It's a myth that Twitter is a natural platform for consumer brands but a much tougher fit for B2B companies. Using Twitter to go beyond a core group of customers and reach everyday consumers can help shape a B2B brand's reputation and ultimately raise its profile among a field of competitors.
In the following Q&A, Corinne Kovalsky, director, digital and social media for Raytheon—a technology company that specializes in defense, homeland security and other government markets—discusses how engaging on Twitter in a range of conversations can enhance a B2B brand. Kovalsky will elaborate on building a following, engagement and content strategies at PR News’ June 21-22 Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event in New York City.
PR News: Why is Twitter the right platform for a B2B company like Raytheon, and how have you been successful using it?
â€¨â€¨Corrinne Kovalsky: Twitter is a direct way to connect with people who are interested in and care about the company. We share news and content about issues that matter to us as a global corporate citizen. A few months ago, we held our first tweetup and gave our followers a sneak peek of our traveling math and science exhibit the day before it opened to the public at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. And this May we’re using Twitter to raise awareness about Wounded Warriors and the great work being done by the Wounded Warrior Project. The campaign is called #Hashtags4Heroes, and to date, we have donated 60,000+ unused Twitter characters to help spotlight the plight of injured veterans. People can raise awareness of the needs of injured service members by downloading a simple and free add-on that auto-populates any unused characters in their tweet with a message that shows support for wounded warriors. Twitter is a wonderful way to reach out and showcase the people behind the brand.â€¨â€¨
PR News: How would you describe your content strategy?
â€¨â€¨Kovalsky: We essentially run an internal news organization. Our managing editor for digital content leads a team that develops and launches interesting content on a range of issues. We’re building an enterprise-wide editorial calendar to capture our news, but we all agree that for social media to be truly social, it can’t be a one-way broadcast. So, our social media manager shares our stories, along with other articles and posts, and she encourages discussion and engagement. If you send 10 tweets in a given day, no more than four should be about you. The remaining six should be a mix of engagement and sharing of interesting information. We try to use Twitter to inform and entertain.â€¨â€¨
PR News: What are some tactics to help your tweets stand out in a crowded Twitter feed?â€¨â€¨
Kovalsky: You need to be creative. For instance, we swapped out our avatar and Twitter background for the #HT4H campaign, and our first tweet after the launch was “Curious about our new avatar?” We added a link to a post that explained what we were doing and why we had chosen the month of May to do it. We also reach out to key influencers and community leaders to let them know when we’ve got something new to share, and we ask for their help in getting the word out.â€¨â€¨
PR News: What’s one key tip you’ll offer attendees at the Social Media Summit?
â€¨â€¨Kovalsky: My one key takeaway is to be open to new ideas and to new ways of executing them. Partner across the function and make sure that you use surround sound to amplify your activities.
Attend PR News’ Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event on June 21 and 22 in New York City and learn more from digital experts like Corinne Kovalsky.
Follow Regina D’Alesio, @reginadalesio