In order for your Twitter strategy to become pervasive throughout your organization, its important for the departmental stakeholders to understand what’s in it for them. The value of Twitter is vastly different for PR vs Sales or C-Suite vs Customer Service, as well as different types of organizations (Non Profits, B2C, B2B etc.). Its important for every department head to not only realize what’s possible with a successful Twitter strategy, but also how to get there (goals, workflow, measurment etc.).
For example, the VP of Sales typically cares about one thing, closing business. A common concern I’ve found from working with VP of Sales is they’re afraid Tweeting may take away his/her sales people’s time spent on more traditional methods such as cold calling or emailing prospects. What is important for the sales department to grasp is Twitter can not only be a powerful touch point for establishing relationships (vs. cold call, email, tradeshow etc.), but perhaps more importantly an open, real-time intelligence gatherer. We’ll admit, most sales people and management we work with are not exactly social mavens, but they strongly believe more information about their clients and prospects is vital to closing more business. We’ve recommended our clients to start off by using Twitter simply by following their largest customers and prospects. From CEOs to Customer Service to Company News, the flow of real-time information for a sales person translates into invaluable knowledge the next time they talk, meet, write or Tweet to their prized customers and prospects.
The easiest way to organize your customer intelligence streams is through a private Twitter List. Mashable wrote a great article covering the ins and outs of Twitter Lists.
While many aspects of social media can be difficult to track (tonality, reach, loyalty etc.), there are ways in which specific offers can be tracked down to the click. For example, if you are using Twitter to help promote a coupon for an oil change service, there are several ways to determine effectiveness. For near real-time tracking, you can combine traditional web analytics (on the unique url) and a url shortening service (through a Twitter client ie Hootsuite) to understand key metrics such as, click throughs, conversion rate, conversions etc. Obviously, if the offer is a coupon, more traditional methods of tracking such as coupon redemption rates, revenue, number of new customers ect. will take some time to calculate.