Twitter: How Useful is This Tool for B-to-B Marketers?

by | Nov 17, 2009

twitterSome B-to-B marketers are having a hard time including Twitter in the marketing mix. You need to think of it as a relationship-building tool. Twitter should never be used as a stand-alone tactic. It should be used in conjunction with other social media as well as traditional tools like e-mail. Jon VanZile wrote an interesting post, Is B-to-B Ready For Twitter? that you might find interesting.

One of the concerns of B-to-B marketers is that “none of my customers or potentials are on Twitter.” While that may be true now, they will be soon. And how do you know unless you ask them? This week Twitter passed the 5 billion tweet mark. Somebody is using it! According to a study released this summer by Nielsen Co., Twitter growth has been phenomenal especially toward adults. According to Nielsen, Twitter reaches 11% of all Internet users. 80% of people who Tweet are over 25.

While you’re waiting for your customers to get in the game, Twitter still offers you some great free analytic tools you should be using to keep track of competitors as well as find conversations related to a post or article. Here are 5 good ones to start:

  1. Twitterstats Hour-by-hour and for any 24-hour period, track up to three keywords (think competitors) w/g/t click volume.  Useful if, for example, there’s news being dropped during the same time period and/or an event/tradeshow and you want to compare message volume/activity around keywords or companies.
  2. Nifty free tool that lets you track on individual Twitter accounts (think YOUR competitors). Inside look at #tweets per day, current and prominent keywords, to what degree the account is using hashtags, following snapshot. Also has a keyword search which is useful if you’re looking to build your follow list around a particular topic.
  3. BackTweets A real-time, conversational-tracking tool which allows for keyword and/or URL searches to find conversations related to a post or article; connects: WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Twitter and Friendfeed. Useful for community buzz centralized listening, brand monitoring. An “alert” function.
  4. Twitteranalyzer Google Analytics for Twitter users. More than 50 statistical measures displayed with graphics and maps. Among the views:  Reach, Subject Matter, Follower Growth, Follower Density Map, Follower Activity, Sharing Capability. Primarily a tool for Twitter users to analyze themselves or their friends.
  5. TwitterFriends A “reach/extended-reach” tracking tool that helps you discover information about the network behind your follower/their follower lists.  Identifies meaningful users you should be talking to, or who are feeding you useful links. Capability to account search/compare (think comparing your company to your competitors, or thought leader accounts, etc.)


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