Digital Marketing 101: Is Twitter right for my business?
Following a stranger, shouting on the street about something you overheard them saying, telling everyone that you pass on the street about a great new white paper you have written... in real life you may have a court case on your hands.
On Twitter, however, this is perfectly normal behavior and completely expected.
Twitter has 336 million monthly active users worldwide, which is an immense, highly engaged and active audience to tap into. Chanel, Samsung Mobile, PlayStation, Starbucksand other massive B2C companies pride themselves on having over 10m Twitter followers.
But how does this translate into a B2B environment?
There is a difference between using a personal Twitter account and using a corporate account – both are useful and effective in influencing, engaging and informing potential clients but we will be concentrating her on company Twitter accounts (and if relevant we will touch on where a business owner’s personal account is important).
Twitter is right for you when:
You need Brand Awareness
With 336 million users to tap into, Twitter is an abundant environment for engagement. Twitter users are generally a very active bunch - individuals who keep an ear close to the ground, news is key, notifications create a buzz.
Twitter sits right at the top of the marketing funnel – it is the equivalent of a tap on the shoulder to a potential client, presenting an opportunity for brand exposure and awareness. It is an effective way to grab attention, a follow at the right time if used in conjunction with other marketing activities can be highly effective (meeting someone at a networking event and then following them on Twitter and retweeting something they share or mentioning them in a tweet).
It’s important to note that Twitter is only valuable when content is shared, industry thought leaders are followed, conversations are held, prospects are sought out – ie Twitter is only valuable when a ‘combination approach’ is applied. Brands should use all of these activities to maximize their chances of connecting and engaging with Twitter users.
If you are needing fast bottom line results then there are more effective channels to use than Twitter, but for brand awareness and exposure it does a fantastic job.
You have plenty of great content to share
As far as advertising is concerned Twitter is highly targeted - users are able to target an audience based on location, gender, interest, behavior, device usage and other important factors. Prices are based on a user’s budget and bid, as well as the type of campaign that they choose, which can work well for B2B businesses. The important thing is to use your advertising budget to share the right kind of contentthat is relevant and will encourage engagement with the target audience. Ebooks, whitepapers and informative blog posts work well and if you are already producing these types of content then Twitter is a natural distribution channel.
You are comfortable in a discussion, not only a broadcast
Twitter is all about engagement, discussion and interaction vs broadcast. It’s not a self-promoting sales focused opportunity to put your message out there – this is against the Twitter etiquette and is a common mistake made by many brands. Twitter’s core focus is on engagement rather than broadcast.
If you want to get the most from Twitter, you need to get involved in discussions about relevant topics, share your views and comments on breaking industry news and answer questions in those areas where your expertise lie. In short, you need to add personality to your brand by being highly active and engaged – this will build trust and improve brand recognition.
You have a strategy for handling public complaintsTwitter is often used as a as a complaints tool, here are a few interesting stats:
- 1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care services to telephone or email
- An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues
- Nearly 70% of consumers have said that they have used social media for issues to do with customer service on at least one occasion
The reason? Because in a public domain the pressure is on for a brand to respond to a complaint quckly and professionaly so that they can save face and use the opportunity to smooth things over with the complainant. Public complaints make the wider community aware of the problem and make the brand aware of the users dissatisfaction at the same time.
Twitter is not right for you when:
1. You need to well defined ROI
Twitter activity is difficult to measure in terms of tracking how prospects convert into paying customers. Analytics tools do exist, but it is tough to quantify the return on investment without being able to accurately measure the return on time invested.
2. You don't have sufficient time and resources to invest
Twitter requires plenty of time and employee investment. It’s most successful when used on a regular basis, with constant updates and interaction to keep a brand top of mind. According to a report from Prepare1:
- 64% of marketersare using social media for 6 hours or more
- 41% of marketers spend 11 hours or more weekly on social media
- nearly 20% of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media
It’s most successful when used on a regular basis, with constant updates and interaction to keep a brand top of mind.
Some businesses fall into the trap of setting up a Twitter account, using it regularly for a few weeks, then letting it slide. For those searching for the brand on Twitter, such a gap between periods of usage can suggest that a company no longer operates, or that it has no interest in staying up to date with its market and its customers. A set period of time should be set aside each week for Twitter engagement, and tweets scheduled using Hootsuiteor a similar tool to maintain activity.
3. You don’t have the support of the wider team
How many people should be managing your Twitter account?
Whilst it could quite easily be left to one individual, Twitter works best when a few employees have input in how it is run. The most cost effective option is to leave the Twitter account management to a junior member of staff, but more senior team members have better knowledge of your business and marketplace that are worth sharing online. Whilst some social media channels like LinkedIn can get away with less engagement, Twitter needs more time and effort that will lead to regular conversations and updates.
A Twitter strategy that is destined for success has buy-in and contribution from the entire business - along with an alignment to business strategy and goals.
In summary, if your customers are active Twitter users, you’re happy to engage meaningfully with them, can handle public complaints and your social media strategy fits with the platform’s strength, Twitter may be a good option. But if time is scarce, your wider team are unwilling to get involved or you need detailed ROI reports, your marketing budget may be better spent elsewhere.
Do you need assistance to align your business goals with your digital strategy? One of our part-time Marketing Directors can help you focus your efforts, see return on your investment and grow your business.