Twitter and Segmentation – how do you decide who to follow?

About a month back I saw this article in the Sunday Times and posted the following blog on our sister company’s website – Pebble in the Pond.

Inbound marketing using social media is a vital element of any modern marketing strategy and given that this is an essential feature of what we do at Enigma I thought it would be worthwhile publishing the blog here. So please read on…


The Sunday Times 28.07.2013

this mini is worth following

this mini is worth following

Richard E Grant…makes mini rue the day

5 tweets over 2 days and the problem was sorted!

The story is about a dad – a famous dad – stepping in and using the power of twitter to complain about vehicle safety and service quality on behalf of his daughter.

Credit to Mini for monitoring social media and in this case twitter in particular and reacting and dealing with this.


The first twitter post by Richard E Grant was timed at 12.44pm on 19 July. His last post of the 5 confirming full satisfaction was timed at 3.11 pm on 20 July. That was almost 27 hours later. Enough time for proper damage to have been done – this piece in the Sunday Times for example.

Richard E Grant Tweets

Sunday Times Extract


So how do you decide who to follow? and…what do you do about those who are following you?

customer relationship management – aka CRM

or MRC? – managing real-time customers

Under the heading of CRM we are all likely to have designed data systems to gather name and address; telephone number; age; sex; and so on from new customers.

But I wonder how many of us add the twitter handle or address to this list?

Armed with this additional piece of information we have the key to monitoring what our latest customer says about us in the key period  immediately after purchase. And what’s more we can monitor any references to our product, brand and service throughout the life of ownership.

These tweets were however not posted by the Mini driver but by her father.

We do not know the facts but it is possible of course that Mini knew the identity of this owner and were tracking her father because of his fame.

It is also possible and more probable that Mini were monitoring all social and online traffic in real-time or virtual real-time using professional standard social media monitoring software tools.

The 19th July was  a Friday so they actually “closed”  this case online on a Saturday. This means that their system allows for 7-day monitoring and coverage and possibly 24/7.

I guess the lesson here is that we should all try to obtain (by simply asking or by researching) our customer’s twitter handles and use these to follow them. We should then eye-ball our twitter feed or professionally monitor for key word use.

And we can even prioritise who we monitor most closely. The professional monitoring tools, such as those used by Pebble in the Pond, will enable us to rank the social influence and reach of those we follow. I would imagine that Ms Grant and her dad would be high up on the list.

customer segmentation – or know your followers

The above story naturally led me to think about the other side of the coin and to consider how we deal with not just those we follow but also those that follow us.

Most marketing strategies will be founded at least in part on a clear understanding of your customer segments with marketing programmes being geared towards each. Tone of voice, content, imagery, offers will all vary according to who your are addressing.

Now consider your followers on Twitter. Have you thought to identify them and yes, I do actually mean all of them. How many are

  • customers
  • suppliers
  • competitors
  • investors

How many of those that are customers are in different segments to which you would normally market differently?

Is your communications and content programme suitable for consumption by all of these stakeholders? Is it time to open twitter channels for each of these audiences with content tailored for them? Cross-over by your followers is perhaps inevitable but perhaps we should at least make an effort to treat our segments to discrete content.

Johnson & Johnson launched a new contact lens using facebook for the youth market and forums for the older generation.

For me the lesson here is that the principles of strategic marketing planning and execution are as applicable to social media as they are to our conventional marketing activities and we should not lump all followers together just because we by our choice (inadvertent or otherwise) have only set up one channel or twitter account.

About Leslie Woodcock

Leslie is the founder director of Enigma. He is an experienced strategy consultant and marketer and has a strong senior executive c.v.

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