Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Use Twitter for Business

For those of you interested in using Twitter for business, we've documented some great advice taken from one of Twitter's most productive users, Laura Fitton, of Pistacio Consulting and author of Twitter for Dummies.  I've gathered my personal summary from the Hubspot webinar and posted them below.  However, you may also want to view the recording yourself in order to get the most out of the webinar.  If so, feel free to do so by viewing the embedded video below.  Please let me know if you have any questions on Twitter for business.  Otherwise, enjoy, and learn a lot!

Introduction: The Twitter ecosystem


  • Great quote about Twitter,  "It's not information overload, it's filter failure"  - Clay Sherky

Twitter is a massive consumer sentiment engine.  There are hundreds of companies using the twitter API, and interacting with Twitter in some way, shape, or form.  Twitter is being mined for analytics and insight into consumer behavior, organization reactions, and cultural trends.  The openness of Twitter is creating a sort of humongous focus group for businesses.  It's also allowed for businesses to engage in their customers and prospects.  Twitter has become a critical component of a company's social media campaign.

What makes Twitter so valuable?
  • The power.  The man in Egypt in 2009 tweeting "Arrested"
  • Earthquakes in L.A.
  • The picture of the Hudson River crash was posted on twitter
  • Iran Protests were tweeted

Twitter disrupts
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • All networks

User Multiface

Twitter can be accessed anywhere, through:

  • Browsers
  • Mobile interfaces
  • SMS
  • Embedded Widgets

Individuals
  • Build networks
  • Utilize leveraged problem solving

Companies and Brands
  • Engage more deeply with customers
  • Customer service
  • Brand engagement
  • Drive productivity
  • Employee development
  • Research
  • Idea exchange
  • Networking

Externally
  • Customer service
  • Relationships
  • Market awareness
  • Inbound marketing
  • Cultivating relationships
  • SEO

Internally
  • Sales Teams
  • Event Teams
  • Project Status
  • News
  • Support
  • Mentoring
  • Problem Solving
  • Question Answering
  • Problem Solving
  • Purely Social

Value
  • research
  • marketing
  • networking
  • customer
  • service
  • traffic
  • news
  • sales
  • SEO
  • Listening (do this first)
  • existing business processes
  • visibility
  • relevance

Influence was...
attracting attention to yourself
...it is now shifting

Influence is...
provide attention value to others

Social Media is nothing new
  • people have been expressing themselves for ages
  • passing of knowledge
  • passing info from a trusted source to a source that you are trusted in using
  • Markets are socially mediated

How should a business get started?

To Get Started in social media, a business should:
  • start listening (this is much more important than speaking)
  • example: double dutch, you don't jump in before you have the ropes timed
  • dress nicely, introduce yourself, be a good conversationalist

How to Best Approach Social Media?

Cultivate standards of:
  • excellence
  • authenticity
  • engagement
  • Provide Value!!!

How do we start a Twitter Campaign?
  • Don't be concerned with a Twitter campaign
  • Do be concerned with twitter literacy
  • But, if you want to start, start by measuring and providing useful advice
    • Measure your shortened links 
    • Understand how your shared links are doing
    • The self-serving will flounder.  The useful will flourish


Advanced Twitter for Business


What if my customers are not there yet? 

If you don't believe your customers use Twitter, there is still reason to start with it.  Here are some Off-Platform Benefits:
  1. SEO - Twitter can help you with your keywords
    1. What domains would you purchase?  Buy those handles.  
    2. Incorporate your name too for additional words
  2. Research - Twitter allows for passive, free listening and engagement tools.  
    1. Be active 
    2. Ask questions
    3. Use hashtags, recruit groups
  3. Content Generation - Twitter can be free content on your site
    1. Use as a widget on your website.  
    2. Use to lifestream, generate content
  4. Word of Mouth - Twitter can create and enhance the word of mouth chatter about your business
    1. A great example of this is Dell (@DellOutlet)
    2. Remember that Twitter users are heavily skewed to influencers and journalists.  Be a part of the conversation with them.
  5. PR Gravity - Twitter allows you to enhance your PR effort
    1. Answer questions without seeking PR council
    2. Get your stories out to where journalists are 
    3. You can get PR results this way


How should we conduct ourselves on Twitter?
  • Be useful
  • Offer things
  • talk about what you do
  • Be more personal, be more real

Applicability
  • Listening
  • Research
  • Innovation
  • Measurement
Twitter ROI

Measure Twitter the way you measure everything you do.  What is the ROI?
  • Followers numbers
  • Follower engagement
  • Link sharing
Efficiency on Twitter

How to make Twitter NOT a time-suck:
  • Tools - focus on tools that make it easier to manage (automate searches, trends alerts, specify an account, make room for experimentation, time block)
  • Objectives
  • Discipline
  • When listening, enable specific tweets to route to certain departments for follow up

Listening Tools
  • twitter search
  • radian6
  • objective marketer
  • tweet deck (trends and tweets)

Twitter Resources
  • search.twitter.com
  • wefollow.com
  • pistacioconsulting
  • 140.com
  • pistacio's delicious bookmarking page
  • any industry-specific guide

The most important thing to remember when using Twitter, or any social media application for that matter, is to have a goal in mind beforehand.  Twitter can be a great way to supplement PR efforts, listen to conversations about your company/products, and produce content for your company.  When used correctly, it can absolutely enhance your business.  Just make sure you know what you want to get out of it, create a plan for using it, and measure your results.  Good luck out there!