In my last blog post on writing a B2B blog, I mentioned that it was important, even essential, to define your goals and strategies right from the start and before doing any writing. In fact, this step is applies to any company project, just as it does when it comes time to join different social network communities, namely Twitter.
Get up and tweet!
One of your employees (most likely a “Y”) convinces you to create a corporate Twitter account. He assures you that all will be “cool” and that he’ll take care of the management of the account. After all, he’s used to microblogging. The last thing you want to tell him is: “ok, all is good, go for it!” without determining with him beforehand – or, better still, with a social network strategist – the direction that the corporate Twitter account should take. Otherwise, you might give him a hot potato.
Among the numerous resources that your company could use on Twitter, I will present the top 5 to you. The idea here is not to choose just one and ignore the other four (although I feel that the best strategy consists in choosing one dominant resource). Other resources could be annexed to the first depending on the time and energy that you’re able to invest in the management of your community.
1. Ambassador to the brand. If your company is not very well known, don’t expect others to talk about it. Do self-promotion! Promote your products and services. Tweet news, accomplishments, studies, blog posts and other content. Make your employment openings, awards and distinctions known. You are your biggest fan! The goal is to give you visibility and to incite people to share your content by becoming ambassadors themselves.
2. “Press review.” Tweeting links to news articles or accomplishments pertaining to your industry will increase your notoriety and attract prospects, and could eventually turn your company into an industry trend-setter, which is someone “who sets the general trend for a targeted market” (translation of “influenceur” from granddictionnaire.com). Your news content search could eventually determine the subject of a later blog post or article.
3. Interaction. Whether it’s developing a network of contacts or simply humanising your company, programmed tweets can help you out, but everyone likes to feel that there’s someone on the “other end of the line.” Comment other people’s tweets, ask questions, promote the content of the influencers of your sector.
4. Customer service. From this angle, your Twitter account will become a gateway for direct communication with your clients. Of course you will not be able to offer technical support or take orders with only 140 characters, but you can direct customers to the relevant resources and, in turn, learn more about them and their tastes. This extra attention could very well be an incentive for future clients.
5. Competitive intelligence. This listening resource can be done on several levels. You can study the offer of your competition or just see how they use their Twitter accounts. In sum, this resource is used less for exchanging information (unless using a secret identity) and shouldn’t be the main resource for a corporate account. Watch for traps! Poor management could result in an argument with a competitor.
Of course, you can always decide to manage your corporate Twitter account as you deem fit and have some degree of success. However, it will be more difficult for you to retain your subscribers (for example, the ones who think of you as an influencer could be disappointed to hear you suddenly speak only about yourself). Not having guidelines when it comes to your Twitter strategy could harm your analysis when the time comes to calculate the financial impacts for your company. And sooner or later, you will want to know if it’s worth it at the end of the day. But without any proof of positive impacts directly resulting from your presence in social networks, you might want to stop everything. Then you would definitely be missing out on the huge opportunities that Twitter offers.
You want to open a corporate Twitter account but don’t know what direction to take or what strategy to adopt? Contact me for advice or ask your questions and leave your comments below.