I just read Dan Shipper’s article comparing advertising on Twitter to selling umbrella’s in a synagogue. In the post, Dan makes an analogy comparing advertising, to men selling umbrella’s in New York City, right when it begins to rain. These people are filling an “expressed need,” which Dan says the advertising on Twitter can’t do.

I do agree with him, that if you want to fill an expressed need, Twitter advertising is not the best route to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sell umbrellas on Twitter. You just need to know how to access the people who have that need for your product. Luckily, as with Google searches, these people will identify themselves when they have a need to be solved.

For example, I can do a search for “invest umbrella” (for some reason lots of people use the phrase “invest”, as if buying an umbrella is such a big decision…)

Here are all the people outside of the proverbial Synagogue, in the rain, who are actually looking for umbrellas. No longer am I stuck using paid advertising to build a relationship with these people, nor am I trying to sell to them while they are “praying.” I can go right out and tweet at them letting them know about my amazing umbrellas that are so well priced they will no longer think of them as an “investment.”

So before you spend money advertising, or assume that it is the best method, remember to use creativity and to find people with expressed and implied needs for your product. Relationships are nice, but being able to solve someone’s problem at the time it occurs is much more important.

If you ever find yourself needing an umbrella, you should invest in 

Update October 18:

Dan graciously complimented my response and RT’d it…