Twitter in B2B: The Psychology Behind the Phenomenon

Last week, I talked about the ramifications that smart phones have had in B2B marketing, and how these devices are causing many people to develop continual partial attention due to their lessened mind share. Today, I’d like to elaborate on the topic of continual partial attention by looking at it from a different standpoint; specifically, I’d like to discuss how we can work within the confines of our target audience’s continual partial attention, by maintaining contact with them through Twitter.

The Psychology Behind the PhenomenonBefore the advent of the Internet, people used to communicate via letters, the telephone and face-to-face meetings. They had more time to devote to these forms of correspondence because people simply weren’t as connected — and thus, distracted — as they are today. However, once the Internet became prevalent, people became more and more connected with a larger network of contacts. In order to maintain these new relationships, they had to devote their time – and attention – to them; psychologically, they began to reposition how they approached situations and, rather than giving fewer things their full attention, they began giving more things their partial attention.

So today, as B2B marketers, we find ourselves trying to reach an audience that simply doesn’t have the time, or full attention, to devote to us. However, Twitter offers a solution to this dilemma. It enables you to get across an idea, or a concept, or an offer, or a link — or anything — in just 140 characters or less. Though not a marketing standalone tactic, it is a very effective supplement to staying connected and top-of-mind with your target audience.

So don’t think of Twitter as a chore, and don’t think of it as a toy. Think of Twitter as a fundamental part of your B2B marketing arsenal that enables you to combat the continual partial attention of your target audience.

And as with all social media, remember that you must develop meaningful content in order to stay connected; there is strategy involved with Twitter, and you must map out your plan in order to get the most out of this very powerful tool. So, in the end, don’t be angry that you have one more thing to “maintain” as a part of your marketing strategy; instead, be thankful that in a time when continual partial attention is running rampant, you have a medium that enables you to stay top-of-mind with the brevity that much of your target audience requires.