Have Your People Tweet My People

There are four tips to leveraging Twitter in a B2B context. There are seven strategies to being successful, ten “musts” for every online organization, twenty suggestions for getting more Twitter followers, and forty ways to use social CRM for selling. My head spins three hundred times whenever I try to wrap myself around all the advice floating around the interwebs about how to be a company and use social media to find other companies to expand our business. Of course we have a LinkedIn page, a Facebook page, a YouTube account, and now a Twitter account to reach out and explore every pocket of the internet.

Having a Lorton Data Twitter account inherently makes us hip, trendy and exciting right? We have our festive logo as the avatar and a groovy water droplet themed background that metaphorically represents our A-Qua Mailer offering. We’ve even tweeted already, providing some useful information, a couple of links and a joke about a 1:45 AM fire alarm at MAILCOM (with a hashtag!). All we need to do is turn all of our personal brands into a collective corporate brand, then just sit back, put our organizational feet up and watch the followers roll in. It sounds so easy.

Or maybe not.

Lorton Data operates in a business to business environment, and unless your Great Aunt really needs the addresses for this year’s Christmas cards cleaned up, your average Twitter user probably isn’t going to be inherently interested in what we have to say. It’s the honest truth. While we provide database hygiene services to organizations as large as major governmental bodies, to as small as the neighborhood church around the corner, it’s hard to market our business outside of the traditional direct mail context. We think Twitter could be a good avenue to spread the word about Lorton Data while also providing additional information to help our customers.

Much like all the hundreds of thousand voices out there talking about social media in a B2B context, we haven’t figured out our game plan yet. We actually haven’t even really started. There are tons of tips, suggestions, ideas, beliefs, blades of grass tossed into the wind and shaken magic eight balls, but many of them contradict each other or seem to suggest those ideas only work in one specific context.

So we might just have to wing it a little bit.

According to a statistic I just made up, 99% of all articles about social media explain that there is nothing more important than generating interesting content. And yes, I completely agree. I’ve been using Twitter personally for a little over a year now and have come to realize that nothing is more important than original content. It’s more than blindly retweeting the latest iPad analysis from Mashable, but it’s less than sharing every single thought that passes through our organization. We need to engage our audience with @ replies and discussions, (it’s social media after all) but I don’t even think we honestly can project who our audience will be yet. My user experience on Twitter as an individual (or more silly as a Personal Brand) will be markedly different from my projected experience on Twitter as Lorton Data employee. By understanding that out of the gate, our organization should be able to set different expectations and understandings of how to engage with Twitter as an organization of multiple voices working together to communicate with the world at large.

As someone has probably already said, “you can lead a customer to Twitter, but you can’t make them tweet.” Or follow, or something like that.

So, we are interested in hearing what people are looking for from Twitter in a B2B business context. What will have you interested in hearing from us? Of course you can reply on our Facebook page, follow us on twitter or comment on the blog.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get this blog reviewed and posted so I can link to it on Twitter.

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