This is the second in a series of recaps from RealTime NY (formerly TWTRCON). The one-day conference, held at B.B. King Blues Club in New York, was jam-packed with sessions, workshops, and case studies on mobile, social and real-time Web. You can view the first recap, Curating Content on Twitter for Thought Leadership, here.
Twitter for Business
Twitter, said Fitton, is the backbone of the real-time Web and one of the best ways for companies to dip their toe into social media, even if it’s just to listen.
There are 572,000 new Twitter accounts created every day. And while it took more than 3 years to get to a billion tweets, there are now a billion tweets sent every six days.
“I see it as a global sensing and signaling network,” said Fitton. “Twitter, as a source of data, is still an untapped source.”
“We all like to freak out about social media because it’s the new thing,” she added, “but it’s really just a new way of doing the same thing.”
“Only Connect.” – E.M. Forster
Twitter’s importance is tied to humans’ need to connect with other humans. It provides an outlet for connecting with others.
“When you go to a conference and meet people and exchange cards, what are you doing to do with that?” asked Fitton. Twitter provides an outlet for connecting with people beyond that one instance.
And if you’re someone who says you don’t care what people are having for lunch, “you’re kidding yourself,” said Fitton. Twitter provides the ability to tie in what humans have in common.
If You Build it, They Will Follow
Some of the top reasons consumers follow a brand:
- Updates on future products
- To stay informed
- Updates on upcoming sales
- To learn more about the company
- To build a community
- To earn social capital
“If you can connect people to each other in the context of your brand, they will come back and back and back,” said Fitton.
But she sees it going even further. “I think social is going to hit every desk eventually,” she said. “Everything email touches, social will.”
Listen. Learn. Care. Serve.
There are four basic principles for a brand’s success on Twitter:
- Listen: Comcast was listening on Twitter for six months before tweeting anything, said Fitton. It’s important for you to listen to your customers – even if they’re not yet on there.
- Learn: “Don’t just turn a deaf ear to what you’re hearing,” said Fitton. “Act on what you’re hearing. Shine a light on others’ ideas.” Innovate. Measure and notice what’s working. And, most importantly, apologize when you mess up.
- Care: Dress nicely (background and avatar). Introduce yourself (complete profile, links on your site). Be a good conversationalist (listen, respond, be relevant, be useful). Manage customer relationships (build relationships and keep in touch – save searches, track deals, manage contacts and projects). Tip: Try a social CRM tool with many different integrations.
- Serve: Create great content -- cover things your prospective customers care about and need to know. Curate great content to become a one-stop shop for everything customers need. (“Do what you do best, and link to the rest.” -- @jeffjarvis) Tool tip: Try Disqus for blog comments to encourage social sharing, engage prospects and organize email addresses.
“It’s not about the number of followers,” added Fitton. “You have to find the right followers. And you’re going to find them by putting out the right stuff.”
“By going in this cycle, in this order, and repeating it, you’ll be fine in social media,” she said.
When someone interacts with your brand, “shine a light on them,” said Fitton. “They’ll be the ones who will come to your defense when others attack.”
Put the people who engage with you on a list. Recommend them on #FollowFriday and follow them back. As @pistachio, Fitton follows everyone who follows her. “It gives them a chance to send me a direct message,” she explained.
Also, track conversations from social media, and build and track relationships and leads. “It’s very important to focus on the right tasks and use the right tools,” she said. “And the right tools are still emerging.
Here's a link to Fitton's presentation on SlideShare:
Stay tuned for more recaps from RealTime NY.