How Twitter Can Help Defense Contractors Gain A Competitive Edge

Posted by douglasburdett

Are you wondering if Twitter can help your defense firm? Defense contractors worldwide are leveraging the power of Twitter. Here's how to make the most of it.

Twitter for Defense Contractors

DefenceIQ, the UK-based news source for analysis and commentary on global defense and military-related topics, has released its first-ever list of "Top 100 Defence and Security Twitter Accounts."

The list is broken down into segments including "Journalists and Editors," "Corporate," "Military, Government and NGOs," and even "Marketing, PR and Communications" (which is where I was honored to be included).

DefenceIQ Top 100 Twitter (Click to access list on Twitter)

 

I made a Twitter list of the Top 100 that you can see by clicking here or on the adjacent graphic. To download the full report from DefenceIQ, click here.

And below, you can see the real-time Tweets from those on the Top 100 list.


Yet, despite the high awareness of Twitter, there is still limited understanding of the social media platform by many in the defense industry.

Over 500 million use this microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets,” which are text messages limited to 140 characters. It’s a great way for companies to get the word out and provide links back to their website. All tweets can be seen by everyone – nothing is filtered out like on Facebook. Twitter has essentially displaced the newswires for breaking news.

Twitter is the second-most used social media platform by B2B marketers, based on a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Twitter Usage by B2B Marketers

Think of Twitter as an enormous cocktail party where you may listen in on others’ conversations. That can include thought leaders in the defense industry, your customers and prospects, and even your competitors.

You can build Twitter lists like the one shown above (which can be public or private) of people you want to follow. And it does not require that they follow you back. Lists enable you to filter out all the tweets from your main news feed and focus just on a particular subset. For instance you can build a list of reporters who cover your industry. If they ask a question or need some help, you can respond, help them and be on your way to building a relationship. The same goes for lists of your prospects.

Similarly, on Twitter you can search for mentions of your company or key industry or competitive terms. When someone tweets a question or has a problem, you can respond and help them or otherwise engage in the conversation.

The TAO of TwitterThe fastest way to learn more about Twitter is to start using it. I also recommend Mark Schaefer's "The Tao of Twitter." It's a quick read (156 pages) and is written from the perspective of someone who didn't initially "get" Twitter and almost gave up on it.

Using real-life examples and easy-to-follow steps the book makes Twitter easy to understand and includes:

  • The formula behind every Twitter business success
  • Secrets to building influence through Twitter
  •  20 methods to build an audience that wants to connect to you
  • Hundreds of practical, actionable tips to make Twitter work
  • 22 ways to use Twitter as a competitive advantage

Your turn: what challenges or success have you had with Twitter?

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photo credit: eldh via photopin cc

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