Twitter for Business?

I was on Twitter a couple of years ago and terminated my account after a few days as there was no one the network. I should have kept my account but who could have foreseen what has happened.

Twitter has had a huge rise in popularity in the past 6 months as celebrities and wannabes flock to jump on the bandwagon.

Despite the usual reservations that go with engaging in another layer of communications it is worthwhile setting up a twitter account to keep an eye on some of the players in your patch.

In a business context having access to a partially qualified SMS style list of “followers” which are like subscribers certainly has some attractions.

I’m told by some Vodafone customers that twittering via their phones is possible / I thought that was an SMS function but might be a different way.

I use Twitterrific which is a mini application on an iTouch and that keeps it all away from the desktop.

From my experiences the real time aspect works best when there is instant feedback on an idea or a question. There is always crossover between business and personal and many of the best tweeters can mix both.

Especially after work hours it becomes more of a social water cooler and can be an instant alert if for example something is on teev that is amusing or there are some good guests on Jon Stewart for example.

Updates or “tweets” that I hate the most are ones which are “something interesting here go to the link. ” Yeah right you’re off my list buddy.

Originally there was a reciprocity concept – if someone follows you you follow them back but now there are so many time wasters on the system that it is better not to “follow” them.

Note: If you don’t follow someone you won’t see their updates.

Because of the 140 character limit it is mostly impossible to know what that link is and also it it way better if the tweet offers some instant information such as “a status” which is what it was designed for.

One person who has written two very useful summaries on the topic is Lance Wiggs so here they are:

How NOT to Twitter if you are a corporation
(VodafoneNZ account got hijacked by an idiot for a project)
How to twitter if you are a corporation
Lance is on the money with both posts but check the comments also as this is a fast moving river.

How to take advantage of Twitter

The real power of Twitter is the 1-1 interactions, and yet there are only so many people that sit in corporate relations units. Moreover their job should not be to look after every tech nerd’s customer complaint, nor to understand every bizarre happening on the internet”

Some NZ related tweets you may want to check out are

@lawgeeknz / Rick Shera

@TeamXero / Team Xero

@VodafoneNZ Vodafone – could be safe again if Paul Brislen has that account back but see How not to link first.

@lancewiggs / Lance Wiggs

@bernardchickey Finance – Interest rates

@gnat / Nat Torkington – conference maestro

@dialogCRM Jason Kemp which is me by way of comparison. As a media watcher my tweets are fairly random and wide ranging whereas most of the others on this list are more business focussed.

Many people operate corporate and private twitter accounts. Best to read the Lance Wiggs posts and comments to find out if that works.

Thanks for comments by Piero – check his stream out below.

@piero_ / Piero – strategic planner