In your daily routine at the office (e.g., typing emails, speaking to clients over the phone, talking with colleagues while grabbing a morning coffee), I bet your dialogue lasts longer than 140 characters. If it doesn't you are either extremely shy, unsociable, or bitter. I'm not talking about the coffee. Enter the arena of Twitter however, and everything you say needs to be short and quick. However, "The Land of 140 Characters" can teach us a few lessons in market research and in business in general.
While I'm not saying you should focus on being short with your clients and colleagues, the motivations behind keeping things 140 characters or less does have some validity in business and market research. Organizations want to run efficiently and maximize productivity among staff. Adopting a Twitter-like strategy can assist with that.
Here are 3 things 140 characters teaches us in business.
#Brevity is key for written communications
People are time-poor and while it's sometimes important to be detailed and thorough, most don't have the time. This has caused the rise of infographics, executive summaries, dashboards, and topline reports in market research. If anything, Twitter confirms that 100+ page PowerPoint reports are dead (or on their last-legs.)
Get to the point and pick a main #objective
Brevity doesn't always mean that you are short and concise. It can also mean that you know how to talk about or write about what matters most and eliminate all of the fluff. The ability to siphon out key pieces of any task can pay huge dividends in sales emails, management presentations, and even data analysis. You don't need to write a John Grisham novel when a simple excerpt will get your point across in a fraction of the time. I consider being a man of few words to be a compliment.
Be #transparent, what you say to one, say to all
The fact that your 140 characters can be viewed by the entire internet carries a lot of weight. Once you click "tweet", you can't go back on your words as many celebrities and athletes have learned the hard way. Although a tweet can only last 140 characters it can make a big impact. If you are honest, you don't have to have a good memory or a quick trigger finger to click delete. As a market researcher, you are paid to be objective. Deliver the good news just as you are to deliver the bad news. If you are accurate, forthcoming, and objective in your analysis and reporting you never need a good memory.
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