Twitter: B2B Brands Using Twitter. What grade would you give them?

B2B brands are not well represented in Twitter in numbers but there are a few pioneering ones.

Written by Antonio Altamirano | Founder and CEO at Tangelo

UPDATE: Brands and B2B companies have evolved deeply over the last year. Here is a new post that updates this post. The Top 15 Brands of 2009 as classified by Interbrands have been analyzed to find out their level of presence and success in two of the main social media channels: Twitter and Facebook.

Check out this study: The Top 15 Brands of 2009

I pulled a few posts that I though would be helpful to folks trying to understand the space. This is one by fool.com that provides a very interesting POV on the value of connectedness from a financial perspective. I found this via @ashbuckles who retweeted @milehighfool‘s article.

For B2B brands, although twitter asks “What are you doing?”, the question should be seen as the opportunity to offer value to the community in the form of thought leadership. The question could be reframed as “What are you thinking now?” or “What valuable information do you have to share now?” The information shared should be relevant and current. Twitter is all about the present tense.

One crucial thing is to understand the microblogging platform and market before running a twitter campaign. For instance, do not plunge in if you have not heard and know the reasons behing Motrin’s debacle in twitter. Reading @jowyang is quite helpful in order to get an idea of what to look after when building your twitter presence.

Take a look at these B2B brands that are representative of the diverse levels of sophistication of companies using Twitter and take the time to give them a grade and some feedback.

1. Deloitte @deloitte

No tweets. Just parked the ID. Bad twitter strategy. At least it looks like Deloitte parked the twitter account themselves which already sets them apart.

2. IBM events @ibmevents

Usage for events. This is a potentially huge real time awareness tool. Events allow Twitter to flourish. It allows people to connect via a “back channel” and allowing followers to participate in the event remotely.

If you put a twitterer in the ground floor of an event, it can potentially translate into an increased following and a higher awareness level of your brand.

3. @IBM Private account


4. Sun Microsystems @SunMicrosystems

Good example of Twitter usage:

They engage and provide links to web events that are happening on real time. Sun was social by nature by being one of the first companies in the Valley to allow their employees to freely blog on Sun’s dime. Even Sun’s ex-employees have a house where they can submit their feed.

5. Oracle @Oracle:

Since @oraclejulio (now @socialjulio) left Oracle, the Oracle twitter account has gone dead quiet. It’s a shame to see this potential channel wasted.

6. CapGemini @CapGemini:

They are getting much better. At the beginning they had a form welcome message that was too methodical it made it sound too fake and calculated. Now they engage in a more personal way and provide more interesting information.

7. BearingPoint @BearingPoint

The link to the BearingPoint blog in their profile is interesting but it does not have a lot of traffic (measured by the comments). The channel seems to be only a one way push of information to the audience. Low level of engagement.

It is your turn.

Do you have examples (good or bad) of large or medium size companies with strong brands that are engaging on Twitter? What do you expect from them?

16 Comments

  1. This post is almost a year old, and it would be interesting to see how far B2B companies have come with Twitter.

    One of the ways to see is to participate in the 2009 B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards.

    Anyone can nominate any B2B company to recognize their innovatie or successful use of Twitter.

    Go to http://www.b2btoty.com

    Hope you can nominate!

    Best,

    Joe Zuccaro
    Chair
    B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards

  2. I think that Cisco @DigitalCribs does a good job participating with the people that follow the account… and at the same time, they promote the short videos of how people use Cisco products.

    (Full disclouse, I dont know the person behind the @DigitalCribs account, but my company has done several SEO and Social Media demos for Cisco)

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