Twitter began as a microblogging tool where users shared thoughts, ideas or updates about their lives. Now, the social network’s 500 million users use the site as an information source for their favorite brands, breaking news and even conversations with companies, thought leaders and celebrities.
According to a recent report from InsideView, B2B brands that are using Twitter are seeing twice the number of leads compared to those who aren’t, but only 53 percent of B2B companies are actively using the social network. If you’re a B2B marketer just jumping into Twitter or if you’ve been there for a while and are looking to improve your strategy, use the tips and tactics below.
As B2B marketers, we’re almost always concerned with how we can generate more leads. Twitter is a great outlet for this, but it’s also an outlet where you want to be a thought leader and appear human. Consider giving certain pieces of content away for “free” (without a registration form). A short tip sheet, for example, is a great piece of content to share on Twitter without a registration form.
Consider placing other calls to action within the PDF of the content where a form would be required – “Request a demo” or links to related content are good starters. Also think about including embedded “Tweet this” links within the content that include a pre-populated tweet and a link to the content – this sharing drives more traffic to the content and gives it the potential to go viral.
Not all content can be “free,” however. For the pieces you choose to place behind a form, consider using a short form and progressive profiling technologies. This way, site visitors can answer a short, new set of questions each time they visit your site – providing the marketer with relevant information and making the site visitor more likely to complete the form. One important facet to remember when posting links to registration forms on Twitter is the prevalence of users who check their Twitter streams on mobile devices. Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile, otherwise you might miss out on potential leads!
Content doesn’t need to be limited to just white papers, tip sheets and eBooks. Other things to tweet about include blog posts, upcoming webinars and news coverage. And, don’t be afraid to post the same pieces of content multiple times. Because of the instant nature of Twitter, many of your tweets might go unnoticed by your followers. Be sure they see your great content and tweet away!
Customer Service Interactions
As your follower base grows and as your brand becomes more active on Twitter, more customers, prospects and inquiring minds will reach out to you for help or advice. Be prepared for myriad of questions, everything from product support to industry advice. Be sure to stay as human and personable as possible – this tone resonates with followers and gives your brand a personal touch.
It’s always a good idea to incorporate hashtags for relevant events or topics – this will allow other users to see your brand interacting with its followers and positions you as an expert in your field.
Encourage people who are already in your marketing database to share the content you’re distributing. Include a “Tweet this” link in your email communications and pre-populate it with the appropriate social tags. This is not only a good way to further engage your customers and prospects, but is also a good way to gain new followers. Think about it – if one prospect shares your tweet with his or her followers, someone who may not necessarily know about your brand will see the cool tweet and check out your brand. Your existing database essentially becomes a lead generation channel – expanding it with new, social leads.
Promotions and Contests
Twitter can’t be all business, all the time. Engage your follower base with fun promotions or contests. Generate excitement and buzz around things like events or new product launches. In the instance above, Silverpop was hosting a party at Dreamforce 2011 and the band Cake was performing. To create interest in the event, followers tweeted @Silverpop with their favorite Cake song. Each week, an entrant was randomly selected to win a gift card. At the end of the four-week promotion, one lucky party attendee won an iPad.
Twitter promotions and contests are simple and inexpensive to run, so consider one for your next big event!
If you already have a solid Twitter following and strategy, consider becoming a Twitter Advertising partner. Twitter works with businesses of all sizes and even has a small business offering. Promote your account, tweets and trends to generate more leads for your company.
With Promoted Accounts, brands are able to increase their follow rate and build a strong and relevant network of followers. Promoted Tweets allow brands to reach a broader audience with their content – this is a great way to drive traffic to your resources. Finally, Promoted Trends enable brands to create trending topics that are always at the top of the Twitter Trends list.
Putting a little money behind Twitter may not be in the cards for all of you, but it’s something to consider once you’re ready to take the next step!
1. Facebook for B2B – Generating “Likes” and Leads on the World’s Largest Social Network: http://www.silverpop.com/blogs/email-marketing/facebook-for-b2b.html
2. ptimize Your Company LinkedIn Page: Tips for Bringing in Leads: http://www.silverpop.com/blogs/email-marketing/optimize-your-company-linkedin.html
3. 8 Tips for Turning Facebook “Likes” into Customers: http://www.silverpop.com/marketing-resources/white-papers/download/facebook-likes-into-customers.html