Twitter Strategy for Business Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on Twitter Strategy for Business. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.
courtesy retnuhed_a @ flickr

courtesy retnuhed_a @ flickr

There is no social media tool quite like twitter. I have been a consumer of twitter for almost three years now. But about 6 months ago I turned my account from a consumer account into a post-all and a carry-all-conversations on twitter account. I am not pretending to be someone else on twitter. I am not using my account to spam people or to broadcast my daily tasks. I am however using it for networking. I was originally using it to learn about twitter. My goal was to discover if twitter itself was worth the attention of businesses.

This series of articles comprise the defense of my conclusion that yes twitter is appropriate for businesses. It’s an attempt to unveil a true strategy for a business on twitter. Please realize that this is a incomplete work in progress and will need to be fleshed out some more in the coming weeks. However, I feel the need to place these ideas into a public arena for consumption and response. I owe a debt of gratitude to @maniactive @pkuras @jbrons and the many many members of @grsm. I must disclaim that this content is a compilation of thoughts from smarter users than myself.  I expect comments and I hope to put out a newer, polished, indepth, strategy together after interacting with those who comment. Either on my Blog, on my Twitter Account, or on my Facebook Profile.

First things first, Get on twitter

courtsey uniqueblogdesigns

courtesy uniqueblogdesigns

It is often said that people don’t understand twitter until they start participating. In other words they don’t get twitter until they get twitter. So get an account, follow some people/organizations and start learning.

I will not go into detail on how to setup a twitter account. There are plenty of good great and better how-tos on getting started with twitter. But I will give my two cents to go along with those how-tos.

Many of the people who are on twitter are the early adopters because of the fact that “you don’t get twitter until you get twitter.” For those of you who are slow to adopt new programs, new tools, or new technologies this twitter thing is going to be a stretch for you.

My best advice: know that your twitter account (channel) is what you make of it. If you don’t like what someone is saying, or they are too noisy then you can “unfollow” them. Unfollowing someone is not an insult. I also recommend following people/organizations you are familiar with in real life. For example, those of you who are local, I recommend following @grnow @wzzm13 @woodtv.

The two best ways to find people to follow are:

  1. Use search.twitter.com and find people who are talking about (or near) what you care about.
  2. Look at who those people are following. Often times birds of a feather flock together

I “get” Twitter, but Twitter for Business?

Twitter is a place for conversations. The people I have met on twitter are balking at having a conversation with an organization. Yet there needs to be an organizational/brand presence on twitter. So what do you do?

courtesty abdallahh @ flickr

courtesy abdallahh @ flickr

I’ve seen it done wrong; I follow a brand (say a grocery store) they put out some interesting deals and recipes, things I am interested in. Then they start talking about boarding a flight, and their grocers conference on the East coast. I’m kinda lost, how a brand, an entire organization can board a flight. How can a Brand be enjoying the sun in a different state?

Do you see the problem?

Then there are the people who talk about what they are having for breakfast. How does this fit with brand?

Thus we have developed a need for a Trivium of Twitter Accounts. I have over a dozen accounts from which I can and I do tweet from. You can have as many twitter accounts as you wish. This is unlike Facebook which limits you to one personal profile (hint: you can have multiple brand pages).

Read Part 2: Twitter for Business Strategy Part Two: Explaining the Trivium of Twitter Accounts.

  • Heidi R.

    I wanted to comment after I read this last night, but after a few glasses of wine, I decided I better wait until this morning. :) Though, as I said, I’m now eagerly awaiting parts 2 & 3.

    I’ve been struggling with how to manage another account I have – festivalgr – because it’s for an annual event and there’s not much to say about it right now, but yet, I’d like to have lots of followers closer to June to be able to give live updates on Festival. Do I put my voice behind it, or follow a branded voice that may seem less personal? And how do I not sound like a commercial? And how do I interest people in following? These are all questions I’ve been pondering and would be interested in your thoughts.

    As for my own personal account, well, I am who I am and I tend to write whatever pops into my head. That’s fairly consistent with who I am so from that standpoint, I think I’m pretty true to my own “brand” – whether good or bad. :) If I had a business or wanted to promote something, I’d probably write different things. The idea of a ‘Trivium of Twitter Accounts’ appeals to me for that reason. But I question how to manage them all without losing your mind? There’s only so much time in the day…

    That’s enough for now. Great job on this post and I look forward to reading the rest!

    Heidi

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  • http://paulkortman.com/ Paul Kortman

    Heidi, thanks for the comment I do recommend reading parts 2 and 3, I see you have commented over on part three and I’ll respond to managing multiple accounts there: http://paulkortman.com/2009/03/03/twitter-strategy-for-business-part-3/#comment-103

    In the meantime, for not with @festivalgr, you want to develop a network, start searching out people with in a 50 mi radius of the festival and put out weekly updates of progress, whats different this year, schedule announcements, website launch announcements etc.

    I think with a once a year all volunteer festival like this the person behind the brand could be complicated, but finding a couple of volunteers to do this would be helpful!

  • http://www.teamddm.com mark blodger

    I’m in the edge of my seat. Can’t wait to read 2 & 3. I like the tone. I like the humble referrals and even the very obvious photo credits. Nice community minded feel. Now on to part 2…

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