Twitter Envy

Twitter Envy


modified Creative Commons from Sidewalk Flying

In helping promote the B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards, the Marketing Consigliere knew there were skeptics out there regarding B2B use of microblogging and social media.  Discussions in Marketing circles bring up valid points regarding some of the shortcomings of Twitter  and other tools.  By themselves, most of these tools may not be effective, but when used in an integrated campaign can be very valuable.

But being the Founder of the Program, he has wholeheartedly been spreading news about it.  However, he did not expect to get such a myopic reply, from someone in the same social circles, resulting from an email blast that was promoting the Awards Program:

“HAHAHAHAHA. I’m sorry, this is just so FUNNY.

I’m forwarding this message to my professional groups for a laugh.

Twitter of the year award? You’re kidding, right?

An award for a 140 character message? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Twitter is useless for B2B.

Twitter users find them annoying and counter to the basic “strategic attractor” of the site concept.

B2B and B2C messages on Social Networking sites kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

This is misplaced pr puff and fluff for what is at the end of the day an inconsequential award.

Use of the web for B2B marketing is a complex synergy of messaging platforms, and requires sophistication and knowledge of how human beings ACTUALLY think, learn, remember, and process information.

Riding the “buzz” of Twitter doesn’t make it effective.

Sorry, don’t mean to sound harsh, but it is what it is.

Cheers anyway,”

(Name Withheld by the Marketing Consigliere out of mercy)

The gentleman’s email domain revealed that he is the principle of a “full-service strategic marketing and graphic design firm.”  His domain does not match the acronym of his firm because he may have had the same attitude towards the Internet way back when and missed the boat acquiring one that matches, which can be considered a serious marketing faux pas.

A quick Website Grader check of his website gave it a score of only 90 with an embarrassing readability level of “Secondary/High School.”   With a Meta description that’s too long and an excessive number of meta keywords, they don’t “get it” when it comes to embedding SEO in their own design, which by the way, has the same background color as a bad pasta sauce.  There is no blog which could provide valuable, insightful content to his customers and prospects and not even a hint of a newsletter to subscribe to.  Obviously, there was no “Follow us” invitation on the website.

While he deserves credit for participating in Facebook and actually has a Twitter account (a staggering 66 followers and 38 tweets after one year), the poor gentleman finds Twitter “useless” for B2B.  Admittedly it it difficult to obtain ROI from any Marketing platform, given that Marketers are generally overworked, understaffed and underbudgeted.  But I would expect any Marketer worth his salt to understand the impact of tools like Twitter and have the curiousity to try it, and figure out a way to use it and have conversations with various circles.  The Marketing Consigliere was skeptic at first about Twitter too, but he never copped a condescending, “know-it-all” attitude and so gave it a try.

Perhaps this gentleman has not had the time nor the inclination to attend such great industry conferences as TWTRCON or Jeff Pulver‘s 140 Characters Conference where accomplished Marketers gather to share best practices of Twitter and social media; nor has he read a great book like Shel Israel‘s Twitterville, which case studies the use of Twitter by individuals and businesses.  It’s just too easy to throw up the smoke screen of “That’s frivolous,” or “I am running a company” or “My clients don’t ask for this” when you may be afraid to admit you’re falling behind the curve.

The Marketing Consigliere certainly hopes this person takes the time to research that B2B companies are using Twitter – for customer service, Marketing, sales, investor relations, crisis management, and for listening to their customers.  Twitter is yet another way for Marketers to gather information to store, analyze, share and act upon data.

Maybe like most hardworking entrepreneurs, he was just venting and found something he didn’t understand or perhaps he envied that he could dump on.  But that’s not leadership in the marketing arena.  A leader would fully explore the potential of a tool like Twitter and not be so brusque about it.

If it doesn’t dawn on this gentleman soon the value of the tool and the positive purpose of the Awards Program, we will all have to just write him off as yet another “full-service strategic marketing and graphic design cucuzza” who is “bitterly clinging” to his Pantone guide and corporate brochures.  While we still need the minions who make our logos pretty, it is the Marketer who knows how to leverage Internet technology to better gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon data who will earn a seat at corporate executive tables.

So with a week to go before nominations are due on December 18, 2009, make sure you nominate a B2B company that “gets it”

One response to “Twitter Envy”

  1. For the record, here is the response that the Marketing Consigliere emailed to the gentleman:

    I’m very disappointed that someone like you who shares the same social circles with me here in DC such as the old Potomac Club made those ranting, condescending statements towards the B2B Twitterer of the Year award, an honest and worthwhile program .

    If you did some research, you would discover that many B2B businesses have been using or are starting to use Twitter because it’s a great way to communicate with customers. It isn’t easy nor is it for everybody, and yes, there are may frivolous things going on in the Twittersphere, but the program seeks to attract innovative companies and recognize those that have accomplished things they may not have accomplished without this emerging tool.

    There are many marketing awards programs out there, but none are focused on B2B and Twitter. This is a space that needs to be examined as it evolves. I’m sure you would agree that with time, people smarter than the both of us will find ways to benefit B2B organizations and their customers with tools like Twitter.

    I invite you to think of a customer of yours who may have done a good job using Twitter; find out what they’ve done and if it’s a good story, nominate them. The deadline is next Friday, December 18th. I bet they’ll appreciate that you did it for them, even if they don’t win. And when the winners are announced early next year, take the time to read their stories – you’ll see that they’ve been judged by a world-class panel of B2B consultants, agencies, and practitioners and they’ll probably be pretty interesting if not inspiring.

    Have a great holiday season and successful 2010.

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