Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Would the Talking Heads Say About Twitter?

You start a conversation you can't seem to finish it

You're talkin' a lot but you're not sayin' anything
When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed
Say something once why say it again?

In these lyrics from The Talking Heads 1977 breakout hit “Psycho Killer”, the art-house band could well have been talking about what not to do on Twitter, the social media “Micro Blogging” tool gaining popularity with business-to-business marketers. 

David Byrne and company might mean that when using Twitter, it’s not wise for folks to be talking a lot and not saying anything; not smart to have nothing to say; nor is it good idea to be saying things over and over. 

A Plethora of Postings

Take a moment to Google “Twitter Social Media Marketing Strategy” to see the plethora of postings offering sage advice on how to leverage Twitter for business-to-business marketing.

In post after post, read how to gain influential followers, locate useful Twitter tools, and raise the awareness of a company’s products and services with regular Tweets.

Interact, Engage

It was a Google search that recently led me to an excellent blog posting from Penn State’s Business School’s blog.  The posting talks about the importance of Twitter as a way to interact with customers and attract prospects.

The posting ended with this nugget: “Social media existed long before the Web.  It was often called “conversation.”

Keyword = Conversation.  

I’ve only begun to dip my toe in the social media marketing pool, and am comfortable being in “learning mode” about what potentially is an excellent outlet for engaging b-to-b prospects and industry community members. It's important to keep the concept of "conversation" front and center. 

It’s a mind shift.  Instead of looking at Twitter as another “channel for promotion” or another outlet to “get the message out,”  the key concept is to use the tool as a way to engage.   

This means being intentional in connecting to people where it makes the most sense from a business perspective.  This might include current customers, analysts, media, business associations or others.  

You Are What You Tweet

Once one connects with those specific to the market, tweet about valuable information in the form of links, advice, and posing/answering compelling & timely questions.   

Retweet information of value, but don’t overdo it by “saying something once, then saying it again…”   

After all, reading through a company’s Tweet timeline is a good way to get to become informed about a company’s brand. (Twitter as a branding tool, future blog post!)

Converse, Then Connect

In short, establish a conversation with folks based on topics of value.  

Then it’s possible to reap the rewards in terms of building connections to those in the market community.  

So What Would The Talking Heads Say?  

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what The Talking Heads might say about how to use Twitter.

To paraphrase David Byrne: 
1.     Don’t be a PsychoTweeter
2.     Use Twitter to start conversations
3.     Tweet a lot and say something
4.     Have something to say each time you tweet
5.     If you tweet it once, there’s no reason to tweet it again

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