Twitter is one of the Golden Childred of Social Media (Facebook being the other). B2C successes has left many B2B companies thinking ‘It’s not really for us’. This is a shame, Twitter does offer some opportunities for B2B businesses, they simply need to know how to exploit them. Below are just some of the ways in which it can be used (this is by no means exhaustive):
- Research – find out what people are saying about your business and in what context. Then act on it. BEWARE: it’s easier to criticise than to praise, so only act on the things that are really critical and are affecting your business.
- PR – Tell people about your latest news, new business wins or latest product/service developments
- Thought Leadership – If you want people to think of you as someone at the top of your industry, make them believe it by distributing content such as reports, white papers, research findings, etc
- Sales– This may not seem obvious but depending on your business this could work. Obviously not for a server installation costing millions of pounds, but if you sell office stationery then having a weekly special could work.
- Customer service – Get your after sales team to also have a Twitter account where they can respond to any questions/issues your customers may be facing
Hold separate accounts for each of the above, so people get the messages they want from you. If someone’s having an issue with your product, trying to get them to buy more is unlikely to go down well.
The key is to not think of Twitter as either a panacea or a silo-ed touchpoint. All social media will work best when part of a coherent, consistent strategy and has a solid internal support structure – i.e. people actively using/checking the accounts and interacting with customers.