How to Use Twitter for B2B Marketing
It’s an accepted notion that Twitter is a great platform for marketing in general, but it is especially so for B2B, due to the different kind of relationship that a business has to foster with another in order to gain trust.
For the most part, this is often because business products and services tend to be more expensive than consumer products and as such, more work is needed to convince buyers to invest.
This means that during the buying cycle, B2B companies really need to earn the trust and respect of the prospective customer. This means listening, building strong customer relationships and providing excellent, relevant content in order to attract and retain the attention of clients.
A recent study from Compete found that “Twitter users who see tweets from B2B tech brands are more likely to visit the sites of those brands”. This means that there is a strong B2B presence already existent on the social media site.
Bearing this in mind, as well as the fact that users who see brand tweets are more likely to search for a brand, this means that B2B marketers should optimise tweets to point to relevant pages on the website.
This is especially true as the research also found that Twitter users exposed to B2B tech brands are also more likely to convert. So for the marketer, it’s all about making your brand highly visible, while offering easy ways for buyers to access information and landing pages.
While the study concentrated on B2B tech companies above all else, it can be taken as a positive indication of using Twitter as a whole for B2B marketing.
Listening to Twitter
Listening is an important part of building relationships with prospective B2B clients on Twitter and this includes listening to the relevant industry as a whole, rather than just what is being said about your brand.
B2B Marketers must:
• Educate themselves fully on industry trends and thought leaders, connecting with the latter in order to gain credibility themselves
• Leverage word of mouth
• Find useful and relevant industry topics to discuss
• Learn what people are talking about with relation to the industry and products, including what’s being said about competitors
Of course, in order to build customer relationships, it’s necessary to listen to what is being said about the brand and its products too. Doing so can help with reputation management, as complaints are quickly picked up and dealt with, as is any bad press. After all, you can’t do anything about bad PR if you don’t know it’s happening.
To do this, regular searches using Twitter’s own search function is a good idea, for products, brand names, competitors and so on. The social network allows you to save searches, so once you have them set up, this is not hugely time consuming.
Following: who and why
It’s not good enough just to follow everyone in sight and hope for people to return in kind, it needs to be more targeted than that. To begin with, connecting with thought leaders and influencers in your niche is a good start. Don’t expect them to follow you back though, until you become influential in your own right anyway.
This will give you a good overview of what’s being said and what’s popular when it comes to content. Further to this, interacting by re-tweeting and replying to tweets might just get you noticed, so long as your own activity is also highly useful.
You can also look at the followers of the influencer and follow those that look relevant to you.
Posts and engagement
The main challenge that every marketer has is to get followers to engage with content and tweets that they post. This isn’t easy, but with strategic posting at certain times of the day, re-tweets of interesting content and commitment, it builds slowly.
Go for a minimum of 4 a day, evenly spaced. This is not the premium amount of tweets that you should be posting, but many companies don’t have the resources to spend a lot of time on social media each day. Marketers should aim for a ‘magic’ number of around 24 tweets per day, including re-tweets. Don’t just post promotional tweets, people will soon bore of it and it’s likely to lose you followers.
Keywords should be used that are popular in searches made by your target audience, so use Google Trends to discover these and attempt to use them in tweets. Remember, you only have 140 characters to play with, so make sure every one of them counts. You can also make use of hashtags to make your tweets more discoverable.
Act like a human being
Always respond to people that contact you on Twitter, even if it’s seemingly unrelated to your business (unless it’s spam, of course) as this will help you to build relationships. Have great landing pages in place on your site that have a strong call to action to drive leads and conversions.
Twitter is a great platform that confuses some, due to its fast moving pace. It’s a great tool for marketing, so long as it’s carried out properly and you remember that you’re not there for hard sell, but for customer relations, above all else. This means that it’s also important to act and talk like a human being, rather than a faceless brand.
Providing followers with useful, educational and engaging content, will reap its own rewards in time.
I don’t know how others feel about validation services that send an auto-reply to new followers, but I hate them personally. I find it extremely irritating that a business feels I have to take extra steps in order to follow them, and I find the DMs that these services send even more so.
I feel that these are counter-productive to starting a good relationship with prospective customers and it may just be my opinion, but expecting followers to go out of their way to confirm they’re a real person and sending an unsolicited, impersonal DM about it seems just plain rude to me.
Much better to connect with the new follower with useful information and by providing useful content and hopefully, this is what they followed you for in the first place!