When it comes to using Twitter for B2B marketing, it can be tempting to assume the platform is best for fostering existing customer engagement or pushing out marketing content such as ebooks and blog posts. However, this assumption is inaccurate. In actual fact, despite its supposedly ‘fluffy’ networking exterior, Twitter can be used strategically to generate quality leads and new business opportunities.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re a marketer who’s just starting to explore the realms of Twitter for your company. Even those of us in the business for years can do with going back to basics occasionally, so that’s exactly what we’ll do now. Below lays out thirteen of the best practice actions for creating and using your Twitter account for B2B lead generation.
Creating an optimised Twitter account
- Tip 1: Optimise your bio to tell a visitor who you are, one key market differentiator and what they’ll gain from following you. Don’t forget to include a link to your website
- Tip 2: Integrate your cover photo with your wider marketing plan. Hosting an event? Give visitors an immediate action to take by driving them to the registration landing page
- Tip 3: Don’t follow more handles than are following you. You want to position yourself as an industry thought leader and your follower/following ratio should support this
Build your quality follower base
- Tip 4: Take part in the digital conversation using hashtags you know your prospects will search for. Your buyer persona keyword research will help you identify these
- Tip 5: Events are a goldmine for industry exposure – even if you can’t attend simply take part in discussions by following and using the event hashtag. If you’ve something interesting to say you’ll gain relevant followers
- Tip 6: Share other people’s content more than your own and always pass on credit to the writer/publisher. No one wants to follow a self-centred business
Network with prospects, customers, partners and influencers
- Tip 7: Acknowledge the people that follow you. Similar to good retail stores where you’ll be greeted by a member of staff upon entering, consider this your virtual welcome
- Tip 8: Start the conversation – generic ‘thanks for following’ tweets are boring, so mix things up by asking a question or two, even if it’s as simple as ‘How’s your day going?’
- Tip 9: Do your research and take an interest. If a potential prospect just followed you, check out their profile and other sources to find points of interest to discuss and show them you’re interested in getting to know them better
- Tip 10: Know when to make it private – valuable business matters should be moved to direct messages instead of a public tweet
Use your Twitter data proactively
- Tip 11: Create Twitter lists to organise, segment and measure your followers. Have private lists for competitors, prospects, engaged prospects, customers, influencers etc. Monitor these lists daily as opposed to trawling through your main news feed
- Tip 12: Pay close attention to prospect lists and find opportunities to continue to engage with them. Wish them luck at their next event, congratulate them on award wins, show them you’re paying attention
- Tip 13: Measure what counts - followers don’t pay the bills. Prove your strategy is working by tying it to qualified leads, sales and ROI
Don’t be afraid to go offline
- Tip 14: Offline approaches can seal the deal. If you’ve had great conversations with a prospect on Twitter why not follow it up with a bespoke direct mail piece that’s relevant to your discussion? It’ll ensure you stand out and secure that phone call, meeting or direct sale
So there you have it. Follow the actions above and you’ll not only be driving additional traffic to your website via content, you’ll also be able to generate qualified leads directly within the Twitter platform.
Whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or another network that you know your prospects are active on, social media channels present businesses with tremendous opportunities for growing B2B sales.
To read more about social selling best practice, download this free ebook on B2B LinkedIn social selling.