Tom Webster, writing and speaking

Twitter For Business In Ten Words Or Less

Added on by Tom Webster.

A few months ago I wrote about the "follow-us-on-Twitter-and-Facebook" phenomenon, and the lack of a clearly defined strategy for promoting the differential use of these two services to your customers and audience. One the points that article made was the fact that Twitter themselves had not articulated what their unique benefits and features were for such purposes, and so they were getting thrown in as part of a "chickenorfish" discussion. With no differential reason to follow a company on one platform or another, repeated requests "follow-us-on-Facebook-and-Twitter" give consumers little reason to do either. Well, I doubt Twitter was listening to me, but this week they did plant a flag into the ground for what their vision of Twitter is. If you didn't already know it, Twitter is a broadcast network, plain and simple. That's certainly one reason Twitter is focusing the conversation on site visitors, and not on users. Yes, some of us have conversations and exchanges there, but most Twitter "users" are consumers, and if you are as wordy as I am you can imagine what a crippling constraint 140 characters is.

Now, to be crystal clear about this, if conversations about your brand, or tacit requests for customer service arise on Twitter, you want to be where your customers are, full stop. So, yes: listen and respond. That's for customer-initiated contacts, however. What about company-initiated contacts? What kinds of Twitter activities should companies proactively instigate?

Today's incarnation of Twitter is set up to reach "casual" customers, with Facebook reaching "core" customers. Twitter's asymmetric nature means that it's ideal for quick hits and maintaining contact with these customers on the periphery, while Facebook is where they ultimately convert from "casual" to "core." If Twitter is really now going to be packaged as a reach-driven consumption platform for content to propagate across an asymmetric network, while Facebook is an increasingly important place to maintain symmetric relationships, then your company's differential strategy for each is pretty obvious:

Use Twitter To Drive People To Your Facebook Page.

Nine words - pretty good for me! For some of you, this may seem like a patently obvious strategy - but I see a lot of small and medium business essentially duplicating messaging across both platforms with no differential strategy - yet, with the coming advent of the "New Twitter," a differential strategy is exactly what is called for.

Twitter, then, is a platform to provide casual customers with all the reasons they might want to "like" your brand, while Facebook provides the "likers" with the payoff - why they should love your brand.

Is this ultimately it? I'm super open-minded about this, so feel free to change my mind in the comments.