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Video: Is Twitter a Boon or a Bane for Business?

Submitted by on November 30, 2009 – 1:17 pmNo Comment

What would you suggest companies do to quantify how Twitter is benefiting / hurting them? (from my Radar Post – Peter P)

(OK – so a big caveat here — The quality of  my counsel depends upon asking a lot of clarifying questions – an option not open to me when creating a 3 minute video for Forbes.   As a follow up to this post I have a few referrals…  On measurement – I would head over to Metricsman and his great posts on measuring Social Media. On adopting the proper tone when using these tools I would review some previous posts on this blog.)

Transcript: Well first I would get clear on Why the particular company is using Twitter – what are the business objectives? I have seen micro-businesses like CupKates – a cupcake truck that uses Twitter to notify customers of their location – Direct sales would be the measure in that case. Dell uses Twitter to broadcast promotions and attributes about 3 million in revenue. When Tim O’Reilly tweets about an O’Reilly book, you can watch the sales go up etc. So again, start with defining your objectives then get clear on how will you measure them.

The beauty of the web is that it is measurable… With Twitter you can use metrics from Followers – a shallow measure of reach, Retweets – how much influence are your Tweets having, and click-throughs… When you embed links, use a link shortener like Bit.ly that will provide you with information on how many people clicked on your link. If you own the landing page – you can track through to leads or even sales. If you objectives are based more around awareness You can use Twitter search to determine how/where your brand is being mentioned. If you want more depth you can use monitoring tools like Radian 6, Evolve 24 or a host of others that will mine the social web for conversations that are taking place about your brand on Twitter and beyond.
As to your question of “hurting” I have been beating the drum that companies need to create clear social media guidelines that are consistent with their culture and industry context. If your employees know what is expected of them I think that is the best form of damage control you could hope for. As the saying goes – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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