Does the New “Twittering Interns” Trend Really Work?

Every single day, consumers such as myself, are bombarded with numerous advertising messages slamming us from every radio station we tune to, every television channel we choose to watch, every street we drive or walk about and even through our personal mobile phones! The advertising clutter we are directly exposed to is proven to dilute consumer attention and can sometimes be overwhelming and I think many of you out there would agree!

Just today, as I surfed Original Signal looking for new articles to read and interesting topics to research, I found myself staring at a somewhat disturbing article entitled: Pizza Hut searches for Twittering intern and I started wondering: Is this really what we, consumers, need these days: More and more advertising seeping into every venue and vent of our daily lives?
Let’s think about this for a second and weigh the positives and negatives that may come out of it!

To be fair to Pizza Hut and other respectable chains around the world, I will start with the advantages of such a move:

  • By posting such a job vacancy, Pizza Hut is helping the economy by offering a new position that would in turn generate income for the chosen intern. This will help, in a way, reduce unemployment and enhance its image as a socially responsible chain.
  • While researching Google for more on this topic, I found that numerous sites have addressed this issue which means that Pizza Hut was able to attract the media’s attention and “get people talking” about its endeavor without even trying to boast about it: Free noise-free advertising. Good job!
  • Obviously, by recognizing the power of social media, Pizza Hut has set the bar for its competitors by letting them know that: “Yes, we know more and we will utilize what we know to gain more market share!” Accordingly, competitors will want to react by increasing their advertising efforts yet trying to be creative while doing that by innovative techniques rather than imitation.

Now, how about the disadvantages that Pizza Hut seem to have overlooked?

  • Is Twitter the best way to go? Well, I don’t think so just for the simple fact that there are tens of international restaurant chains available around the globe and if only 5 or 6 of them decide to utilize the same tool for their PR activities this would cause confusion and in turn antagonize the Twitter community!
  • How many of us want to hear more about this restaurant or the other? I mean seriously, how many of us care if Pizza Hut created a new topping or added a new special dish? And if we do care, do we want to be reminded of it often?
  • How many people are really loyal to Pizza Hut as a chain? And how many of them are affected by price vs. quality?
  • Let’s take the best case scenario: Let’s assume the Twitter intern achieved a great job by gathering a Pizza Hut “Lovers'” community, will this community alone end up in more sales for Pizza Hut? Or will it just be a way for the community to talk and share their usual Pizza Hut experiences?
  • Finally, how much information can we process per day? I am a Twitter user for 2 months now and I barely can follow up and grasp a few messages and links from the millions posted every day!

Social media is, by far, a very prominent tool for advertising and no one can deny that but does it always work for everything?

I would like to read your comments about this topic as it is a very controversial one and my opinion is just a cloud in a sky of different shaped clouds of possibilities!

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