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Incorporating Twitter Into My Media Mix

can2I’ve been seeing more and more business contacts coming up on Twitter.  They’re following me.  Nice.  I follow them.  No question this is a fast-moving phenonemon—like Susan Boyle (with, as of today: 52,532,400 views on YouTube) and YouTube’s parent, Google itself, during its first few years of growth.

I presented today on a webinar sponsored by Genius.com.  The TAS Group hosted the event.  I shared the results of ESR’s survey on the use of social media in B2B sales.  Few of the 400 B2B salesreps surveyed say Twitter has directly contributed to them winning business.

An interesting question was posed by an audience member about pushback with the new social media, such as we had with faxes and email.  So that prompted this post, with a few observations.  Understand, I’m no Twitter guru.  I don’t have a million followers, or even a thousand.  I’m still figuring out how best to use it, gaining and providing value.

Some observations:

  • People find me and follow me.  I get an email. I click on their profile.  More make strange bedfellows than not.  I don’t understand why they’d want to follow me.  It takes time to do that.  A minute?  Often, from a selfish perspective, it’s wasted time.  Is this spam?
  • @writingroads who is a writer who lives here on Martha’s Vineyard taught me that it’s not all about just tweeting about your business.  Julie found me and got hired for an ESR project because of other interests that we shared.  Her tweets cover a wide variety of subjects.  She tells me that that’s how to use Twitter.  Tweet about what interests you.  You will find people with similar interests and others will find you.  Doing business with those comes naturally, if there is business to be done.  That works great for someone like Julie.  It wouldn’t work for a salesrep of a large company for many reasons.  At least I don’t think so.
  • Tom Pick wrote a post today on How to Use Twitter For Business.  He cites Whole Foods, Comcast, Starbucks and Ford as companies who leverage Twitter.  I looked at their recent tweets. Good article.  Thanks, Tom.
  • I don’t get people who block their updates.  Why do that?  It defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?  Maybe I don’t get it.
  • I un-follow hardcore self-promoters.  I did that twice yesterday.  People I know pretty well.  I found one sales trainer in the Middle East.  Began to follow.  What came next were dozens of tweets each day just promoting courses he was giving.  Ugh.  Bye.  If I do that, someone let me know.
  • I love people who provide real value. @DavidABrock is one.  @LouisColumbus is another. @SteveKayser and @CharlesHGreen, too.  Then there is John Caddell (@jmcaddell).  There are many more.  I try to use them as a model, but I have a long way to go.
  • It’s nice to have someone RT (retweet) one of your tweets.  Again, I do that when it’s appropriate.  I need to more of that.  Some of the people I follow are really smart.
  • When I’m really busy with work, I don’t have the time or inclination to use Twitter.  Am I not fully committed to Twitter as a medium?  Or is that reasonable behavior?
  • Those of you who read this blog know I’m concerned about B2B salespeople who spend too much time on Twitter rather than what has been proven to work in selling.  Some salespeople will look for any shortcut or trick to avoid the ongoing learning and hard work required for sales success.

What do you think?

Photo credit: © Alex Staroseltsev – Fotolia.com

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6 Responses

  1. Dave, I’ve seen a business use Twitter very effectively to improve its visibility in the marketplace and, more importantly, its sales.

    This business follows people who have an interest in its subject area (a segment of the cloud-based computing market). These are analysts, techies, prospective customers, existing users, etc. Many of these folks follow them back. This gives them an interested audience for their content–which is provocative, interesting and on point for these folks. They tweet blog links, articles relevant to the industry, one-line opinions, etc., but not too much or too often. One result of this has been a series of demos with a very influential industry analyst and inclusion in this analyst’s report on the segment.

    The second area is perhaps the most intriguing. They have set up a bunch of Twitter searches to find people Tweeting in subject areas that may indicate they have a need this company could help with. For example, they look for people complaining about a high-profile competitor, such as “I hate XYZ Co!” When they read a tweet like that, they respond with “Sorry to hear that. What don’t you like about them?” and enter into a dialogue that helps to establish whether they might be a good candidate for their own platform.

    Using the above process they have signed up a number of trial users, and have begun closing deals. These are deals, given the company’s small size, that they would not have had access to any other way.

    The CEO is very happy with the value he is getting out of using Twitter and he’s increasing his investment in this channel.

    regards, John

    • You know John, when a blogger (or Academy Award recipient) recognizes a list of people, we’re destined to leave someone out. I’m going back to edit the post to include you. My apologies. For the rest of you, John Caddell is one of those very smart people I referred to in my post. I expect I’ve learned more from him than he every learned from me. Check out his blog and his tweets.

      • Thanks, Dave! With Twitter, in particular, we are all beginners, learning by doing, as the platform and how it’s used evolves day by day and week by week.

  2. A hearty thank you to Dave Stein and to John Caddell for a thoughtful and useful article on using a Twitter presence to help support a business. Time to follow both of you on Twitter.

  3. […] every day – of course, and today is no exception: Over on Dave Stein’s blog he opines “Incorporating Twitter Into My Daily Mix”  Do check out the results of the ESR survey […]

  4. Very good read Dave. I guess I really liked it because I’m finding myself in the same boat as you- balancing the twitter phenomenom with every other marketing and sales ‘to-do’ for that day. Keep up the great work.

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