Last time we looked at blogging best practices and which CRM vendors walk the walk when it comes to actively blogging. In this post I’ll share some highlights of how the same vendors are using Twitter to engage with their customers and the marketplace at large. But first, here are a few thoughts on Twitter as a social marketing and support channel…
In my experience, Twitter is a great listening channel, a good promotion and alert channel and a pretty good customer service channel. But it’s less effective at branding or story telling (hard to do in 140 characters) and is overrated as a “full-service” or true collaboration channel given that there is just too much noise IMO. Comcast is perhaps the poster-child for using Twitter as a service (really listening) channel, and even GM is now getting into the act to spot and engage with unhappy customers (see here).
And there is a lot of interest around Twitter as a promotional channel for group buying (like Groupon) or special coupons and multi-channel campaigns like my friends at OfferPop and JitterJam are building. For B2B, when Twitter campaigns work well, they tend to work as well as a good opt-in email list. With of course the added bonus of a word-of-mouth “multiplier” when your followers re-tweet messages to their followers, and so on, effectively multiplying your reach and original list.
As for Twitter and branding, a while back I did a quick hit analysis looking at the correlation between Twitter influence and brand value (using Forrester’s CxPI index). Not surprisingly all the top brands – the Top 10 in the CxPI index – also had a high Twitter influence score (over 95 in Twitter Grader). But so did several of the lowest rated companies in the CxPI index such as USAirways, Qwest and our friends at Comcast.
Clearly top brands are actively using Twitter, but actively using Twitter does not make you a top brand!
So how are top CRM vendors using Twitter? For this part of my analysis, I looked at two measures: where is Twitter promoted/placed on their corporate web site, if at all; and how influential/engaged is the company via its corporate Twitter account. I used Twitter Grader to measure influence, although there are many other tools that may be interesting to try as well. And there may be individuals in these same companies that have more followers than the company itself, but I focused just on the company account (there is a lesson here in fostering individual vs. company brands, but that is another discussion).
In terms of placement, here’s where I found links to Twitter and which vendors placed their link in that location. Again, I may have missed some placements, and if I found a link on the home page I didn’t go looking for others on additional pages.
- Home page – SugarCRM, nGenera, Amdocs, NetSuite, eGain, Convergys
- Press page – SalesForce, RightNow, Pega, Consona, Ciboodle, CDC
- Product page – Oracle
- Blog -- Chordiant
- No link found (yet) – Sage, KANA
As for influence, here’s how the vendors ranked in terms of Twitter Grader scores - higher is better! - as of last week (tool has been a bit flaky this week):
- 99+: SalesForce, OracleCRM, Sage
- 95+: Convergys, Amdocs, RightNow, NetSuite, SugarCRM,
- 90+: nGenera, Pega, Consona, eGain
- Under 90: Ciboodle, Chordiant, KANA, CDC
Now, by combining these datapoints with our blog analysis we can create this snazzy chart to get a visual picture of how these vendors compare:
As before, I’d love your thoughts / comments. And next I’ll talk a bit about LinkedIn.