More thoughts from online marketing pioneer Dr. Ben Hanna from his just-published report on his first 120 days of social media experiences at www.business.com.
Research shows 60 percent of those who try Twitter quit in the first week. It can be an incredibly frustrating experience, especially if you’re trying to build momentum in a corporate environment. Thoughts on getting your Twitter initiative back on track …
Be tenacious. Twitter is a viable business communication channel, end of story – “From what I’ve seen in the past four months, Twitter has a role as a business communication channel for most B2B companies,” Dr. Hanna said. “Whether Twitter figures out a way to monetize its business or not is irrelevant because, if Twitter fails, some other micro-blogging platform will take its place. If you’ve already tried Twitter for your business and struggled to make it work, it’s most likely because the B2B social media rules are still being written. Don’t give up.”
Twitter for business should be approached as mass communication - Conventional wisdom among many Twitter-advocates is that you are building a “community.” That is not necessarily so, according to Dr. Hanna. “If you plan to use Twitter for business, and you have more than a few hundred prospects/customers/influencers combined, you’re kidding yourself if you think interpersonal norms can govern how you use Twitter or other social media for your business. Why? Because Twitter is incredibly inefficient for forming interpersonal relationships. For the vast majority of businesses out there, “mass communication” is the model you should follow as you plan your Twitter strategy.”
You have a business contact list, so use it – As a business on Twitter, you don’t need to build a following like an individual would. This is a key advantage for business Twitter users who have either have forgotten or, more likely, ignored, this advantage out of some combination of a misplaced desire to not disrupt existing communication channels and the sheer revulsion many B2B marketers feel when considering how a P2P or B2C trend may apply to their business. Get over it. Establish a basic Twitter presence, make your prospects and customers aware of this new channel, and let them use it.
Focus on tweet quality over tweet quantityResearch shows that tweeting interesting things (e.g., tweets with links that more people click on) has a much bigger, positive influence on follower growth rate than does tweet volume (e.g., making sure you tweet very frequently to keep your tweets in front of your followers). The best practice for getting people’s attention and interest on Twitter is the same as it is across other business communication channels – talk when you have something important to say. Blanketing your followers with tweets doesn’t work any better than does blanketing the media with press releases about non-issues or hammering a direct mail list with irrelevant offers — One more reason to look at Twitter as a mass communication channel for business rather than a medium ruled by strict adherence to norms of interpersonal interaction.
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