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How software marketer Sword Ciboodle created buzz with Twitter

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Sword Ciboodle is a leading contact center solution provider, selling software that helps facilitate call centers, online FAQs and community discussions, and Web self-service. The company, which has a 12-to-18-month sales cycle, has a fairly extensive interactive marketing program, using e-mail, blogging and video. At the beginning of 2009, the company added another weapon to its online arsenal: Twitter.

“We got involved because it’s an easy, inexpensive and smart way to get involved in the conversation about our company, the industry and issues that our customers are talking about,” said Rachel Tait, marketing manager at Sword Ciboodle.

For example, from the beginning, Tait said, she found that many of the senior-level businesspeople and analysts the company was already reaching out to were spending time on Twitter. “We needed to be there to get involved and provide our own thought leadership,” she said.

The company has multiple Twitter accounts. There’s one company account used to post links to videos, events, news and commentary. Company executives also tweet. For instance, the analyst relations manager follows all the analysts that follow the company offline, while the head of presales consulting focuses on tweeting and gathering sales and competitive data. The company’s CEO of the Americas, Paul White, also has an account. In total, Tait said, there are five to seven people tweeting on behalf of Sword Ciboodle at any time, and following customers, prospects, competitors, industry analysts and people who are interested in contact center topics.

“It’s really about keeping a drumbeat going,” Tait said. “We’re talking about our blog; we’re linking through to things that matter; we’re putting new announcements out; we’re tweeting about go live [customer implementations] and award-wins.”

To make sure senior executives tweet often enough, Tait and the marketing team made sure they were set up to tweet from their mobile devices. The company also uses URL shorteners, such as bit.ly, that have tracking features so the marketing team knows how many people are clicking through and how many retweet their messages.

The real benefit, however, is that the company’s Twitter streams are bringing people back to the Sword Ciboodle website, Tait said.

A recent joint announcement with business analytics provider SAS is a good example. The announcement went out in June, with strong support on Twitter. Since then, the company has seen more than 150 clicks through to its website from Twitter alone.

“That’s extremely valuable to us,” Tait said. “Once we get them on our website, it opens the door for a prospect to download something and ask for someone to contact them.”

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