What’s in for B2B marketing in Twitter?

Blue bird

Blue bird

I’m really curious about how to use Twitter in B2B marketing. I have been following the recent buzz about Twitter without really getting the whole picture, my first impression was it was just another noisy tool of instant messaging (IM). Okay, now you know, I’m not a big fan of instant messaging with friends at work, I find email to be more appropriate.

I got the idea of sending one message to many as a one click and the benefits of synchronous versus asynchronous (email). But found it was more a tool for private social networking (sending short information to one’s tribe) than for business.Personal social networking was, by the way, the first use targetted by Twitter’s founders.

(Click to view Compete.com post)

(Click to view Compete.com post)

So what got me into digging some more ? A report ranking Twitter as the 3rd social network tool, right after Facebook and MySpace and even before Linked In. And also realizing that people were using it more and more for business.

I start to wonder how this tool could be of help in B2B marketing. Provided on has build a network of followers (another big question), I  fully understand the value Twitter can have for the following tasks:

  1. as a test tool: One can Poll followers and test new ideas, get instant feedback from brand followers, addicts and early adopters.
  2. as a marketing measuring tool: counting followers growth provides a way for marketing people to measure the impact of marketing actions and evaluate a buzz.
  3. as a dedicated and focused communication tool with specific user group: for instance as one of the tools used to animate a beta test period, to capture instant feedback on the product, to push urgent or valuable information to the group. Now in order to do that, the company must be at ease with the transparency it gives to the debate.
  4. For real time PR: Matt Rhodes is listing 8 ways to use Twitter for PR in its post “How to use Twitter for PR“. Tracking /Monitoring / Live-reporting / Journalism /Activism / Public Relations /Political / Communications /Crisis Communications. Not so sure Twitter is the right tool for all this – I’ll get back to it in another post.

This list is really work in progress and I’ll add up to it on the road.

For now, I think the key point might in fact be the fact that Twitter is new and generating a lot of interest from people. When other media more traditional have now almost lost all value – email is one – people are willing to talk on Twitter – as such it’s a valid way to build alternate channels and reach customers.

One does have to be careful and understand the rule of giving first and know when it is appropriate to use it and not to. No spam in Twitter …. a follower can easily disconnect.

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