Is social networking a brilliant business communication opportunity or a waste of valuable working time? It’s a question managers ought to be asking, because it seems that a significant number of ‘corporate’ communicators are totally missing the point.
Let’s revisit Twitter. The simple 140-character Tweet facilitates concise messaging – enabling a company to broadcast headline news to its followers. Each message can instantly reach staff, customers, shareholders, suppliers, distributors, specifiers, end-users, the media and other stakeholders via Twitter – with instant replays on LinkedIn, Facebook and e-mail.
Whether it’s a new product announcement, a major contract win, a top management appointment or a customer service notice, the company Tweet needs to be written for the key followers of the moment – but always in a style that will appeal to most. If you are putting money (= time) into Tweeting, you must make it effective, but without alienating people.
At the same time, use Twitter sensibly to gather information from and about your customers and suppliers, your competitors, and relevant trade or government bodies. You can glean a lot about people from the company they keep, so check their inward and outward followings as well as their Tweets.
Spend time searching for people and companies you ought to follow. When strange people follow you, check whether they can add value to your Twitter feed before you follow them.
To get the most from tweeting, go for quality, not quantity – both in terms of the people you communicate with, and the messages you send.
In striving to apply these principles to the development of @davidgoddin I have looked closely at the followers and followings of the people on my lists and have been amazed at the apparent irrelevance of many of their connections.
I am also amazed at the rubbish some companies tweet: pointless drivel that certainly adds no value to my day nor, I suspect, those of many other readers. This is why I believe managers need to look closely at their Twitter departments to ensure they are getting full value for their money.
In my view, social media add an exciting new dimension to business communication. We have an incredibly powerful new medium at our fingertips – we just have to ensure we’re using it properly.
Contact David Goddin Communications today for cost-effective professional help to get the most out of your Tweets.
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.