Many people find Twitter the toughest of all the social media platforms to get their heads round. At first it can seem like an infinite room of strangers all tweeting about random stuff, punctuated by in-jokes and littered with poor vocabulary. Not to mention all those weird and wonderful conventions and rituals such as hashtags, DMs, @mentions, FFs and many more, which can seem impenetrable to the Twitter novice. Isn't this meant to be a mass market social network, not some form of online Freemasonry?
But please, please don't be put off. In some areas of life, first impressions can be pretty reliable but, trust me, Twitter is not one of them. If you're prepared to push past the initial sense of overwhelming confusion (remember, we've ALL been there!) and virtual funny handshakes, you'll be amazed how quickly everything starts to click. In no time at all, you'll appreciate just why Twitter has become one of the most indispensable marketing tools there is, with the ability to reach global audiences instantly and create meaningful relationships and connections. And it's not just consumer brands that can benefit from this: Twitter should be an essential part of any B2B company's marketing mix, too.
According to research conducted by Twitter and Market Probe International, 85% of respondents felt more connected with a business after following them on Twitter; and 72% of were more likely to buy from a business they followed.
Time and again I have watched B2B businesses go through the various stages of Twitter adoption: from initial scepticism, through reluctant toe in the water, to the moment when the penny really drops..."how did we ever think Twitter wasn't right for us!"
Some companies successfully manage to make this Twitter journey by themselves. Others prefer to get outside help from a specialist, who should be able to help make the transition through the various stages as swift and painless as possible.
However you decide go about it, the main thing is that you see the journey through. I promise it will be worth it.
In future posts I'll be expanding on how to go about breaking through the Twitter pain barrier, and also offering up some tips on how you should be spending your time when you come out the other side. In the meantime, this article is a good place to find out more about those weird and wonderful Twitter rituals (though sadly not a single mention of funny handshakes to be found!): 'Twitter Demystified: How To RT, MT, #FF And Fave Like A Pro. What to do if you can't canoe.'