A Problem Affecting Twitter’s B2B Marketing Adoption (It Ain’t Easy)

Over the past couple of months as we’ve been working with clients at Make Good Media, we noticed a social media trend I thought I would share. It has to do with Twitter. As an active, daily user of Twitter, it is fairly easy to overlook this trend. But repeatedly, we’ve heard the following, “At first, Twitter is really hard to understand, quite confusing, and frankly I don’t get it.” Some have even gone so far as to say, “I’m ready to give up.”

Now as someone who is very active on Twitter, and knows all the ins and outs, this can come as a quite a surprise. It’s not until you sit down with someone, begin going through it, and say statements like, “That’s a DM.” Or “You see this, that is a ‘mention.’ To reply to that, you just type in the at symbol followed by their username.” Pretty quickly you realize you are almost speaking a foreign language, and there are several things that need to be learned for someone to really grasp the basics of Twitter.

This is a rather big obstacle and it’s getting in the way of many b2b marketers. I’d even go so far as to say at this point it is impacting the rate of adoption of Twitter for B2B marketing. Couple the difficulty of learning the basics of Twitter with the fact for the 1,000s of times we see statements like, “Start engaging on Twitter” or “Build Your Followers,” (the more advanced topics) very rarely are they supported with the HOW to do those things.

We’re left with a growing number of frustrated marketers who are beginning to question the value and benefits of Twitter before ever really getting started. All because the initial learning curve is fairly steep. Factor in the life of a busy executive and the B2B marketers dilemma, and you almost wonder if they’re not wrong in their thinking to throw in the towel.

While I can empathize, my advice remains, stay the Twitter course. Sending a 140 character message should be simple enough, however, it takes time to learn the language, how to use the site, and the etiquette of Twitter. The key thing to remember is if you’ve determined that your customers and prospects are using Twitter, then so shall you.

To help in the coming weeks we plan to write several Twitter “How To” articles that address the basics and beyond of Twitter for business to business marketing. With this as our definition of Twitter:

Twitter is a social networking/micro-blogging utility that enables people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of brief (max. 140 characters) messages, known as “tweets.” Twitter offers the opportunity to share information and build relationships with people of the industries you serve. It also has great potential for traffic generation — by driving people to interesting content on your blog or website — for loyalty and branding building — by interacting with and influencing people and for discovering and sharing information real-time information.

We plan to focus on four areas:

  1. What the heck is Twitter and how do I use the site anyway?
    From the simple definitions of friends and followers to the more advanced topics of Hashtags, Twitter chats, and how to use public and private lists.
  2. Community Building
    Effective practices to grow a B2B community on Twitter, including where and how to look for the right people, what to assess when deciding to follow them, and guidance on tweeting – topics, frequency, context etc.
  3. Conversing and engaging
    Once you find the right people, how do begin and sustain lasting business relationships through conversations and engagement on Twitter. (Hint: it involves a lot more than Twitter, like the phone and real-life meetings.)
  4. Twitter Tools and Applications
    There are 100’s of 3rd party Twitter Tools available and Twitter has plans to build additional applications as well. We’ll cover them and point you to well done posts and reviews.

So stay tuned, join in, and if you have a refreshing, new perspective of Twitter for B2B marketing, then by all means consider writing for us, and together let’s lower the barrier to the B2B adoption of Twitter.

A final editorial note: Over the past several months Twitter for B2B marketing did not make the cut when we were conducting our editorial planning. It was very deliberate and intentional. Our view was that it was being covered. But as time passed, we noticed a void. We believe we’ve found a way to take a fresh look at Twitter for business that is centered in education and helping B2B marketers discover it usefulness for their marketing efforts.

Now your assignment, in the comments tell us, What Makes Twitter So Hard To Understand?

Yes, I am talking to you – a quick, two minute assignment. Kindly go to the comments, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when I ask, What Makes Twitter So Hard To Understand? Thanks for your time, we’ll incorporate your responses into our editorial coverage.

Jeremy Victor

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