Everyone is more than familiar with Twitter – it is everywhere, tweets are quoted in the news, on the radio, in stories about celebrities and athletes, and even the new “Tonight Show” host, Jimmy Fallon has an ongoing schtick about hashtags. Indeed, many use this as a medium to communicate with family and friends. But what about in the business environment? Does Twitter go beyond the selling or informing the consumer? In short, yes it does.
Recent studies have shown that over 80% of business marketers use social media to market to other businesses (known as B2B). Twitter is part of that strategy with over 80% of those using social media in a business-to-business context using Twitter as one communication vehicle. The most used social networking site in the B2B world (not surprisingly as that is its sole mission) is LinkedIn, followed closely by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As with dealing with consumers, businesses tend to use a multi-platform strategy for their social activity in the B2B space. Interestingly, marketing through social media is more popular among businesses than newsletters, blogs or even on site content. The idea is to find the buyers where they hangout – that is clearly in the social networks. Now Twitter doesn’t have the ability to provide lengthy details of a project or a pitch (140 characters can be very limiting), but it does help keep the seller top-of-mind, and it is much easier to read a tweet than to watch a 5 minute video or 5 page newsletter.
In fact, Twitter has certain characteristics of the old walkie-talkie cell phones, where you had a direct line to someone important to your business. With Twitter you can keep you business partner or customer apprised of manufacturing schedules, planned deliveries or places to read schematics. It is a quick and effective means of communication and is replacing email and longer phone conversations, making everyone more efficient in the process.
Lest we forget, though, the best means for any social interaction is to drive action towards your goal of conversion. And that is where Twitter has seen a great deal of success especially in the consumer markets. But this success using Twitter is now moving into the B2B realm as studies have shown that even in the business-to-business marketplace Twitter communiques increase brand awareness significantly, leading to more sales.
The uses of Twitter continue to expand into all aspects of society. In a business-to consumer environment the aim is to get more Twitter Followers with more of a shotgun approach. Going into B2B, targeting your followers is going to be more critical and clearly it won’t be uncommon for businesspeople to have to manage a number of different twitter accounts all targeted for different purposes.
And we thought technology would make our lives simpler. Right.
Here is an interesting Infographic about B2B and Social Media: