A lot of companies are getting interested in Twitter. They’ve read about Twitter and they want to get involved or they want to be seen to be getting involved. But how many have a coherent strategy for their Twitter participation? Have they thought through how they are going to use Twitter and how Twitter fits in with their business communications objectives?
What audiences do they want to reach through Twitter? How are they going to present their Twitter platforms to their audiences?
Dell is, in my view, streets ahead of other organisations in terms of how it is embracing social media. Take a look at all the different Twitter channels that Dell is using for reaching different audiences and how it is presented to the audience.
But the key point here is how many businesses have really stepped back and had the bigger conversation about how social media (of which the rapid emergence of Twitter is a part) is impacting on their business/marketing communications? Are organisations really understanding the changes that social media is ushering in? Are they aware of the issues and the implications of the rapid rise in social media? What are the broader strategic issues?
We think it is critical that businesses grab the opportunities presented by social media quickly and have a business-wide strategy for social media. It is fine for individual elements of businesses to evolve their means of engaging with social media and it is essential that they do to remain relevant, competitive and to ensure they have influence. But organisations as a whole have to understand what social media means to them and how it will affect them going forward. This has to be done soon.
Six months ago, many people would have scoffed at the idea of the Financial Times ‘ tweeting’ and being involved in Twitter. But now the column, one of the most respected financial columns among business circles, has a Twitter presence as well as many other established media organisations.