Twitter was created in 2006 and is affectionately known as “the SMS of the internet.” Twitter began as a place to communicate between small groups about common topics. In 2007, Twitter exploded at the South by Southwest Interactive conference as event-goers constantly updated the network with tweets about the experience.
Twitter’s existence has allowed for news outlets to inform followers in real-time, celebrities to give a backstage glance into their lives, and your next-door neighbor to tell you everything and anything about their life. While Twitter is still relevant to many industries, many B2C and B2B companies are beginning to wonder if it’s still relevant to them.
Keith Messer, VP of Marketing & New Business Development at Data Services, Inc., wrote in his article: B2B Marketers: Is Twitter Still Relevant?
“Whether you’re tweeting like you’re possessed, just dipping your toe in the water or have avoided the medium like the plague, you should always take a step back to evaluate whether what you’re doing makes sense.”
We at ATAK Interactive believe that Mr. Messer makes a very good point. Twitter is still a valuable resource for many B2B companies who want to display influence in their industry, share news about their business, or are actively engaging at an event.
To understand exactly what B2B companies should be using the medium for, Messer details further the questions you should be asking:
Are Your Goals Appropriate?
For B2B marketers using most mediums the desired end result is always the same: Generate revenue for the company. However, as the medium has matured and trial and error has been well observed, twitter has shown us that, while it may be a step in the lead maturation process, it’s still largely unproven in itself as a direct customer acquisition medium for those in the B2B space.
What Are Appropriate Goals?
Thought leadership has become the go-to buzz word with regard to justifying B2B investments in twitter, and rightly so. Therefore the question becomes whether the content you’re disseminating via your tweets has viral legs and is becoming part of the conversation. As twitter grows its userbase, content is supplied by more and more users, and overall engagement continues to trend downward, the task of breaking through the noise and engaging your desired audience comes with an ever-increasing degree of difficulty.
What should you avoid?
While it’s important to track and set goals for follower count milestones, RT (re-tweet) stats and/or mentions of your handle to make sure you are not simply shouting into the abyss, these goals should not be the ends in themselves.
What should you do?
Identify and utilize relevant hashtags for your business and Identify industry thought leaders. Where appropriate, engage them, this can be as simple as retweeting something they’ve tweeted that you like, and get them on your side. If there are none in your space, strive to become that thought leader and see what happens. If you build it and they don’t come, twitter might not be the place for you.
One thing Messer does not point out is that often times, your competitors are the thought leaders he’s referring to in the industry. If you see other companies having success on Twitter, it’s apparent that your industry is one that has an audience on the medium.
If you find yourself in this situation, a great next step would be to use a simple Twitter strategy we call Evaluate. Emulate. Innovate.
Evaluate what the competition is doing on Twitter. When are they posting? How many times a day? Are they engaging a community or talking into thin air? What is the tone? How much do they talk about themselves?
Emulate what works. Get to their level by using the fundamental strategies that are working for their business and others in the industry. Connect with the same thought leaders, and begin providing the original content the audience engages with.
Innovate past them. Once you have improved your efforts and are engaging your audience like your competition once did, take a step ahead before they get a chance to.
This basic strategy will help you ease into Twitter and eventually push your campaigns ahead of your competitors. It takes time and it takes an investment, but if your goals are clear and the opportunity to connect further with your audience presents itself, it’s an investment that will pay off.
If you’d like to talk about using Twitter for your company or how to optimize this platform more efficiently, contact our team at 310.526.7493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.