltop..We all know this…He should be respected, as he completely transparent in his intent..No reason to attack him because there is no right or wrong..Twitter is a tool for the tool chest..

I think the major issue for me is that I’m not sure Guy’s approach would really work for anyone but him (or a select few). As many have already commented, because he’s an established presence and has a following, many of us put up with the Alltop Tweets and his aggressive marketing approach. That probably works for him (I certainly have no evidence to the contrary), but if anyone else did it, I’d unfollow them in a second and they’d have no audience.

If the average business owner tries to use Twitter as a weapon, I suspect that they’re just going to bludgeon their prospective customers to death.

I find it really amusing that you are all annoyed with Guy Kawasaki for either not using twitter the way you do, or not using twitter the way you expect him too.
There is no right or wrong way to use twitter, if his goal is to leverage his brand into driving traffic to truemors, or to alltop and it’s working for him, there’s nothing wrong with it, end of story.
You can all debate the subtle nuances of his wrongness, while he drives bucketloads of traffic, to a property that makes him money or he will sell for a profit.
I would think as marketing professionals you all might pay attention to the lessons in front of you everyday, and learn something, and stop focusing on being web 2.0 weenies and BS social media economics.

Add me to the list of someone who would re-follow @guykawasaki if he had a separate alltop stream. I’m interested in what Guy himself has to say, not just what the popular things from alltop are this moment.

Tom McCoy

I use twitter as an RSS feed mostly. I follow Guy. I follow Scoble. I follow Reuters. Twitter is how you use it. You define it for yourself.

Guy has some interesting perspective, given that he did already have HIS brand established in the Social Media Marketing world prior to Twitter’s Big Bang…but Lisa and Nutmeg above are correct, Guy’s current use of Twitter isn’t the most Socially-Correct (God I hope I don’t coin a new annoying phrase ” He isn’t very SC”) with his tweets. Guy’s talking points are all good, insightful and useful but he chooses to not apply them to his own practice. I haven’t unfollowed Guy because I enjoy Alltop, and because he is a good source of entertaining information.

Purely using Twitter for marketing purposes is NOT the way to use Twitter. I heard a great quote from a Twitter friend, Brad Howard, when he said: In order to make money on Twitter, you have to NOT want to make money on Twitter – which means you have to approach Twitter each day as something you are doing that will NOT make you money, participate in the conversations, acknowledge people for their inputs and value, make new friends and business will come on its own. Course it doesn’t hurt to shot at least ONE marketing tweet a day…traffic is traffic! :)

For some examples of people that are actively using Twitter to expand their business (as a weapon) you should check out/follow: @scottmonty, @scottmckay, @bradhoward or @ zaibatsu. Feel free to follow me @tylerlecompte. Thanks for the great post and interesting answers everyone.

Likening twitter to the telephone is like comparing apples to oranges. They’re both fruit and you can eat them, but that’s a pretty superficial comparison.
Twitter is an inherently social media and if you’re using it “one-way megaphone” style, i think you’d doing DAMAGE to yr brand.
In any convo, there’s a quotient i call “conversational respect”, and it involves listening and talking.
I’d be fraking irritated at being lectured (albeit in an informative/entertaining manner), but it’ll also be pretty much a “get off your high horse” after the first 10 tweets or so.
Get off your pedestal, Guy.
You’re not the Mac/ evangelist on Twitter… You’re one of us.
Democratize. Don’t eulogize.

I’m in agreement with most of the posts against using twitter for push marketing. I also unfollowed Guy. I like to actually meet people. I just sent off a couple of dm’s to tweeters that posted on interesting topics, but under a corporate or brand name. I want to know “who” I am talking to, not what. I personally take the time to respond to all peeps I follow and who follow me. I look at their websites and tweets. If they are interesting, I follow. Perhaps because I take the time, I have made several new interesting friends, received lots of informative feedback on my site and ebook, and struck up some future business relationships. There is no way I would have had access to these cool people without twitter. I think the tribal leaders will emerge with time, and the service will sort itself out.


I guess people are being unfair to GuyK. He has found a great use of a powerful tool and people have objections. I use Twitter as bookmark to copy paste all my fav links that I may go back and search sometime in life or with some other machines. I know there are other tools but thats my use. GuyK has alltop, Twitter, brains to use Twitter to promote alltop, he is considered smart enough to be called to deliver speech, if you guys cant tolerate that, its understandable.
He is next best to Obama on Twitter, he is considered internet celebrity. Imagine the money spent by Obama campaigns vs knowledge sharing and time spent by GuyK to achieve that status.
Dell outlet uses Twitter to sell amazing amount of Dell comupters, the outlets ones that they cant sell much on website. It is another channel for them. GuyK is a man who created Truemors for $12k and probably sold it for half a million in 6 months. So, sometime ‘shut up and follow’ works.

I see both sides of this. And a lot of it has to do with the infancy of Twitter. It is a really solid form of communication, but all good forms of communication can be abused. It seems like Kawasaki’s recommended strategy of using Twitter could be perceived as Twitter spam. But, at the same time, did the Telephone companies even know what spam was when they opened up the phone lines for public use? It’s all valid. Both sides. There are truths to both sides of the argument.

“irritating, like that pair of underwear that just won’t stop working its way back to wedgie status”
Hilariously priceless…
I literally laughed out loud after reading that!

I follow Guy, but I do wonder what exactly he’s branding. As Lisa says, he mostly tweets links to Alltop articles, which range from Japanese mummy monsters to Mark Twain’s lost writing. Rather than any cohesive brand, it’s more like the National Enquirer of Twitter. I’m still waiting for the three-headed alien monkey story…

I depend on Guy for my daily dose of what I need to know. There’s so much information out there now. I’m glad somebody is trying to catalog and organize it. Alltop is all the top news you need to know. Someday all those categories and links are going to form an enormous compendium which even naysayers may find useful. Thanks, Guy.

I asked “How do you follow thousands of people? How many tweets/minute do you get? Do you read them?”

Guy Kawasaki: @boblq I work very hard.

boblq @gk_minusalltop Dumb answer Guy. Lots of us work hard. Good answer from @scobleizer here #howto #newbie

If you want help with how twitter really works forget GK and check out Robert Scoble. He really does get it and is showing other people how.

I am a member of the “I follow Guy Kawasaki – and continue to do so – for several reasons. Number one, unlike some of the previous posters, Guy has actually helped changed people’s lives with his talks and writing. The articles that he posts are varied and of a good variety.
Regarding Lisa Barone’s comment about him not engaging anyone, well, I have a signed book that was sent to me from Guy, based on on a personal email asking him for one-that simple. He didn’t know me from Adam. Why would he send a complete stranger a copy of his latest book? It’s all about the communication. So much for not *engaging his audience*.
Guy is a marketer among other things. Alltop is a great idea (and my homepage). Guy promotes the site he created and believes in. Who said, “Twitter is great, as long as you don’t use it for self-promotion.”? It may be a fine line, but give me a break. Don’t like it? Then don’t follow. I myself choose to follow.

All I know is that Mr. Kawasaki provides not only some very interesting entertaining content but pertinent quality material, and as such I remain a fan.

Great job Mr. Kawasaki, especially on not shying away from this specific discussion.

I still follow Guy’s tweet stream – I do find value in some of his posts, I see him as a human aggregator. The frequency is a bit much for me, I have a hard time watching 3-4 really frequent posters pushing out all my other people I want to hear.
I’ve actually wondered if there was a way to build a filter (Pipes or something) to leave only his non-Alltop tweets (they do exist!). Guy (I know you’re reading! =), consider creating an Alltop-only twitter account – I know many would follow it. Some of us do just want to hear from you.
I’ve also considered just following these “high-volume” or vertical-market tweeters with an RSS or search tool. While I see value in those “streams” from prolific tweeters, I certainly don’t want to interact with them in that mode.

As someone who is involved with finding solutions for live and virtual client communication needs, I have found many of Guy’s posts to be very helpful and relevant. So far as the first posted comment…I just had a couple of direct messages with him today and also helped to upgrade content on one of the pages at Alltop making it more relevant. I see Twitter as a great resource for connecting people….maybe it was the manner of outreach as Guy has always been warm and welcoming and typically follows in return. My experiences with him are quite the opposite of the ‘horrible’ post above. Sorry there’s such a vast disparity of experience….

Twitter isn’t an RSS feed? It’s the Digg + Slashdot + BoingBoing RSS feeds mashed up with Short Attention Span Theater, sprinkled with some IM for flavor.

Well there are those of us out there who have no problem getting Guy to respond to us. Oh I guess that’s because we engaged him with a question, did not toss a link his way, and rememebered that the guy is just plain busy so out of respect we simply smiled when we saw the tweet come in from him into the direct message area.

Guy actually does post more than just links. Just some people are peeved that he’s not talked to them. I probably haven’t talked to you either. You should really be peeved about that.

Michael Murdock, CEO

I don’t understand criticism for someone’s particular use of a tool that has no boundaries. If someone wants to link back to their content. Great. If someone wants to use it to converse with people all day. Great. Use it how you want to use it. Don’t follow people if you don’t want to follow them. I don’t understand the air of offense. If Guy Kawasaki comes to your home and craps on your rug, maybe then you should get pissed.

That’s Guy’s thing, creating traffic at Alltop. without his tweet I wouldn’t have found this post. what’s cool about twitter is how easy it is to follow and unfollow… just a click away.

Another voice to the I unfollowed Guy. And I’m doing the same thing to everyone else who mass posts, just posts links, just Rt’s.
It took me all of one week to figure out who was and wasn’t wasting my twitter time.
The shame is that a few of Guys tweets each day were useful. But that’s not enough in the flood.

mari kurisato

Why not this: If a person uses Twitter in a manner that you dislike, unfollow them and move on? I mean, that’s the power of the internet, right? People annoy someone, that someone can choose to ignore the annoyances. Literally in the case of Twitter.

But beyond unfollowing trashing someone’s use of Twitter on the net, while certainly not novel, may not be a positive move for one’s own brand. In a environment where everyone can watch you badmouth someone else, you never know if that’s having a good effect or not.

I’m just saying that because I found this site from Twitterchatter about it. My vote is obviously on the VC with 80k followers. Apologies to Virginia Nussey, it was a nice article, and the debate is fun.


BLOG is a megaphone, Twitter is conversation
But whats funny is years fom now we will look back on earnest articles like this as anachronism and relics of an age much like those from the 50’s telling us how to dial a telephone…

One time, on Twitter, I told Guy Kawasaki that I liked him. He said, “I like you too.”

So he DOES talk to people. :)

I met guy a few weeks ago and thought he was great. Very funny, very knowledgeable. I am ok with him using twitter to what suits his needs. I found many of things he does very helpful w/ growing my own brand.


Add me to the “Used to follow @GuyKawasaki” list. It’s an avalanche of AllTop links that quickly gets annoying.

I find Guy’s tweets interesting, but I have come to value the community that’s evolved in my tweet stream far more.
I’m a twitter devotee, but tolerant of Guy’s style.

I find Guy’s tweets extremely useful. This guy is actually pre-screening what I may find interesting. I have confessed several times that I use twitter as my newsfeed more than anything else. But whenever I am on twitter I find myself clicking on Guy’s links. And to be clear, he categorizes the links on alltop, which is why he posts the alltop link along, but the links go to the actual website where the article originally appears. So what if he is driving traffic to and/or through alltop with each link?

Existing brands will likely use Twitter very differently from those who are trying to establish a brand. Guy had a brand and now he is using Twitter to maintain it and refine it. To those of us who follow him, it does appear to be an alternate RSS. Perhaps he reads the stream, who knows?
To build a brand on Twitter, you have to actively engage. That means tweeting more than just links back to your content. It means getting to know your most active and supportive followers. The engagement and regular responses help you and your followers build brands together. It allows their followers to find you and vise versa.
Each of us needs to find the right way to work Twitter. There is no one size fits all.

It just sounds like Guy’s advice is stating the obvious (re brands on Twitter). The tricky part is actually pulling it off. And that’s why copywriters are about to take over the world.


i beg to differ. I have @replied to guy on several occasions, and he has always answered – sometimes it takes a few hours though.


“He does nothing but post links back to alltop, which is his own property. He doesn’t talk to anyone. He doesn’t respond to anyone. He doesn’t engage anyone. It’s just another place for him to push content, which is sad, because he really is missing a huge opportunity to build his brand.”

How do you explain the high level of retweeting of what I post if all I do is post “links back to Alltop”?

Or this:


Kim M.

I’m also a member of the ‘I once followed @GuyKawasaki briefly’ club. Twitter, for me, is not an RSS feed. I find that extremely irritating, like that pair of underwear that just won’t stop working its way back to wedgie status. Eventually enough is enough.

The words of the messiah, may I be your disciple Lord Patrick.

Virginia Nussey

Meg, so Lisa’s not alone, eh? This backlash against pure marketing tweets could add another angle to the keynote, though. Hope people aren’t shy with their questions!

Sir Galactic Emperor Kawasaki, please have mercy upon this poor misguided Lisa person.
Your Excellency, it is clear that she has not partaken of your venture koolaid.
I promise to slaughter a social media site, and lay it’s still beating heart upon a virgin to appease you.

I’m another one who initially followed him and then quickly flew off. I’m not terribly pleased when people try to tell me how to use or not use Twitter, so I won’t do the same for him; let’s just say his use was incompatible with mine.

He compared his use of Twitter to how people use the telephone?

Oh, I am so glad I was not listening to that. I think my head would have exploded. :)

Virginia Nussey

Thanks, Lisa. Guy is definitely using Twitter in a pure marketing sense, but I think that’s okay. During the webcast he addressed the criticism that he uses Twitter only for pushing content and doesn’t talk to people. His response: that’s like Alexander Graham Bell getting mad at people for using the telephone to make sales calls instead of for talking to your family and for emergencies. Twitter is a tool that can be used however it is useful. Who knows. Maybe he is leaving opportunities unexplored, but I’m a happy follower because the content he pushes is entertaining and interesting. As a user, I’m not always looking for a person to talk to when I’m on Twitter. Sometimes I’m just looking to be entertained or to learn.

I would definitely not recommend anyone follow Guy Kawasaki’s method of Twittering. :)

Guy uses Twitter *horribly*. He has followers because he had a brand before he entered the space, but he definitely has no clue what he’s doing with it. He does nothing but post links back to alltop, which is his own property. He doesn’t talk to anyone. He doesn’t respond to anyone. He doesn’t engage anyone. It’s just another place for him to push content, which is sad, because he really is missing a huge opportunity to build his brand.

Guy’s one of those people I initially followed and then quickly dropped when I realized he had no interest in really being there. Twitter is another RSS feed for him. Maybe one day he’ll stop giving webinars about how to use Twitter and actually learn himself. Right now he’s just pissing people off with his Twitter spamming, imo.




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