I don't care if your company is on Twitter

Look at the companies that you might admire in terms of their social presence. Then strip Twitter away. That's when you really see who is social and who just jumped on a trend.

I remember early 2008 just like it was yesterday. Twitter had become the social media standard among most early technology adopters yet the mainstream world was still slightly out of reach for the social network. We got excited whenever something new would happen on Twitter. Blog posts would pop up celebrating companies for "tweeting" or for using Twitter to deal with customer service issues. It was so new and shiny. I was definitely among the bloggers who got excited about every little move on Twitter.

These days I'm looking for a little bit more. I'm looking for depth. I'm looking for substance. I realize that a lot of companies are just now starting to get onto Twitter and that's a big deal... for them. But several have already laid the groundwork so much that analytics tools are abundant, integration is on the horizon, and if social media has taught us anything it's that Twitter is not the end all, be all of social strategies. It's not even a strategy.

I find my eyes starting to glaze over whenever a company or public relations agency emails and says "Hey, X is on Twitter, do you want to talk to our C-level executive about how this impacts our business?" My response is usually silence, but I'm sometimes tempted to say, "Really? Your CEO wants to talk to me about Twitter? Can I talk to him about his overall marketing strategy instead?"

I want to be sensitive to the latecomers. But even the earlier companies who were first to join the Twitter ranks aren't doing much other than that. These companies are not all innovators. Some of them are still merely using Twitter and aren't doing much to manage it or grow the brand or presence. Some haven't figured out that if Twitter were to magically go away (or become less reliable due to spam, which is more likely) then the bottom falls out of their so-called social media strategy. The social Web is much larger than Twitter and while it's well and good if you're using it, don't expect anyone who knows better to jump up and down about it anymore.

Look at the companies that you might admire in terms of their social presence. Then strip Twitter away. What's left? That's when you really see who is social and who just jumped on a trend.