Digital marketers are not all Twitter junkies. Surprised?
A Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists list was released by the Online Marketing Institute last week. The expectation, on seeing the Twitter handles shown against each person on the list was that they would all be Twitter junkies – followed by the many, following the few, etc. Not so? The chart below represents the spread of follower numbers for the top 20. I’m guessing that the selection of the 20 strategists was arrived at via a considered and balanced approach. In checking out the biogs, they all seem worthy candidates for different reasons. It’s also the case that the follower volumes of any individual can be explained without causing any ‘Social Guru’ shame. Like all data, interpretation is key. For example, this statement sounds about right: “In a selected group of digital marketing experts the average number of Twitter followers per person was 7,300.” No problems there. This is the mean average in the OMI list. But the mean belies the spread – 38 followers, all the way to 654,000! Imagine that were the spread in the number of assists in a ball game of the top 20 players in the 2014/15 season? In the world of digital marketing, Twitter is synonymous with online content and inbound marketing, but it leads to assumptions about social media and its relationship to digital strategy, particularly for B2B. Consequently, we risk making assumptions about what constitutes “strategy” and how it is perceived and applied. If you’re on the content marketing bus, you’re all about the metrics. Rightly so. However, it appears that the value of a strategic digital professional cannot be measured in followers alone. Are we in a post-guru age? For the B2B marketer, it may be so. Our Techheads research shows that Twitter clearly plays a role in the tech buying process – 44% of respondents selected Twitter as a useful source of information during the information gathering and decision making process. As marketers, we’re [hopefully] past the stage of validating Twitter metrics and investment. From a client-side perspective, however, the quality of a ‘global’ view on digital marketing strategy may be served as well by professionals that avoid every silenced smartphone buzz that notches another ‘follow’ as the digital planning meeting commences. Are you a B2B tech marketer? You are only a hop, skip and a jump away from more TechHeads data in our annual report on B2B technology buyer habits. Enjoy!