Get Your Tweet On

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the demands of social media. I mean, the days were already full, and now we’re supposed to Like, Tweet and Follow, too? Twitter, in particular, is still “new” enough to arouse suspicion and downright distrust. “We tried Twitter, but none of our customers are there.” That’s what one of our clients told us recently. If you’re still skeptical about using Twitter in a B2B context, you’re not alone. But if you don’t start using Twitter (in addition to other social media services), you may end up alone.

Consider these statistics from HubSpot’s report, “100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs”:

- More than ½ of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.

- 57% of all companies that use social media for business use Twitter.

- B2B companies are far more likely to use Twitter (75%) than B2C companies (49%).

Their statistics show that, for Twitter users, the service plays an active role in purchasing decisions:

“I use Twitter to…”

Learn about products/ services 42%

Provide opinions about products/services 41%

Ask for opinions about products/services 31%

Look for discounts/sales 28%

Purchase products/services 21%

Seek customer support 19%

Here’s a stat that should get your attention: companies that use Twitter average two times more leads per month than those that do not.

Organizations are starting to really grasp the power of Twitter and leverage it in interesting ways. The Economist recently ran a short, fascinating article called “Can Twitter Predict the Future?” that discussed how the analysis of Tweets can reveal trends and other vital data.

“Other researchers have shown that searches for job-related terms are a good predictor of unemployment rates and that mentions of political candidates on Twitter correlate with electoral outcomes.”

One researcher was even able to correlate a rise in anxiety with a dip in stock prices. Researchers at John Hopkins University analyzed Tweets and determined that the allergy season started early this year in certain U.S. regions. What could Twitter analysis of your market segment tell you? What products or services could you innovate based on such data? More to the point, what are you missing by NOT being on Twitter?

The business world has fallen for Twitter—hard. An entire sub-industry has arisen due to its existence. Klout, for instance, is a forward-thinking company whose sole focus is measuring the influence of Twitter users. Their data is so useful to businesses that Virgin America partnered with them recently to offer free flights to “influencers” with high Klout scores, in the hopes of course that those selected would have a good experience and Tweet about it. Other companies, like Dove, Starbucks and Covergirl, offer Klout Perks to people with high scores.

Yes, these are B2C examples, but don’t let that throw you. You also have clients or prospects who want free stuff and who can influence others regarding your brand. The only limitation here is your own imagination.

We are actively practicing what we preach here at HRmarketer. Our inimitable VP of Sales, Rita Jackson, recently used her Twitter account to build buzz and excitement ahead of two conferences, which led to Twitter introductions and conversations. That led to live meetings at the conferences, and at least one sale. You can read her blog post about this here.

We feel so strongly about the value of Twitter that our own HRmarketer software programmers are currently developing an algorithm that will analyze Tweets within the human resource marketplace to identify trends and other vital data. This algorithm is being developed specifically so that software customers can leverage Twitter data in their media relations and marketing.

“We tried Twitter, but none of our customers are there.” This may be true for a small sub-set of companies, but it essentially feels to me like someone complaining that they never win the lottery—only to learn that’s because they never actually play the lottery. Similar statements were made by companies in the early 1990s as a reason not to develop a company website – “Why should we have a website if our customers are not going online?” You get to decide whether you want to be a front-runner or an also-ran.

Twitter’s low cost of entry (free!) and ease of use via tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite, coupled with the examples above of how it’s being successfully used, should answer the question at last about whether to finally break down and get that Twitter account. Go get your Tweet on.

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