3 Lessons for Marketers from Twitter and LinkedIn’s botched integration roll-out

November 10, 2009 by Lisa Oshima | Developers, Review, Social Media

As a prolific LinkedIn and Twitter user, I was excited to hear the two companies announce an integration yesterday:

I was less excited when I actually tried to use it- and couldn’t.

This morning, I visited the site mentioned in the above video and tried to follow each of the steps. Here’s how it went…

Step 1: Watch the above video. Check!

Step 2: Join LinkedIn & Twitter Accounts. Add your Twitter account details to LinkedIn. Fail #1. The provided link was broken.

link-error

Step 3: Twittering & Status. Edit Twitter Settings on LinkedIn. Fail #2. This link was also broken.

link-error

After digging around for a while looking for an answer to why the integration wasn’t working for me, I stumbled across the LinkedIn blog asks users to be patient with the rollout and says, These new features will be rolling out gradually over the next couple of days.” If I’d been told up-front when following the call to action in the video that this was the case, I would have been patient.  Instead, I felt mildly frustrated, having wasted time watching the video and following instructions only to get an erroneous “Link Error” page. Sigh.

Launching a partnership soon? Here are a few things you can learn from the LinkedIn + Twitter integration roll-out challenges:

  1. Rather than rolling out in batches, roll out a ‘beta’ to ‘select’ users.
    • Make your most valuable users feel ‘special’ by engaging them first and letting them evangelize on your behalf.
    • I use Twitter and LinkedIn daily. With 1,664 followers on Twitter and 549 connections on LinkedIn, I’m one of the users that is most likely to both appreciate and use the LinkedIn and Twitter integration, and yet when I followed the call to action in the announcement video above, I wound up at a dead end.
  2. Communicate clearly with users about availability.
    • If you decide to roll out your integration in batches, make this clear to users – especially in your call to action.  Let your users about when and where they’ll be able to access your product.
    • LinkedIn didn’t mention their batched roll-out in the call to action on their Twitter integration landing page (only on their blog).  When I tried to follow the call to action on their landing page, I received a “link error” rather than a “coming soon” page.
  3. Test your marketing message with different target audiences before rolling it out – especially when you’re launching globally.
    • The LinkedIn & Twitter video talks about Twitter and LinkedIn going together like peanut butter and chocolate, which is great if you’re from the US.  But, if you ask a Brit about what they think of combining peanut butter and chocolate and they’ll likely cringe.

peanutbutterchoc

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