15 Ways B2B Marketers Can Use Twitter to Drive Business Results
The wonderful world of Twitter has unlocked business opportunities for almost every type of user – from emerging artists, celebrities, big brands, news sources, and (most importantly for you) B2B marketers. With the mission to give users the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, this social media platform allows B2B marketers to better connect, converse and engage their audiences.
Twitter offers B2B marketers the chance to attract prospects, interact and engage with clients, increase brand awareness, better understand their audience and much more. But, what’s the “much more”? That’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this post. Here you’ll learn 15 essential ways that you can be using Twitter to drive marketing results for your B2B business.
1. Identify & Engage Influencers
There are many ways that B2B marketers can use Twitter to find influencers and start interacting with them to establish valuable relationships. Twitter Search has really stepped up its game when it comes to filtering and being able to sort through more than 300 million users.
There are also third party tools that you can use to find influences in your industry. Some of our favorites at KoMarketing include BuzzStream, FollowerWonk and LinkedIn Advanced Search.
Once these influencers are identified, follow them and start getting noticed by liking their tweets and replying to them on a regular basis. You can even build out a Twitter List like “The Top 50 Influencers in the [Industry] Space” to set yourself up for ongoing engagement and help stand out from other businesses.
2. Get Noticed by Prospects
Twitter offers B2B marketers another avenue to participate in conversations with prospects. As Heidi Cohen explains, your business can communicate in one of three ways:
- One-to-One: This is fairly self-explanatory; it’s a targeted conversation that is likely to get a response.
- One-to-Many: A traditional advertising technique that sends out a promotional message to the masses.
- Many-to-Many: A newer approach that was formed via the social media network; it enables conversation with a large audience that may respond or may just listen.
In order to make a positive and lasting impression with prospects, both consistency and relevance are key. No matter what means of communication you choose (even if it involves automation), you’ll want to make sure that messages are tailored and personalized to each prospect on an individual level.
3. Answer the Questions People Are Asking
Customer service interactions are increasing on Twitter. In fact, this study by Social Bakers found that more than 80 percent of customer service requests on social media are happening on Twitter.
It’s clear that Twitter is a network for asking and receiving. For this reason, it’s important that your B2B business is available for others to ask questions and receive a valuable response. At the same time, you should be pursuing questions that users aren’t necessarily asking your business directly, but relate to your product(s) or service(s).
Casie Gillette recommends searching Twitter for a service or product you offer, “See what people are asking about, what they are saying, and how their peers are responding. Also check out your competitor feeds to see what they are responding to. If they are using Twitter as a support mechanism, you might find some good stuff in there.”
4. Build Brand Awareness & Loyalty
By consistently offering valuable information to users on Twitter, B2B marketers build a strong brand reputation that increases both the size and effectiveness of their audience. Sharing great content will, not only boost brand awareness, but it will also increase loyalty of existing buyers. The goal here is to help B2B customers develop a stronger relationship with your company and even start relying on you as an essential resource for information.
5. Better Understand Your Audience
What does your audience like? What doesn’t your audience like? Gain valuable insights by monitoring what’s happening on your Twitter profile and other social media channels to make sure you don’t get deleted, erased, unfollowed or whatever.
You can use Twitter Analytics as well as social media referral traffic data in Google Analytics to get a better understanding of what your audience finds most interesting about your business. Using Twitter Analytics, you’ll be able to determine the best days and times to tweet, the types of content your audience likes to share, and analyze your followers based on geography, language, etc.
Another third party tool we like to use to for this is BuzzSumo. The Most Shared Content feature lets you see what types of content are being shared most on social media and by who. The Content Analysis features provides a deeper look at these types of content by looking at other elements that could impact shares like the day of the week it was published, content length, etc. This information should all be used to tailor your efforts moving forward.
6. Show Your Brand’s Personality
B2B marketers continue to struggle with reflecting their brand’s personality on social media. When it comes to standing out from the masses on Twitter, never underestimate the power of personality.
Find the tactic that works best for your brand and is in line with your broader business objectives. Whether the voice you choose to use on social is intimate, exclusive, funny, sophisticated or even effortless, knowing your audiences is key. Humor can be tough to pull off; not everyone has the gift of comedic timing. Just be sure to avoid crossing any lines that could get you into hot water with followers.
7. Promote Your Services
Twitter enables B2B marketers to get in front of the right people, at the right time. As mentioned above, there are plenty of people looking for information on social media, and you should aim to drive them towards your product(s) and service(s).
Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between promoting your brand in relevant ways and being spammy or annoying to potential customers. We typically recommend applying the 80/20 rule – just 20% of your social media content should be about your brand. This makes it especially important that what you do share about your business is truly noteworthy. Promoted Tweets can also help spread these types of messages to highly targeted and relevant audiences.
8. Show Your Expertise
Twitter provides another channel to show your audience all that you know, and explain why you’re better than the competition. The best way to do this? Stay up to date with industry news, trends and tactics by monitoring top publications, subscribing to newsletters, attending conferences and events, browsing online forums and listening on social media.
All of this ongoing research will help you craft tweets that are most relevant to your audiences. Once people read this material, they will start building a positive association with your brand and thinking of you as a trustworthy thought leader in the space.
9. Get Employees Involved
One of the quickest and easiest ways to help build brand awareness comes from the people who are (hopefully) already committed to the company – employees. The best place to start is ensuring that employees follow the company on Twitter and encouraging them to tweet, retweet and engage with the profile to help boost visibility and reach new audiences.
B2B companies should not limit themselves to just one account. Instead, encourage your employees to create a work-based account where relevant information can be further shared and diverged across social media to reach a larger audience. Just make sure it’s clear who owns the account.
10. Support Content Marketing Efforts
We know that content marketing, social media marketing and SEO all work with one another to drive online marketing results. But, how do content and Twitter specifically work together? Twitter is an essential tool for content distribution. By creating more quality content, you’re creating assets to drive social shares, benefit your social visibility and overall online presence.
B2B marketers distribute content on social in various ways depending on the industry and geographies they are targeting. In 2016, this report found Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube remain the top 4 social media platforms for B2B content marketing distribution.
11. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Drive social media referral traffic back to your website and blog by linking to the URL in your Twitter bio and sharing other relevant pages and articles in engaging tweets. Use relevant hashtags to help spread interesting, useful and practical information across your community and beyond.
Twitter also provides some indirect benefits to your overall SEO performance. By sharing and distributing content, B2B marketers help boost visibility, support link acquisition and gain exposure in search results.
12. Get Visual with Images and Videos
Telling a story in 140 characters can be difficult, and that’s where images and videos come into play. Share photos of events, products, clients, office initiatives, puppies, animals dressed in funny costumes, etc. Use video on Twitter to go over sales question and answer sessions, webcast or webinars, display company culture and more.
People want to know what you’re up to, but they tend to be more engaged if there’s a visual piece attached to whatever it is you’re sending out. Just remember to stay relevant (don’t go overboard with the small animals) to your marketing approach, business objectives, and personal presentation.
13. Events & Conference Participation
In order to get the most out of events and conferences that B2B businesses are attending, I’d almost always recommend participation on Twitter. For businesses sponsoring an event, it’s also a great way to encourage attendees to visit your booth and learn more about your company.
B2B marketers should prepare for tradeshows by compiling a list of the attendees’ social media profiles (specifically Twitter), relevant hashtags, and social media updates (tweets) for pre, during and post show. You can even put together potential interview questions for other influencers who are attending, in order to create an extensive and timely content asset to publish after the show.
14. Take Things Offline
Engaging and building relationships on social media prior to directly reaching out (via email or phone) will increase the likeliness of getting your prospects to the next phase. This tactic should really only be explored after you’ve established some initial communication and engagement with your core targets.
Once you have established the Twitter bond, why not reach out even further? A B2B marketer can use their Twitter community to build real life relationships that go beyond the computer screen.
15. Avoid the Spammers
Unfortunately, spammers are everywhere, including Twitter. It’s important to make sure the users who follow you are legitimate; be cautious not to follow every account you come across. People will take you more seriously if there isn’t a huge numerical difference in the number of people you follow versus the number of people who follow you.
The way that B2B marketers leverage Twitter can make all the difference in driving successful online marketing programs. For this reason, it’s important to make your presence valuable, intentional and interesting, while sharing targeted content that your audience wants to read.
I hope this post sparked some new ideas for your B2B marketing efforts on Twitter, and would be happy to answer any other questions in the comments below. Feel free to chime in with other ideas as well!