It is always much easier to say than to do and it takes time and regular recalibration to make sure you are doing what you are recommending to others. In the ‘social’ space particularly, a lot of the recommendations seem like good common sense: be as honest and transparent as possible, listen to your customers, don’t ‘manage’ people, and be modest. Pretty easy to understand and recommend to others. Harder to do especially in a world where the speed of information is increasing because all of those things take thoughtfulness which requires us to pause and think. The other issue with it is there is no ‘right’ answer with regards to how to execute any of these recommendations – they are almost all judgment calls.
One of this things we believe is that business systems are complex as is the environment of any person in the system. Each person’s environment looks quite different depending on their choices of how they spend their time and resources. In our case by defining our audience as community and social media managers, we know that the networks of our customers and prospects probably overlap a lot on the work/business elements. That audience likely shares many of the same influencers, the same collection of tools and vendors that they consider, the same information sources and thought leaders. To the extent that our audience thinks of The Community Roundtable, it is only one piece of that complex web. That networked thinking informs how we do business. Instead of creating our own island we partner, share, and converse broadly. We do add our own thoughts and information to the mix but consider it only one part of what our audience might wish to consume.
This is the perspective that informs how we use Twitter. Instead of using it as a feed of just our own blog posts and activities (which we do include), we spend time finding and forwarding information from other thought leaders that we think our audience will be interested in. We try to promote people we think have something valuable to say – regardless of our relationship with them. We also often add a ‘voice’ to our tweets and interact like we would from our own personal accounts. We are clear about who is tweeting from the account.
We were asked recently to present how we used Twitter for B2B marketing and what results we were getting. We think it might be useful to those of you either considering using Twitter for business or those of you who may be looking to get a little more traction from your Twitter presence because our Twitter results represent a fairly compact period of time – six months. While we could always do better we are pretty happy with the results given it is only one of the many things we are responsible for every day.
What are your tips and tricks? What are you hoping to do with your Twitter account? What metrics do you use to track that? Please share!