I run a tech startup that does online inventory management. Does it really make sense for my company to use Twitter as a marketing tool? It seems like a lot of work to be tweeting all the time, and would anyone really care? Would they even read my tweets? And even if they did, would it translate into business? Bottom line is that I think my time could be better spent on building my business, or am I missing something?
by Steve Hoffman, Cofounders of Founders Space
Twitter is great for marketing and communicating if you’re a movie star or politician. It also works nicely if you provide content and want to syndicate links. Traditional media companies, content sites, bloggers and news organizations are using Twitter successfully. In fact, we use it at Founders Space.
That said, I doubt it’s going to do much for you. It does require a big investment in time, unless you can automate it to work with your blog’s RSS feed, etc… And you have to ask yourself, “Would I want to get that Twitter feed?” If the answer is “No,” then don’t waste your time. You can use your time and energy much more productively by focusing on the things that really drive your business, rather than a hard to quantify, trendy marketing channel like Twitter.
One more note, I helped cofound Tap11.com, which now does advanced Twitter analytics and CRM for businesses. If you do decide to go with Twitter, you should definitely use Tap11.com or another company like them. You’ll need the analytics and tools that they provide.
I hope this helps.
by Alex Salkever, Journalist & Marketing Executive
Hoff makes pretty good points above and I mostly agree with him. That said, Twitter can be a useful tool for B2B given the following circumstances.
1) You can identify an online community of Twitter users who specifically tweet about the topics/products you want to sell into.
2) You can use Twitter as a way to point those people more readily to new content you create or find that is highly relevant to their area
3) You can contribute to ongoing conversations (without being too salesy) about key topics germaine to your sector and help other people in the community with your short-character insights
PageOnePR, for example, specializes in using Twitter / Social Media for enterprise / open-source software companies. (Full disclosure — CEO Lonn Johnston is a friend but I have no financial dealings with him and am not a customer). Mind you, Twitter for B2B will not create tens of thousands of followers. More like a few hundred or a few thousands, in most cases. But those can be useful people to have a conversation with as they are likely industry alpha adopters.
4) Lastly, to Hoff’s point, at a minimum run some sort of back-of-the-envelope Twitter analytics program *if* you are putting serious time and effort into using it as a marketing tool. Hope this helps!