Twitter is not a technology. It is a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.
As it relates to adopting Twitter into their marketing activity, it seems most (but not all) industrial manufacturers fall into one of two categories:
They have a Twitter account and for the most part ignore it
They lack a basic understanding of Twitter and its capability to positively affect their overall marketing efforts.
Companies that fall into either of these categories share a basic lack of understanding as to what Twitter actually is.
Facebook is like a pulsing digital city, a vast community of virtual high-rise apartments and huts housing one in seven people on the planet. More than a billion Facebookers are curating and managing their online identities within the network, sharing trillions of pictures, links, likes, chats, and moments in their lives.
Twitter is more like a town square, where people, who might also live in Facebook, congregate to share the latest news, commentary, and gossip in real-time, shaped and condensed by the 140-character tweet limit.
Twitter is often described as a micro-blogging site. Don’t confuse that with your actual blog. Posts to Twitter are brief, 140-character updates that should start or add to a conversation – a dialogue – with current and potential customers.
You can use Twitter to disseminate links to your content, including blog posts, white papers and promotions. But don’t go overboard.
Viewing Twitter as an ongoing conversation, think of how you would speak to others. You wouldn’t walk around prompting others to read your content, but you might casually mention a new white paper or blog post. Be sure to mix in industry news and opinions to convey your company’s expertise.
And don’t forget to get a little bit personal every now and then. Share a photo from a company golf outing or support for your local sports team.
While social media in general can be a large time commitment, it is a worthwhile one, and cloud-based software exists to help you manage your efforts efficiently.
HootSuite and ManageFlitter allow marketers to manage and track followers and respond to tweets across several accounts and post content with a mere click or two of the mouse.
Twitter can be scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. But a little knowledge goes a long way sometimes. As companies and C-level executives become more and more active in social media, you don’t want your company to be left behind in your industrial marketing efforts.