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You won't know how useful a tool cam be to you until you test drive it. Then it might turn out to be high performance, just like a car. Take Twitter. This extremely versatile tool is ready to be used immediately, out of the box. Yes, even for B2B companies.


All you need is an Internet connection and the ability to type in 140 characters. For some of us, me included, that is hard. It practically drives itself (although it may drive you crazy if it goes down). And the price is right, along with the extreme portability. It's free, for now. See the Twitter wiki with good links on descriptions, etiquette and glossary of terms.
The two concerns cited most by B2B companies on the use of social media:
(1) time and resources invested with no clear sense of ROI;
(2) the lack of managerial and legal oversight inherent in the use of social media go away.
In fact, as long as people are willing to try it out, Twitter may be the most appropriate tool to get messages to those you wish to reach, fast and with economy of words, literally. And it allows you to do so even while on the road.
Here's a short guide on how to use Twitter in B2B
Start a Twitter profile, there are already many created for publications like MarketingProfs and Fast Company, for example. If you are using the account for a specific group of people and do not wish your updates to be made public, you may protect your stream by checking the "protect my updates" box under settings. You may personalize or brand the design of your home page and select a picture either of the person posting the updates or a logo for your business. The picture will show up next to each message sent from that account.
Spread the information to your intended audience providing them with simple instructions on how to sign up for a free account and follow your stream. Customers, prospects, partners, and colleagues will then be able to view your updates. It's a good idea to follow those who follow you in turn because now that you have a portable broadcasting channel you can do a variety of things:
(a) share bites of knowledge from events and receive other people's impressions;
(b) broadcast meet up places taking care to provide an online streaming video or audio channel as well for those who are not on the ground to join you live (this is a nice touch for customers);
(c) use it as a tool to gather feedback on your reports from the road by asking questions and interacting with your audience - it can be particularly useful when colleagues can back you up or fill in with more information from the office or other locations.
Am I missing anything? What other uses have you found to test drive Twitter for your business?

Continue reading "A Short Guide on How to Use Twitter in B2B" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valeria Maltoni helps businesses understand how customers and communities have changed marketing, public relations, and communications - and how to build value in this new environment. As a communicator she specializes in marketing communications, customer dialogue, and brand management. Valeria has come to define modern business as a long and open conversation. Conversation Agent is recognized among the world's top online marketing blogs. Valeria is a Fast Company expert blogger and a contributor to The Blog Herald. She is a co-author of , a groundbreaking ebook collaboration by 103 of today's top marketing writers. Valeria is a frequent public speaker on brand marketing, customer service, and building successful business teams. She publishes in both English and Italian. Educated at the University of Bologna and Villanova University, Valeria combines New World sensibilities with Italian style. She's an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the American Marketing Association (AMA), the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (WACA), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).