Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

High Tech Companies – It’s Time for Twitter!

It is time for high tech to get involved in Social Media. Even with the millions of people on Facebook, twitter, etc., there is a very small number of high tech companies joining the conversation. It’s not easy convincing these companies to get involve though – kind of a catch22 going on. Other companies are not on Twitter for instance, so companies don’t want to waste time talking to no one. Someone has to bite the bullet and start an industry trend, but no one wants to be first – and alone.

After putting much thought into this for the industry that I know best, fiberoptics, I have decided that Twitter is the place to be. OK – let me back up a bit. I guess I should clarify that I think all businesses should have a profile on LinkedIn and be active there, but I’m pushing for a high tech Twitter movement.

Here is my thinking. High Tech does not (in general) see much need for the social aspect of Twitter, but they can be well served by using it to share information. For many of us involved with twitter, one of the most useful aspects is how easy it is to find articles about things that interest us. We follow people and keywords that are relevant to what we want to read about and learn and are rewarded daily with snippets of information and links that prove to be helpful. This, I believe, is the key to social media engagement for tech industries.

The Proposal:
-Every industry has a trade association, a few industry news websites and even some local chapters/sub-chapters of associations. Start there. These organizations need to get active with twitter – posting industry news and info.
-Associations with member mailing lists need to email their members with a call to get engaged and share their knowledge and product information.
-Make a plan. Who will post for your company? What type of things will you tweet about? Don’t just sell – engage. Post info about what you offer, but balance it with industry news and general info that your potential customers may find informative. Make a plan for addressing complaints or nasty posts that may crop up. Monitor your business name and keywords.
-Set up your Twitter account and search out a few people to follow – look for customers, vendors, competitors, trade associations, industry news sites…
-Make sure to put a link to your twitter on your website.
-Send an email to your customers and vendors announcing your twitter address and encouraging them to join the conversation. Tell them what type of information you plan to post.
-Now engage! Use one of the many sites that help manage your social media info if you find that helpful. I use HootSuite, but you can use Tweetdeck, Tweetizen or many other sites.
-Remember, this is still “Social”, so send thank you notes to new followers, follow some of the people who follow you, retweet interesting posts, acknowledge people who retweet you.

That’s it – go for it. Don’t give up or get discouraged. It takes time to build a following. You will not have 100 followers in a week – or even a month. But, if you follow the plan and keep at it, you will suddenly realize that people are following and engaging and you are seeing posts with links to good information… It’s all good!