Monday, 6 February 2017

Business-to-Business markets? Will Twitter's initial B2C success translate into B2B?

Big Numbers

The premise of Social Media Marketing is sound, indeed. Since Everett Rogers introduced the concept in his seminal book, The Diffusion of Innovations, the concept that a large percentage of any market space can be reached through a vocal minority of "influentials" has been widely held. Today's viral marketing campaigns are built on that very premise. Marketing guru Seth Godin compares these influentials to "sneezers," who advance the spread of ideas through a population, the same way infected people spread viruses.

And if large populations spell success for marketers, then Twitter holds great promise.

In April of 2016, Twitter revealed some impressive stats, boasting that 106 million registered users were posting an aggregate 55 million new tweets every day. Granted, those are some big numbers! Still, I can't help but recall that large numbers of people turned out to see George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential race, and Richard Nixon won the election with a landslide 23% margin in the popular vote - the widest margin in any U.S. presidential election.

The Power of the Internet

"Hold on!" say Twitter advocates, "The Internet is different. It's a phenomenon, a social tsunami. The Internet cannot be ignored, and neither can Twitter."

No one would deny the power of the Internet. Of the 344 million people believed to be living in North America in 2010, an estimated 77.4% (266 million) are using the Internet. According to USA Today, Americans spend nearly a quarter of their Internet time on social networking sites. And while we're networking, we're changing the way America does business. In a recent survey of Internet users, Brandweek reported that 31% of respondents said they used social networking sites to gain information on companies and products, and 20% have discussed brands in social networking forums, after seeing them advertised elsewhere.

Success Stories

So what, exactly, is the great Twitter promise? Well, according to Twitter, the medium's conversational tone lets you build relationships with customers, it makes you more accessible to constituents, and it shrinks the emotional distance between you and your customers.

Case studies, published on Twitter's site, offer proof. A spokesman for JetBlue says Twitter helps his company maintain customer relations.  Australian winemaker Teusner Wines uses Twitter to get feedback from customers. And Dell, Best Buy, Levis, Pepsi, and American Apparel all join Twitter's song of praise for Twitter.


I have an advantage over Gen X marketing managers: I've raised teenagers. So when someone comes to me with the argument "But Dad, everybody's doing it!" I'm just not moved. Particularly, when I'm in the B2B world and Twitter's success stories are all B2C!

Pete Blackshaw, EVP of Strategic Services at NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, warns about getting caught up in the hype. Blackshaw urges marketers to "get back to boring," lest we lose sight of the fundamentals like trust, customer relations, emotions, feedback, listening, patience and leadership.

From a B2B perspective, I would have to agree.

Before venturing into social marketing, let's make sure our other marketing efforts are in place and working well. Let's remember to carefully define our brands, develop robust but achievable marketing plans, and refocus our corporate cultures on customer-centered, brand-positive behaviors.

Then, let's see what we can do with YouTube (whose links can be easily embedded in existing email campaigns and viewed directly from any desktop - no membership required). Let's look into Facebook (a community of 500 million users averaging 130 linked friends and representing 700 billion minutes of activity monthly). And then, if we're still looking for ways to deplete our bankrolls, let's join the Twitter experiment.

One Miley at a Time

Time alone will tell whether Twitter is the vanguard in a sweeping overhaul of the way people communicate or just the latest in a series of failed social experiments that allow participants to self-identify based on their absolute self-absorption. [deliberately extreme viewpoints]

...Though I would venture a guess that a larger percentage of Miley Cyrus Fan Club members tweet than Wall Street Journal readers - so if you are marketing to CEOs of major corporations, Twitter may not be your best investment.

Heck, even Miley has become disillusioned with Twitter. "It's kinda stupid," Miley told Letterman on the June 17 Late Show, "cause I'm like you can't complain about like, 'Oh I don't have a private life! And I'm so upset paparazzi are following me!' if you're going to tell them where you're going."  Sheer genius.

Get your free Twitter report today

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Twitter And Marketing Are The Yin And The Yang To Getting Your Message Out There

It has been assumed for quite some time now that the new "social" media marketing was the sole responsibility of the millennial generation, Twitter and marketing were on opposite sides of the fence. Twitter was the responsibility of those strangely independent cause oriented workers that were as at home on their smart phones as they were on their laptops.

These strange new breeds would work in tandem with the wool suit 9-5 crowd at the office that were pushing direct mail flyers, scheduling radio spots and working contacts they had know for thirty years.

In reality there were two forces: a yin and yang, a push and a pull, a driving movement and a resistance. However in the later stages of the last decade the two camps began to merge and Facebook pages were popping up for established conservative nightly news programs and Twitter was being seen a viable component to the marketing of a business.

It is important to note that Twitter is an "aspect" of the marketing side of the business, it is still no replacement for your effort in marketing planning and other strategic operations.

Twitter and marketing are not 2 distinctly separate activities these days, one is merely a tool of the other, and Twitter and marketing must exist in harmonious balance.

So how does the modern day samurai balance the soft side and the hard side, the yin and the yang, the dynamic dance between Twitter and marketing? The answer is in the application of the tool in relationship to your overall strategy. As a list of bullet points Twitter should be used to:

1. Provide a low cost marketing alternative that gives a link or an overview to additional information (you will not be able to post your entire newspaper ad in the tweet).

2. Align your Twitter and marketing efforts to make sure your message matches your audience. If the message is not geared toward those that use Twitter it is not exactly viral material (look at Toyota's branding of Scion as an example of focus marketing).

3. Make sure what you are tweeting is relevant, people will gladly be introduced to new products, but will be turned off by attempts to spam.... If you want to spam go back to direct mail.

Lastly utilize your Twitter and marketing campaigns using a defined set of KPI (Key Performance indicators) and know what you are looking to get, is it more followers, higher conversion or simply more brand exposure? All of these will require a slightly different approach and need to be tailored accordingly.

Get your free Twitter for business report today

Friday, 3 February 2017

Twitter for Business - Why Bother?

Today, just about everyone will have heard of Twitter unless they have been hiding away somewhere. It is probably the fastest growing social network on the internet, taking the internet by storm with an average of 10,000 new sign ups on a daily basis. Twitter is a micro-blog site where you answer the question "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less.

Promote your business and gain more traffic

In essence, Twitter is a relationship building tool. The obvious business use of Twitter is to meet potential customers. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) consultants will advise that Twitter should be used to drive people to your company's website through linking to your content. To do this you should tweet about interesting news, stories and information. This could be the latest blogs you have posted, recent press releases or a white paper that can be downloaded. Tweeting this information with a back link to the relevant page on your website can be extremely valuable. If your content is of a high quality then people will start tweeting about it and share this with their Twitter friends.

A social media site like Twitter is also useful for promoting events. The next time your company is holding an event or seminar, tweet it out for full exposure to your Twitter community. By tweeting about events, useful resources and thoughtful tips, your company will eventually become an expert and people will begin to consider you as a specialist in your area of expertise.

Monitor your brand

Twitter as a social media platform allows you to monitor your brand. You can search and track what people are saying about your company, products, competitors or any other buzz words in your industry.

Twitter has a favourites feature. On your Twitter stream you are able to "star" a tweet which adds it as a favourite. As you track what people are saying about your company, you can "star" all the positive tweets. This is valuable information as you can then show the public what is being said about your brand and company. When you get an enquiry about your company you can send them the link to your favourites on twitter.

Offer real-time customer service

Another important role of Twitter for business is to use it as a virtual customer service centre. By responding to customer comments or concerns about your company or products via Twitter you are helping them in real time - answering their queries, responding to negative feedback and giving help to customers. This speedy response will impress your customer no end. Plus it will show other potential customers that you care. Not only this you can also inform your customers if there are any problems with your website, or if your site is down for maintenance and for how long.

Getting support

It is important to remember that the Twitter community is dynamic and growing all the time. Using a social media consultant to devise a creative and powerful Twitter campaign can be extremely rewarding for your business.

When getting started, using Twitter can seem very daunting and it's likely that you will need the support of a local digital marketing and SEO company who specialise in social media marketing services. Specialists in this area will be able to help you with your Twitter marketing requirements. Don't forget to use blogs and forums where possible as there will be lots of people who are happy to provide further support and talk about their own experiences and successes carrying out different internet marketing strategies.

Get your free report today and learn how to drive traffic to Twitter