Twitter for Business… there is also the other side…
June 19, 2008
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In the last days I have heard a lot about the idea that companies are going to use Twitter to improve their Internet presence, especially I have read two good posts of analysis and case study of my friend Tommaso, they are in Italian but Google Translator does a good job, anyway those are the translated links Post 1Post 2.

Companies in the last years started to understand how useful can be Internet for themselves, to make people know them, to make them look interactive to the Internet users and also to make people interact and make people read about news or things that they are doing… so lot of companies started to have a public Blog, where they started writing posts about things that were concerning the business itself… and in some way establish a link between them and the customer and fidelity him… so the user can read the blog and then purchase the services or products that the business is selling… in few words there is the need to share information to gain the trust of the user… is something that can work… also if I think that Internet Trust is built not only on sharing information but also with reliability and feedback…

Then arrived Twitter a MicroBlogging system, that makes share with people short messages, so Business now are thinking to share those short messages with their customers, following the same example that  Obama did for his presidential campaign… in some ways is better than blogging, because for their nature twitts are faster to create and manage and a company can share information with more frequency, looking in this way more dynamic at the eyes of the users/customers… blogging on the other side is less frequent because you share information, but more deeply and needs more work to do that, so you do it less frequently… So twitter can be used as a Marketing platform… can work… but I think that can depend on the type of company and product/service that you have/provide…

Lots has been told regarding this aspect of twitter… but there is the need to look at the Flip Side of the idea of “Twitter and Business”… from the external communication side of a company to the Internal One

There is the need to say that a company has two types of customers, External (the actual customers) and also the Internal Customers, that are the employee of the company… in fact looking at the organization of a company as a supply chain we can see that everyone provides a service/product that the colleague has to use to move on with the production of the final product… in this way if everyone makes the best job the final result should be great…

Looking in this way we can consider to redefine the kind of Twitter that we wanna share and with who we wanna share them. A typical Internal Scheme of a Company can be divided in sectors, floors, offices or single people… most of businesses uses internal chat systems, mail or wiki to talk and share information, but what about Twitter… how can be used in this aspect?

Twitter can be considered as an hybrid of Chat (keeping conversations), Mail (Asynchronous and Private messages) and Blogging (broadcasting the messages), and can bring in a company some scenarios that can be good to be considered:

  • Management can monitor the Work Flows of sectors or people, looking at how much they communicate and share.
  • Make everyone know about Internal News, Memos and Urgency.
  • Make co-Workers know about the status of a process or step that someone or everyone is waiting for.
  • Broadcast a message directed to a person, in a way that the person would be obliged to read and consider it, because everyone know that the communication happened.

Those are some aspects and scenarios that can happen in an organization, of course Chat and mail would be hard to replace for other reasons like speed of sharing and communications outside the company, but I have to say that an Internal Twitter in some company can be really useful.

This thing anyway can brings to the light some Security and Privacy problems… for example Broadcasting to the outside an internal Twitter can be good, where can be seen the dynamics of the company, but can be bad because the processes would be crystal clear also to the customers and competitors… so there is the need of two types of Twitter environments…

There shold be the need to have an Company Twitter Server becasue there is the need to have the system always up and running (communication in a dynamic company is essential) and also the internal communciation should be strictly internal and the PR (see scheme above) can send twitts outside to customer. Internal Twitts can be a great feature for the Internal Communciation, can be like some good motor oil on a engine… there is the need to experment it and see which dynamics people can create in a closed environment… if they work better and how communciaiton has been improved or changed… I would be interested to try something… will see…

Twitter itself could create a system for internal communication and sell it… is not a bad business idea…

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There are 2 comments

  • I completely agree, even if this technological upgrade has to be anticipated by a cultural shift. Using Twitter as a tool for internal communication means you don’t have to fear your boss, you are in good relationship with other departments, you respect others work and so on.

    It’s the same problem you face when you talk about Enterprise 2.0: it’s not about the technology, it’s about the people. That’s why it’s so difficult to implement…

  • I agree Edoardo. I tried to comunicate the value of blogging and microblogging to some medium-size companies. If blog could be an hard work for an enterprise communication sistem, the big problem in importing microblogging in daily employees routine is the trivial approach.

    Moreover italian people often consider social media a loss of time, ’cause they don’t understand the ROI of this tools.

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