Twitter for B2B Business

27 08 2009

Is It Really Useful?

Yes.  Here are 8 B2B Marketing things you can do with Twitter right now:

  • Listen.  Marketers say they want to listen to customers.  People want to be listened to. Here is your chance to prove that you do listen.  And act on what you hear.
  • Invite customers and prospects to events
  • Notify customers and prospects of new publications (documents, podcasts, video).  The URL shortening services such as TinyURL have made this useful and possible.
  • Post quick news items (140 characters max, right?)
  • Support: Listen for customer issues and address them quickly.  Wouldn’t it be great to be out ahead of issues before they spin out of control?  This is at the heart of Reputation Management.
  • Monitor trends, feedback comments, competitor moves.
  • Offer helpful tips and insights.  Contribute to the community.
  • Engage customers in deeper discussions about the future product,service, etc.

The Problem with Twitter Today: Clutter, clutter, clutter…

I signed up to follow a well-known, Silicon Valley, evangelist / entrepreneur.  The next day he had filled my entire Twitter window with garbage news tid-bits.  This guy was syndicating all the news he saw.  Not useful.  I dropped that “follow” immediately.  The sad thing is that he has a lot of interesting and useful stuff to say.  I just was not willing to wade through the clutter to find it.

The bad news is that I clear clutter the way a lot of people do now: I stop following that source.

If you are doing some of  the 8 things listed above, how do you know your message (which is useful to the recipient) isn’t being lost in the deluge of chatter?

Some Hope for the Future

  1. Twitter has open interfaces for software developers.  API info That means that third parties like Seesmic and WeFollow can add value easily to the basic Twitter platform.  Developers out there  have to be hearing the clutter problem.
  2. Something I would like to see: Separate window panes or tabs for my different interests.  I don’t want my professional interests mashed up with my photography, sports and other interests.  Seperate views please.
  3. My6sense is working on an app to filter your tweets so that the most relevant to your interests “float to the top.”  It is supposed to be a couple of months away.  I can’t wait. TechCrunch article.

There has been a lot of talk about a “Semantic Web” where the Web understands what is of interest to you and finds what you want without you asking for it.  Interesting, but it requires a common data format that computers can understand.  That could take a while.  We have standards bodies involved.  Sigh.

Twitter, on the other hand, is simple enough that computers can understand it right now.  We may see the first instantiations of the Semantic Web-like stuff here.  I hope so.  It could not come too soon.

What would you like to see Twitter do to improve its usefullness for B2B marketing?

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2 responses

30 08 2009
brianchang

Great article Roger! I agree with your key points. I think Twitter isn’t even really sure what they need to do to become less cluttered and generate future revenue streams.

17 09 2009
rbnolan

Thanks, Brian! They do seem to be groping around. Just saw an article yesterday where they are adding more and more Twitter features. This after being turned down on an offer to buy Twitter.

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