Social media offers a multitude of benefits for brands that utilize it correctly. From increased sales to enhanced brand loyalty, various social media channels can serve as the foundation for a strong business plan. For any B2B interested in leveraging many of the well-known benefits of these platforms, integrating Twitter into your social media plan and overall marketing strategy is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
By 2019, eMarketer is projecting that there will be 77.8 million Twitter users in North America. With such impressive growth, it's important that companies everywhere, including those within the B2B space, invest some of their time and resources into effectively using Twitter as a way to reach their audience and produce significant results.
To incorporate Twitter into a strategic and tactical business plan, you should be utilizing best practices and tweaking them as necessary in order to fulfill the needs of your company objectives. Twitter allows brands everywhere to instantly connect with their users, and in 140 characters or less, you're able to reach those customers in a succinct and cohesive manner. We've spoken with some of the social media experts at our agency, as well as collected some expert insights from outside organizations to develop a complete list of tips that are certain to boost and enhance the performance of any B2B Twitter strategy. Consider the following when it's time for your brand to amplify your social media marketing efforts:
1. Twitter Chats
Networking and speaking with other people from within your respective industry is key for growing your online presence. Twitter chats give you the ability to speak with peers, customers, and thought leaders in an organized way. Brandon Seymour, Online Marketing Director at BioTrackTHC explains:
"I'd recommend that B2B's get involved in Twitter chats (a.k.a. "tweet chats"). It's a great way to network with like-minded industry professionals and build authority within your niche. In addition to networking, Twitter chats allow you to connect with people who are interested in the type of products and services your business offers. So in addition to promoting brand awareness, participating in tweet chats could potentially help drive customers - especially in the B2B sector. In my experience, tweet chats have been the most effective way to build followers, not only on Twitter, but cross-channel as well."
-Brandon Seymour, Online Marketing Director, BioTrackTHC
2. Understand Your Audience
After identifying your target audience, it's time to start interacting with them. However to ensure that your efforts are fostering engagement, it's important you truly understand your audience and create a plan that is focused on content that they want to see explains Brian Stumbaugh, Digital Marketing manager at The Startup Garage:
"Initially, we'll identify when our audience is most active on Twitter and we'll tweet and retweet content when we know they're online. Next, we'll start by following them and favorite a few of their tweets that are relevant to us. We'll also look at how they use Twitter for their business. If we see that the CEO is active on Twitter and frequently engages in conversation with retweeters or commenters then we'll retweet and comment as needed to establish rapport with them."
-Brian Stumbaugh, Digital Marketing Manager, The Startup Garage
Use a tool, such as Tweriod, to take a look at what time your posts are reaching the most people. Knowing what time of day fosters the greatest engagement should shape your tweeting times explains Darryl Villacorta, Social Media Manager at Sprout Social:
"Identify your optimal posting time. If there's a specific hour that usually gets a ton of engagement, don't be afraid to load up content during that hour! Be sure to space content out to allow the reader to digest. Within one hour, try posting once every 15 minutes, e.g. at 8:00, 8:15, 8:30 and 8:45."
-Darryl Villacorta, Social Media Manager, Sprout Social
4. Join the Conversation
Take a look at the conversations your followers are participating in and interject your brand's expertise when fitting says Kate Endres, Associate Director of Engagement at Blue Fountain Media:
"We proactively get involved in the conversation that might surround a need or pain point that the product or service can solve. Twitter is a moving feed, and unless a user sees your content directly in the feed at that time, there is a good chance they won't see your posts. Utilizing relevant hashtags and joining the right conversations is much more effective."
-Kate Endres, Associate Director of Engagement, Blue Fountain Media
5. Bridge Online/Offline with Location Targeting
While Twitter is most commonly known to benefit an online presence, leveraging the platform's location-based ads can generate massive benefits offline:
"An often overlooked part of twitter advertising strategy is location targeting. Location targeting coupled with active conference hashtags can be a great B2B conference strategy. It allows you to serve relevant ads to a smaller but more qualified group, especially if your call to action is to come to your booth! Don't waste impressions on people who aren't there."
-Jessica Silapaswang, Social Media Manager, Pearson North America
6. Industry Leaders
Take a look at influencers within your industry and use that as a starting base for your own Twitter presence. Try following users they follow and take a look at how they interact with their followers advises Morgan O'Mara, Digital Marketing Content Coordinator at Shred Nations:
"One of the most important things to do when working B2B on twitter is to find the people who are in the same industry. Follow and interact with these accounts. People who are tweeting about the same things as you will have the most interest in what you have to say. Find these accounts and then follow who they are following as a way to grow the industry niche of followers."
-Morgan O'Mara, Digital Marketing Content Coordinator, Shred Nations
7. Not Only Self-Promoting Content
Simply posting content that is only self-promotional and doesn't provide value about the respective industry you're in will not help your presence on Twitter. Angelina Concialdi, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Blue Fountain Media shares:
"Remember it's not a one-way street. There's nothing more boring and un-follow worthy than a company that solely tweets about their site launch or a promotion. Be a thought leader and link to something interesting that will benefit your followers!"
-Angelina Concialdi, Social Media Marketing Specialist, Blue Fountain Media
Keep an eye on your performance and if something's not working don't be afraid to do some testing and change your efforts around explains Mae Demdam, Digital Analyst at seoWorks:
"We all know it's important to plan, post and engage regularly with our social media audience, but it's important to test and change content, based on what works. For Twitter specifically it is important to concentrate on what works with your audience, specifically content/headlines. What headlines are creating user engagement? What are people sharing, re-tweeting? Test different content strategies to see what your audience is most likely to engage in and that can help mold your overall content strategy and give you a baseline for voice and tone to use throughout your brand and across your social media channels."
-Mae Demdam, Digital Analyst, seoWorks
9. The Right Hashtag
Hashtags are key to having your content actually seen by other users, especially in the beginning when you don't have many Twitter followers says Brianna Genovese, Marketing Manager at Arizona East:
"Three is the magic number when it comes to tagging a Tweet. Hashtags, @replies and links show up as blue underlined text on Twitter which can be distracting if there's too much of it, so it's important to limit your use of these features to avoid looking like a "spammer." Also, try to tag more common words and phrases that are probably also being used in other conversations. The key is to use common hashtags that are being searched by other Twitter users looking for new content."
-Brianna Genovese, Marketing Manager, ArizonaEast
10. Build Trust By Sharing
Share content from other relevant sources and you'll find your brand credibility (from the perspective of users) will start increasing. Chad Reid, Director of Communications at JotForm explains this in his tip:
"If you're in the pottery business, share tips on how to water your plants; if you're in the auto business, share safe driving tips; and if you're in the coffee business, share your favorite brands of half and half. Sharing content from other reliable sources not only puts you on their radars as well, but it builds a genuine sense of trust with your audience."
-Chad Reid, Director of Communications, JotForm
B2B Twitter Strategy
With so many potential customers on Twitter, not properly utilizing the platform and all of it's benefits would be a lost opportunity. The most effective strategies on Twitter always include a variety of best practices. By integrating these tips that range from frequency of tweets, to the actual content you share with your followers, you can develop a twitter presence for your B2B that will shape your overall branding, and contribute to the growth of your brand