Platform Communications Views

Taking over Twitter

I’ve been an intern at Platform for seven months now, and whilst spending this time learning the ropes, I have been given my first big responsibility- running my account groups’ Twitter accounts.

As a 21 year old, I thought that this would be simple; I have grown up with all kinds of social media (Myspace, Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, the lot), and am pretty much the target audience for most social networking sites. But little did I know there is a lot more to social media than just what I ate for breakfast.

The first major difference I noticed is the amount of thought that goes into tweets. I don’t proclaim to be the world’s most interesting tweeter (most of my tweets are dedicated to food and what happened on last night’s EastEnders). My personal tweets are pretty much what I’m thinking or doing at that particular time and what I feel to share with my equally as uninteresting followers.

But tweeting on behalf of a business is a carefully planned thought process. Before I have even thought about what to tweet, I have to consider: what is happening in the industry, who are the major players – what are they doing? Who is the competition – what are they doing? And finally, what is the most recent news that covers all of this? A far cry from my thoughts about Ben Mitchell.

What is equally as important is building a presence amongst twitizens- if this is what it takes to write a tweet, I’m making sure that someone sees it! For me personally, it’s merely a case of following friends, the TOWIE cast and the MasterChef judges. But for businesses, it’s a lot more strategic than I had anticipated. In B2B tweeting, it’s important to follow, and have follow you – players in the industry, journalists and press, clients, associates and prospects, as well as ensuring that anyone else relevant in the market knows you exist.

Building up a reputable following isn’t as easy as it sounds- following someone doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a member of #teamfollowback. Interesting tweets and media, mentions and hashtags all contribute to that crucial Twitter following that businesses need.

Growing up with social media means that it has become second nature to me and my generation, and I regularly see tweeters asking for jobs or freebies, making deals or arranging meetings on my timeline. Maybe this has something to do with the generation gap, but it seems that all of this is still slightly taboo to tweet from a B2B profile.

I have been tweeting from client Twitter profiles for about a month now, and I already feel like I’m grasping the art of B2B tweeting. I’ve learnt more about the industry, witnessed the benefits of social media as a PR tool and even upped my client’s follower count! It seems that business profiles should be used more as an interaction tool rather than another promotional outlet- a habit that many can fall into. So now one thing is for sure- I think a lot more about what I tweet, and not just what I ate for breakfast!