Building a Twitter Marketing Strategy

Donna Berry, LCI’s new Director, here.

There’s been a volcanic eruption of discussions amongst marketing and communications professionals on the topic of Twitter….who’s responsible within a corporate structure for Twitter? What’s the value of maintaining a Twitter presence? Does tweeting make a difference in your business or for your brand, and how?

My question is, how can any business afford to not be on Twitter? For many businesses, here’s what happens. The business sets up an account, sends out a few tweets, secures a few followers, and then things get busy and the whole thing gets back burnered before it even takes off.

If you are guilty of this, you’re not alone. 73 percent of Twitter accounts are “inactive” (10 tweets or less) and 34 percent of Twitter users have never even posted one tweet.

While I see many stories and posts on helpful hints on tweeting and Twitter tools, I see less help on building out an actual Twitter marketing strategy that lays it out in simple steps. Last week I came across this clear-cut, do-it-yourself guide that reads “Twitter 101” for businesses by Lee Odden of TopRank Blog: http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/05/5steps-twitter-marketing-strategy/

One more thought. It’s helpful to think of Twitter, and social media in general, as simply another channel of communication for your brand, versus a whole new way of doing things as it’s so often portrayed. The content doesn’t have to be different, just the presentation (and with a little practice, it becomes second nature). At the same time, Twitter is a channel that deserves special attention because it’s two-way. You can see first-hand what your customers really think about your brand, because they will tell you. And even better, they will tell you for free.

So, get going on Twitter. You can’t afford not to.

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7 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Donna – welcome to the LCI clan and thanks for your Twitter insights. You’re right. . .businesses need to embrace new technologies and see this as part of an overall marketing/communications strategy – not a stand-alone campaign. Good thoughts! Cheers, David

  2. Patricia Perez Reply

    Agree. The challenge once a company adds social media into their marketing platforms, is how to maintain the same level of engagement consistently across all channels. Twitter is just one. Many opting to focus on their own blog an using select social networking sites simply as distribution channels, which is not the best option.

  3. Brianne Miller Reply

    Donna, I’ve been looking for that stat on inactive Twitter accounts forever! Thank you! One of the offshoots of social networking is the desire to “own” your name or brand on multiple platforms. When Twitter launched, many people (OK, me included) and companies registered their names/brands with accounts they never intended to use – just as a way to protect it. Amazing how that mirrors the rampant domain name buys from 1990ish.
    Thanks for all the insight!

  4. Mark O'Toole Reply

    Dan Schawbel recently wrote a post called “RIP Twitter as a Marketing Platform.” (http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/r-i-p-twitter-as-a-marketing-platform/)

    His logic is that the more followers you gain on Twitter, the lower your return is for each Tweet since you only capture a small percentage of your universe for each Tweet. While this make sense, I like to look at it from another perspective. If one Tweet reaches one person, and that person is a key target/influencer/prospect, and they act based on that Tweet, objecitve acheived. Each Tweet does matter — so keep tweeting.

  5. Abbie S. Fink Reply

    I just returned from PRSA’s Counselors Academy Spring conference and attended a four-hour intensive learning session on social media and several break-out sessions on the topic. My biggest take-away from all of this — we need to worry about the tools last, not first. The tools are constantly changing. We need to create consistent and ongoing communications strategies that take into account all the tools at our disposal. As Patricia says, Twitter is just one of the tools. One of many tools that are at our disposal.

    According to Jay Baer of http://www.convinceandconvert.com, social media isn’t a conversation, it is where the conversation takes place. As communications professionals, we have the ability to work with our clients and their brands to create conversations and from there determine which channel is best to distribute the conversation.

  6. Scott, HMA Public Relations Reply

    It is not a start and stop proposition. It’s like water flowing over a waterfall.

  7. Anne Buchanan Reply

    Total agreement. As we tell clients and prospects all the time, social media is a set of additional tools in the marketing / communications / PR toolkit. They rarely replace a solid marketing effort; they complement or extend what is already going on.