I had an illuminating discussion with Delphine Remy-Boutang (@DelphRB), who is a social media marketing manager at IBM. She has run some successful social media campaigns and has pulled together some great slides evangelizing the use of social media for B2B marketing.

One of these presentations contained the following Twitter strategy:

TwitterStrategy_Ogilvy

(Credit for the information on this slide goes to Ogilvy)

There can be some real advantages for segmenting your Twitter strategy along these lines:

  • You can micro-manage your audience (eg. customers only see product release information, and not events aimed at prospects)
  • You can task different parts of the organization with running separate channels
  • You may choose different Twitter tools and clients based on the audience (eg. event coverage could be handled through Tweetdeck whereas you might want in-depth social media monitoring tools for crisis management)

I'd say there are some caveats around this approach. The biggest being that this only really makes sense in larger organizations. If you have a smaller ecosystem or there's only a few of you to manage Twitter, you may just want one handle that pulls all these functions together. In this case segmentation doesn't make sense.

Another issue to be wary of is ending up with silos for each of these segments. There may be instances where you need to cross-pollinate and share information. For instance, what happens when customer support questions end up being directed to the Product Promotion channel? You need to have an effective way of routing these Tweets back through to the support organization. This problem isn't confined to just this strategy or Twitter, but rather a larger problem symptomatic of our markets turning into conversations.  It is often marketing departments who monitor these conversations, but marketing may not be best-placed to engage. Organizationally, we need to resolve these problems if we are to effectively communicate in these emerging channels.

For me the strongest message implicit in this strategy is this: we shouldn't just think of a Twitter channel of another way of broadcasting our marketing messages. Sure, this is one facet of Twitter communication, but there is a much wider picture which we need to take into account.


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