B2B Twitter - does it make sense?

Twitter is all chatter isn’t it? That’s the general response when I’m talking to executives about how their company might be making more use of Twitter.

The question usually follows on from an explanation of the difference between a regular blog and Twitter.

But once we do get past the definitions stage I have never failed to see their eyes light up, and that’s because Twitter – and similar tools – are all about engagement.

In the B2C world, that’s easy to define, you want to engage with your consumers, but what about a company that only sells to other companies. How can they use Twitter as a tool for engagement rather than just chat?

Well, it’s worth thinking about the people who are on Twitter. Who is it that you might like to engage with? It may not necessarily be your end customer anyway. It might be an intermediary that advises your customer, or influences them in some way. In fact, in a B2B environment it is these influencers that you really want to reach out to through any engagement strategy.

Try listing the kind of influencers you want to work with:

1. Journalists; the business and trade writers 

2. Bloggers; see above, but often more specifically in your area of business

3. Industry analysts; the guys creating research and other detailed materials

4. Industry advisors and consultants; the guys called on to select suppliers

5. People discussing relevant topics; jumping into Twitter conversations where people you don’t know are talking about something relevant to what you do

That’s five easy to identify groups worth engaging with on Twitter. Think about it. Does it look like chit-chat now?