With Twitter quickly becoming a central piece of 2.0 corporate communication, we thought it would be helpful to provide some insight on our “Corporate Twitter Strategy for 2010,” in a Two Part blog post.
While 2008/2009 were the years of auto following anyone that followed you on Twitter to build your base, 2010 will be the year of refinement. As Twitter and its users have matured, we’ve realized that the real “social capital” of Twitter isn’t a number, but the utility you receive from engagement. While it may have been cool to say you have one million followers in 2009, this year the real social mavens know that pure numbers are meaningless, its all about conversation. Before following a Tweeter, we go through a quick internal checklist to determine their potential value. While not an exact science, it certainly helps cut back on spam followers (as they usually unfollow after a day or two) and gives us a better chance of engaging in conversation if we spend a few minutes profiling/organizing our new Follower. Hopefully, with a maturing Twitter user base, Tweet Spammers will have a tougher time getting attention in 2010.
Certainly last year was explosive for social media and we’ve finally cemented the niche as a vital piece to any marketing budget. However, as I’ve noted, even though 2010 is not just about numbers, its still is about measurement. Measurement of social media can be a daunting project, but it is certainly possible if you concede the fact that its not as black and white as related mediums such as, search marketing. Twitter measurement is essentially about measuring the impact of relationships, conversation, buzz, referrals, loyalty, and influence all of which can be tough to formulate into a specific number. As 90% of social media is purely human, there are no tools out there that can possible decifer the human element to a specific Tweet, #hashtag, or Reply (even if some vendors claim to have auto-tonality). While there are tools to help identify social brand mentions, you really need a human analyst to determine exactly what someone is conveying…ie what is their tone, are they using slang, what other related topics are they discussing, are they othewise loyal, is it sarcasm, what is the content of the posted link etc etc.
Its time to stop getting social’s voice out of just the marketing department. For an organization to be truly social, there needs to be concerted efforts to not just throw up marketing jargon to your prospects, but reach out to your customers, industry bloggers, industry news outlets, analyst, partners, employees and candidates et al. Obviously, an organization-wide effort to engage via social takes resources, workflow, and elbow grease. This collaboration will come together over time, initially its essential to help automate, schedule, and departmentalize your organizational community outreach, at least through Twitter. If you have not already, you may want to start playing around with Tweet Clients such as, Hootsuite , Seemic, Tweetdeck and CoTweet. These solution can help you compartmentalize the various avenues and streams of information in order to better curate your company’s conversation.
Part 1 of 2