In a world where some social networks like Facebook are actively reducing the number of advertising products — presumably based on advertiser and audience feedback — Twitter recently delivered a beautifully well-packaged gift to marketers of all flavors. Its new Lead Generation Cards are an excellent example of when a deep-stack, almost-to-mainstream company truly understands specific advertiser-driven use cases, and recognizes what brands will pay for. Just as importantly, Twitter has devised an information flow and user experience that is dead simple and captures the true intent of the user to get more information.
And yes — like nearly all the scenarios I see every day — it applies almost equally to B2B and B2C marketing. So let’s take a look at how best to support your business’ marketing goals with this new vehicle.
First of all, the basics: you have to already be a Twitter advertiser to use Lead Gen cards. This is great news for Twitter users as it should keep the quality high, and I know from talking directly with the Twitter folks that this is Job One. Like any good company trying to walk the monetization line, it has to find elegant, useful ways to power an advertising-driven extension of the conversation that’s already happening on Twitter. And that’s exactly how marketers should think about their effort for Lead Gen Cards — begin using them to support existing programs and goals, and expand them over time to drive more leads in more unique ways.
For B2C marketers, Lead Gen Cards offer an excellent way to drive more leads into the top of your database, which should help you further build the business case to advance your inactive strategies and institute even more data hygiene efforts. One of my most common conversations with marketing managers is around the inevitable push-pull conversation of list size versus data hygiene. Unfortunately, too many executives still view the size of the list as more important than performance and have traditionally been slow to approve programs that chop off the lowest-performing 15 percent to 20 percent of a list — even if that’s the right thing to do from an interaction, deliverability and cost perspective.
So match up this ability to drive leads en masse with your specific programs (loyalty sign-ups, information requests, etc.) and get your messaging and conversion working flawlessly. Once the pace of leads into your database is predictable, then begin experimenting with various inactive definitions (no open on last six campaigns sent, no opens in last 12 months, etc.) to dial-in your database for YOUR perfect balance of growth and hygiene.
For B2B marketers, Lead Gen Cards is an awesome way to support your content strategy efforts at almost any stage. Think of it as the ultimate “detach and distribute” strategy for your landing pages that would normally sit in front of any significant piece of content. And because all the information is prepopulated directly from Twitter’s back-end data (not the public API, according to the Twitter guys), there are no form abandon worries.
Another great benefit of wiring this information straight into your Engage database is that you’re automatically protected against duplicate record creation, and the behavior is simply appended to the prospect’s Contact Insight data. And if you’re surfacing an all-new prospect through this channel, you know inherently (and from good lead source management) that you’ve uncovered someone who fits into a quantifiable social structure based on his or her number of followers.
And regardless of B2B or B2C, I expect some of the strongest socially aware marketers to be analyzing the number of followers and social influence based on the Twitter user name. Many companies have APIs that allow you to pull follower numbers, and certainly folks like Moz’s Followerwonk and Klout have algorithms that net user-level scores. Finding smart ways to get this type of data into your system — so it becomes query-able items for future campaigns — will pay big dividends for future campaigns.
So while much of the power of Twitter Lead Generation Cards will manifest in how great marketers use them, here are my Top 5 hints and tricks to keep in mind:
1) Send an immediate confirmation message to anyone who hits “Submit.” Remember, Twitter is fantastically real-time, and waiting 24 hours to send a confirmation will make your brand look weak.
2) Use the tool’s hidden fields to track both campaigns and lead source. The Twitter guys told me there are up to 10 configurable fields, and that should be plenty to power all the tracking and analytics you need.
3) Test your field mapping to make sure everything flows into your database perfectly. It’s only three fields (name, Twitter user name and email) but make sure you don’t miss a single lead.
4) Drop new users into a time- and activity-based program designed to begin the conversation about your product or service. I like something along the lines of three touches over 45 days with clear calls to action for each. Twitter users are well-versed in extended conversations over time, and a one-time shot will likely get lost in the ether.
5) Create highly shareable – even viral – offers. This may be the most important point, because advertisers only pay for the original impressions, and any retweets or other sharing methods are considered “earned media” by Twitter. This means you only pay for the first flight, and any follow-on interactions are all free roll. Imagine an offer so great you got someone like Chris Brogan or Gary Vaynerchuk to share with their thousands of followers.
The one risk I see in the program is the uncertainty around how Lead Gen Cards manifest in third-party applications. Twitter has spent the last 12 to 18 months wrangling users back to the native Twitter clients in order to power just such interaction-based advertising. But regardless, there are still a strong number of users who use Twitter Web services. And just because you can’t reach 100 percent of the audience on Day One doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic opportunity to drive more leads, which leads to more revenue.
1) Blog: “Twitter Tips for B2B Marketers”
2) Infographic: “Baseball 2013: Fandom in a Multichannel World”
3) Blog: “Optimize Your Company LinkedIn Page: Tips for Bringing in Leads”