State of the Social Management Systems

Social Media: The Eight Stages of Listening by Jeremiah Owyang

Altimeter Report: Social Marketing Analytics Demystified

Altimeter’s Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management

Questions Brands Should Be Asking About Twitter

I had other plans for my blog today but on my way to writing I stopped by Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang and read his blog “7 Questions Some Brands are Asking about Twitter.” This is an excellent blog for any company contemplating their Twitter strategy to read.

Below are the questions that Owyang wrote that a handful of others brands are starting to ask:

  1. Should we create multiple accounts for different divisions? How should we name them?  How should the content be different?
  2. Is it ok to just tweet out news on our main corporate account? Or should we be conversational?
  3. How do we get our corporate reps (sales, product teams) to use this tool, and be conversational?
  4. Should we follow folks? If so, what’s the protocol? Should we only follow folks that follow us? We don’t want to appear like ‘big brother’
  5. What are the tools to use to manage multiple authors/tweeters?
  6. How can we find other examples of B2B twitter examples?
  7. How should we brand our Twitter backgrounds images?

Twitter
Creative Commons License photo credit: respres

Based on my experience with clients, Brands should also consider asking:

  • Whose voice should we be using? CEO, Marketing? Should we identify who is posting?
  • How do we jump into conversations? And should we?
  • How much time should we be spending on Twitter?
  • What image for our Brand should we be using? Should it be a photo of the author or company or brand logo?
  • What’s the proper balance on our Brand’s tweets? Should it all be self promotion or should we be informational?
  • What is our purpose?

Any questions I missed?

Vaporware Versus Creditability

Window
Creative Commons License photo credit: dynamosquito

For what seems like eons, many software companies have followed a common practice of announcing products or services that are not yet ready for the market in the hope of creating buzz for the company and or to secure a space for their product in the marketplace. These products are called vaporware.

Last week Forrester Research analyst Jeremiah Owyang discussed this growing trend in the social media space  in his Web-Strategy blog and warned,  “As a response, I’m going to start calling out vendors that do that. Why? it protects buyers from getting caught up in the hype of an announcement, flashy videos, and buzzword industry-changing definitions. I fill the space with enough buzzwords myself, there really isn’t any room left for vendors.”

In the past, before the Internet was alive with bloggers, the most a company risked in announcing vaporware was being ignored by the technology press. The technology press realizes an announcement without an analyst and a customer describing the benefits was at best premature.  But today, one of the worst things that can happen to a young company is to launch a product that does not exist and get called out on it. You not only risk alienating the reporter or blogger but everyone that does a search on you and your product.

Owyang provided his requirements for vendors as they launch, “On day of announcement they should be able to show a demo of their product. If it’s an enterprise product, or complicated, then show a video with it working. Consider using a customer reference or a test case to demonstrate how it’s been working in the past. I like what John Furrier said, that sometimes products are still getting the bugs worked out and that’s fine –but in any case, show that the product exists.”

I believe these guidelines could help establish creditability for any vendor launching a real product.  What do you think?