The 10 Don’ts of Twitter for B2B Marketing
Twitter has transformed the way that B2B marketers communicate with their target audiences by providing another place to engage, address questions, and emphasize what they stand for. In fact, Twitter is now the top social platform for B2B brand mentions, with 73% of them happening on the site.
Despite this, many B2B marketers struggle to progress on Twitter and demonstrate any significant results on the platform. Because it’s such a crowded place, brands are pushed to find unique ways to stand out and create connections with their audiences.
If you’re a dedicated social media marketer, I’m sure you’ve read through the countless articles providing Twitter best practices. While these are certainly important to pay attention to, it’s essential that you stay away from evident bad practices.
Why is it so important to avoid Twitter bad practices? Much like other social media marketing concepts, this ties back to social psychology. The theory Bad is Stronger than Good explains…
Relating this back to Twitter, you could be doing a bunch of positive things and just a couple of bad practices are hindering any advances on the platform. For this reason, I wanted to provide an up-to-date list of Twitter bad practices that B2B marketers should avoid, and some alternative options to consider instead.
The 10 Don’ts of Twitter:
1. Don’t recycle tweets: I realize sometimes it’s tempting to reuse tweets that have already been posted, but it’s not something you should get into the habit of doing. The whole purpose of Twitter is to offer unique updates, insights, and perspectives to showcase your expertise and spark conversations with your audience. Ask yourself how duplicate tweets will be beneficial to doing this.
- What to do instead: Look back into some of your recent and exceptional tweets that received increased engagement and consider repurposing them. What other ways can you get your point across? Maybe create a custom graphic or provide additional information around the topic.
2. Don’t make spelling mistakes: We’ve all done it at some point during our time on Twitter, but it’s important to pay attention to your grammar and spelling. Just because Twitter has a character limit doesn’t mean that people are more forgiving of poor grammar and typos.
- What to do instead: Try using a social media management tool like HootSuite. This tool is pretty good about catching incorrect sentences and spelling errors.
3. Don’t post the same thing across social platforms: Twitter is a different kind of platform. With limited character count and a constant stream of communication, it’s not meant to provide the same information as other social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t make the mistake of auto-posting the same updates across all social media channels.
- What to do instead: Tweets are meant to be short, sweet, and to the point. Keep in mind that the life of a tweet is less than 1 hour, making timeliness even more important. On the other hand, Facebook posts can be much more detailed and LinkedIn updates should be more insightful.
4. Don’t overuse hashtags: Using hashtags on Twitter can help boost reach and engagement on the platform. In fact, Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without. But, overusing hashtags can be overwhelming and impact readability. Tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement.
- What to do instead: Expand your reach on Twitter by using 1 – 2 hashtags in your tweets. Make sure that they are relevant to what you are sharing and what your brand is all about. This way, you can reach a valuable audience with similar interests.
5. Don’t disappear: Try not to disappear on your followers for days or weeks at a time. If you do, don’t go on a Twitter spree afterwards. It happens – busy days, busy weeks or even a much-needed vacation. Just remember, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Despite your absence, it’s still important to remain selective about your tweets, retweets, and likes. Sending out 50 tweets in an hour won’t make up for you being gone for the past month.
- What to do instead: Scheduling out a few tweets using a social media management tool can help plan for any unnecessary gaps and maintain your presence on the platform.
6. Don’t be so automated: Sharing third party articles can be a great way to build valuable relationships and encourage people to share your content in return. Beware of sounding too automated though. It’s no secret that Twitter users can easily automate sharing, which is why it’s especially important to put your own personal touch on each tweet.
I recently saw this tweet from Martin Lieberman in my feed and laughed out loud. It seems so simple, but many B2B marketers still fail to realize the importance of personalization.
Nothing tells me you really don't care like automating/pre-scheduling the same generic tweet over and over and over again.
— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) April 4, 2016
- What to do instead: Switch up your messaging and style for each tweet. Use images, pull important statistics, ask a question, or highlight a quote from the article. Show them that you actually read their content and care about it.
7. Don’t automate DMs: Automated Direct Messages are the reason why most people avoid their messages on Twitter. Some social media automation tools will prompt you to set up direct messages to thank new followers, but this is actually the best way to scare them away.
- What to do instead: Direct messaging on Twitter is a slightly less effective way of reaching out to companies or professionals. However, it is less intrusive than other outreach methods and can generate some great results if done correctly. Regularly engage with your target audience by retweeting and liking their updates before reaching out via Direct Messaging. Building a relationship, or at least some level of familiarity beforehand will improve your chances of getting a response.
8. Don’t ask for too much: According to Social Baker, tweets without a call-to-action only generate an average of 2 retweets. While including a call-to-action in your tweets can be effective, asking for retweets or likes all the time is off-putting. Assume that your audience is subconsciously wondering how they will benefit from retweeting you.
- What to do instead: If you are asking for something, offer your audience something in return. It may take some time but, if you are providing your followers with some type of value, it will pay off. Always make sure that you are offering far more than you are asking. Jimmy John’s does this well in the tweet above.
9. Don’t steal other people’s content: Finding new ways to stand out from other professionals and brand on Twitter is becoming more challenging for B2B marketers. However, trying to pass other people’s content off as your own will not make a good impression.
- What to do instead: Sharing other people’s thoughts and ideas in the right way can offer unique perspectives to your followers, and help build relationships with people who have similar interests. Just make sure to credit them appropriately by tagging them in the tweet. This will also encourage them to share your ideas in return.
10. Don’t be controversial: This may seem like an obvious statement at first glance, but I’ve seen heated debates spark far too many times on Twitter, especially in professional Twitter chats. There’s a very thin line between getting your point across and starting useless controversy.
- What to do instead: It’s fine to clearly state your opinions and reasoning, but it’s important to disagree in a friendly and respectful way. Sometimes it is necessary to agree to disagree.
In such a crowded social environment, B2B marketers can’t afford to make bad impressions on Twitter. Understanding both best practices to implement and bad practices to avoid is essential for companies to create impactful Twitter profiles. I hope you enjoyed this list of ways not to use Twitter for B2B marketing.
Did I leave out any bad practices that B2B marketers should avoid on Twitter? Feel free to comment with your thoughts below!