“Word of mouth is such an old-fashioned concept and yet so modern.”
– Sean O’Connor, editor of The Archers.
These are words spoken by the departing editor of The Archers, a British radio soap opera that has been broadcast since the 1950s. I think they sum up the benefits of using Twitter for business perfectly.
For those not in the loop, The Archers chronicles a long story about domestic abuse, and has two main characters, Rob and Helen Tichener. Last night the producers broke with convention and aired an hour-long programme that focused solely on the jury’s deliberations.
Sean O’Connor has now left to join another soap stalwart, EastEnders, and was interviewed on the BBC this morning about the impact of the storyline. The abuse narrative has been picked up by charities all over the UK. Donations to domestic abuse organisations have risen considerably. It just goes to show how powerful Radio still is in the tech era.
Benefits of Using Twitter for Business
But what on earth has this got to do with Social Media? And, more to the point, what are the Twitter benefits involved here?
Social media is embedded in our collective psyche. Ideas and opinion are shared like shots from the hip. People tweet their immediate response – it’s real and often there is not enough time to articulate more than a knee-jerk reaction. We know that social media, and especially Twitter, is often in the headlines for trolling and abuse. But that’s the whole point: we get the truth – the whole truth and nothing but the ugly ‘truth’ – of opinion in effect. That can be unpleasant and uncomfortable but it’s how people feel in the moment. Let’s not forget, that’s what businesses need to know.
Sean O’Connor went on to refute that his script writers actually write for the social media audience. But he did say “Print media is behind social media.” Twitter, for example, allows the producers and writers to gauge the impact of their storylines. From early on in the abusive relationship story, tweeters could see exactly what was going on and were anticipating the denouement. That’s not just a Twitter marketing strategy; that’s direct, real-time feedback from your target audience. It’s a perfect example of how to use Twitter for business.
Last night (11th September 2016), Twitter was alight in the UK with comments, debate and, most importantly, reaction. This is food and drink to every aspect of commerce. There was a time when the only way to get a reaction was through long-winded market research. Now it’s instant.
The Twitter Phenomenon
If anyone had ever thought social media was just for posting pictures of cappuccinos then maybe it really is time to wake up and smell the coffee. [bctt tweet=”For any business – even the BBC’s Archers team – Twitter is a barometer” username=”@supposeiam”]. If you are not part of the conversation it will happen anyway, with or without you. If your clients want to complain, they’ll do it. If they are happy with your customer service, they’ll tell anyone who will listen. The hype brings in previously disinterested parties because they are intrigued by what all the fuss is about. The phenomenon works just the same across all Social Media networks.
Engagement is the be all and end all of Twitter. Ironically, however, it is not a ‘broadcast’ medium in the conventional sense. No one wants to hear any business constantly banging on about offers and discounts. That’s certainly not how to promote your business on Twitter. I have written about this many times before but it’s still happening. Twitter is the chance to create a voice; a human, proactive and reactive voice that will cajole, console, inspire, collaborate and bring followers into the fold. A tweet can prompt a click onto your website; a click may lead to a sale; a sale may lead to a loyal customer. This process repeats itself over and over again.
How should a business utilise Social Media?
Social media is about listening to the audience. It’s about learning to understand what they want from you. They’re the real benefits of using Twitter for business. People are looking for transformative experiences, and that’s no exaggeration. They love exclusive groups; they love to feel a part of something. We all like communities and interest groups. Even if you are selling B2B, people expect the same kind of bedside manner they experience in their personal dealings on social media. It’s time to wise up to the fact that social media, and Twitter especially, is integral to any contemporary marketing campaign.
If you think that social media is a time waster then ask yourself: is answering the phone to clients, networking, content marketing, going to trade shows, answering emails, getting out and meeting customers and potential clients a waste of time too?
Of course it isn’t. But neither is Social Media. It just needs to be managed correctly. Anyone who is still scheduling posts without really thinking about what they are doing should take a leaf from the Archers’ campaign. They should check their timeline and see how the information gleaned from their listeners can help them remain relevant and worth following.
Suggested Further Reading:
- 10 Benefits of Social Media for Business (blog.hootsuite.com)
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Business (google.com)
- Best Practices For Brands & Non-Profits (dontpaniclondon.com)
Have you got the time?
If you don’t have time to manage your social media accounts then you need to outsource the work. It cannot be left. It’s like a shop window that’s faded, full of dead flies. Why would anyone look?
Choosing Twitter services is a big deal. You need social media experts who fully comprehend the benefits of Twitter marketing; who will take the time to understand your business and its tone of voice. They need to understand how you like to do business. They need to have the imagination, creativity and social skills to communicate with clients and potential customers. It’s an important relationship and should not be given over lightly.
If you need to have a conversation about how to revive, develop or start your Twitter campaign then contact us and start the conversation today.