Wednesday, May 4, 2016

B2B Strategist's Guide to Twitter

            As an aspiring Business-To-Business Strategist, I have kept a close eye on Twitter's product changes to maximize payoff from using the platform. I am currently studying Brand Strategy and Social Media at the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism. This post reviews articles on either side of the Twitter conundrum, and then advises on how marketers can hedge their bets when using the platform.

Joshua Topolsky in "The End of Twitter", published in the New Yorker, expresses his displeasure with the platform. His primary gripe with Twitter is how the product has dissolved the identity that once made it popular. In trying to expand its character limit, or changing the ‘live’ feature, Twitter is changing for the worse. Compound this with huge competitors such as Facebook, growing through expansion rather than redesign, and other apps that are eerily similar – such as Instagram, the only thing growing about Twitter, is irrelevance.

            John Lincoln from Inc. has a very different perspective in "You're Probably Missing the Point of Twitter and Here is Why". He champions the size of the Twitter community – currently 1.8 billion between users and lurkers – and deems it extremely likely that your target market is using the platform. Additionally, the ease of spreading content through the popular ‘RT’ button, and the opportunity to grow connections and relationships in a personal manner, makes the app second to none.

            Based on my understanding and experiences, here are three action items to keep Twitter an effective tool in the marketer's arsenal - 

  • Grow your network – Twitter is a great gateway to a large and relevant audience, and is fairly easy to segment; this following will find you on other networks too
  • Diversify content hosts – Share content on Twitter but utilize Twitter cards and previews to reveal content hosted on other websites. This allows for more longevity and a more permanent reach.
  • Adapt quickly – Twitter is rediscovering itself so be ready to quickly adapt and exploit its new offerings – such as longer tweets, photo reveals, live videos, and more.
We need to stay abreast of changes in Twitter to maximize our payoff from the time and resources spent on the platform.

I am Rushil Mohan, a Northwestern Senior graduating in June 2016. I am seeking opportunities in Brand Strategy and Planning. Talk to me on Twitter @RushilMohan and connect with me on LinkedIn at Rushil Mohan