Oneforty Moves Beyond Twitter App Store Into Big, Bad World of Social Business
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way e-mail originally entered the business marketplace. At first companies worried about whether employees would waste time on e-mail or broadcast company secrets (still legitimate concerns, I would say). “Now e-mail touches every conceivable business function, from the night watchman to the CEO. The same thing is happening in social,” Fitton says.
And oneforty is positioning itself as the guide sitting between social-media experts, tools, and brands—a position that it hopes will prove to be lucrative. “We’ve got all the [social] tools and all the data on which ones are good for whom,” she says.
But it’s still very, very early in the social business game. “People [including C-level executives] have so many questions about how to begin,” Fitton says. “We get so far down the path of innovating, but the vast majority of companies still need the 101 [basic course]. ‘What do I do with it? What are best practices?’”
Fitton points out some fundamental lessons for businesses. For one thing, it’s more important to have a targeted, relevant, and responsive following than simply a large number of followers, she says. And perhaps the biggest message: “The long-term strength of social is to connect customers with each other, not just to you,” she says. “Letting customers build a community through you as a brand is much stickier and more memorable.”
With the rumors this week about Twitter having been in low-level acquisition talks with Facebook and Google, I had to ask Fitton what she thinks about the company’s future. Twitter is “hell bent on remaining independent,” she says. “Google was crazy not to get in there right away and buy them,” she adds, in part because information on consumer sentiment from Twitter is “really different” and “genuine,” compared to other sources.
In any case, it looks like oneforty is diversifying its products and planning for the long term. “We have to build a culture and literacy around social business,” Fitton says. “It will take a long time and a lot of resources.”