A few months ago, I was asked to speak to a management consulting group about social media. A leading management consultant said to me, “I tried twitter but I couldn’t get my CEO clients to follow me”. Hmmm – now that was an interesting conversation. I attempted to engage with the consultant about why he had a twitter account other than “because someone told me I should”…though he had made up his mind that twitter was a waste of time and that no one cared when he was at his local coffee shop. And, of course, he is right.
No one cares!
…. when he is at his local coffee shop, but maybe they want to hear about his specialized knowledge?
Management Consulting and Twitter
Twitter, like any social media platform is part of the marketing mix. If you don’t know who you want to reach out to – then it is likely not going to be of value for you and it is unlikely you can explain the value to your clients. And if you are only tweeting your whereabouts, or unless you are offering a discount for a foursquare check in, I don’t really care either!
What’s the Goal?
Naturally, if my colleague had been open to learning, we would have had a discussion about strategy, goals and purpose first. But, for heaven’s sake, he was a senior management consultant – shouldn’t he naturally be curious enough to ask questions instead of dismissing an entire media because he doesn’t understand it? Oops, did I say that out loud? I guess I was a tad frustrated with my leading consultant colleague! Being a turtle at the gate can mean that you are very knowledgeable – or it can mean you are about to be run over.
Engage and Share
For me – I like twitter. I tweet about management consulting issues via @consultingmania so I can “collect” management consultants. It is an amazing media to engage and share information and the bonus is that I don’t have to maintain a presence every day. I wouldn’t recommend it for all my clients as a primary communication tool though the value for SEO is pretty clear. The media has to fit the message and the goal. And I have made some amazing connections with twitter. As a CMC or Certified Management Consultant in Victoria BC, I work primarily with technology firms doing product launches and stay involved right through to tracking social media engagement. We start with strategy – what is their business model, monetization, product niche, etc ? This information informs the marketing and sales strategy. I never push anyone into twitter or facebook until they have the capacity to maintain the sites or a clear vision of what they want to accomplish – though I do get them to at least grab their company names until they can include social media in their mix! And we start slow – tweet before you blog is like walk before you run. And, of course, push traffic to your site – for a reason. And that is where twitter is useful – we can generate re-tweets into whole new communities really quickly.
The Answer to All Social Media Needs?
Is twitter the social media answer? Of course not. And yes, it depends on the question! But, really, I would expect management consultants to either get up to speed or have someone on their associate list or in their practice who can responsibility guide a client. Not surprisingly, the last time I checked, my management consulting acquaintance had 35 followers and his last tweet was months ago. Obviously, not the media for him! If you picked up this article post on twitter – I suspect you “get it” and are not a turtle slow out of the gate! ____________________________________________________________________ Terry Rachwalski is a holds an MBA and is a Certified Management Consultant with Victoria, BC based Front Porch Perspectives . She won the Gold Medal for the highest National Standing in the 2005 written CMC exam. Rachwalski works with technology firms primarily in sensor, RFID and SaaS product launch.