Recent research shows that most visits to corporate websites come from LinkedIn, however, Twitter is also gaining in influence. In 2011 it drove just 4% of all visits to corporate websites from social media sites but that has risen to 14% in 2013. This reflects the increase in the number of companies adopting Twitter for their B2B marketing. Below we set out our B2B marketing Twitter playbook to ensure you are getting the most from your Twitter activity.
1. Have a plan
Decide how you want to use Twitter and how regularly you will post and engage. It is generally beneficial on Twitter to participate on a regular basis.
2. Share things of value
Don’t be a salesperson, share things that are likely to be of value to your audience whether they are from your site or elsewhere. Ask yourself would you follow someone based on the tweet you are about to send.
3. Share breaking news
Monitor news sites and be the first to share breaking news. You can use news feeds and social sites to be the first to pick up on breaking news. Also share insights from the latest research in your area.
4. Track what is hot in your area
You can do searches on Twitter to see what is being shared or on sites such as Topsy or BuzzSumo. Below is a search on BuzzSumo for SEO for the last week, though you can search by the last 24 hours or other periods. You can see what is hot across the various social networks. You can re-order content by popularity across the different social networks which is a nice feature.
5. Follow key influencers
You can use BuzzSumo to search for influencers in your area of business. You can sort influencers by their influence or number of followers on the various social networks. See the search below for content marketing, you can see key influencers and the level of engagement they get.
With Topsy you can find all the tweets from a specific user on a specific topic. Just search for from@username and then the topic. In my example below I decided to see how many times Christopher Pappas mentioned my company Kineo.
Read more on how to use Topsy to search and track on Twitter.
6. Check out your competition
Sites such as Topsy and BuzzSumo allow you to easily track what your competitors are doing and how much engagement they are driving.
7. Listen and respond to activity
Pay attention to what is being shared on Twitter, join in the conversation and share other peoples tweets. Build trust and engagement through participating.
8. Write headline style messages
There is a lot of evidence that good headlines can dramatically affect the number of click throughs on links.
9. Use hashtags
You can use general industry hashtags or specific hashtags created for events which will allow new people to see your content.
10. Post pictures
You can use pictures with your Tweets which also appear in your gallery.
11. Create dialogue
Twitter is a social community so ask questions and provoke discussion.
12. Credit people
Mention people when you share their content and thank other people with a mention when they share your content or mention you.
13. Leave space for retweets
Always leave 20 or so characters free to make it easier for people to retweet content.
14. Use tools to schedule tweets
You can schedule content using Hootsuite or Buffer so that you space your content over time. Also use tools such as Tweriod to find out when your followers are online and schedule tweets for when they are most likely to see them. Read our article on the best time to tweet.
15. Use share buttons
Make sure your website and blog have Twitter share buttons so it is easy for people to share your content on Twitter. Also show the number of times your content is shared as this will give it social authority if it is tweeted a lot.
16. Use follow buttons
Make sure your sites have follow buttons so it is easy for people to follow your Twitter account.
17. Competitions and tweet to download
Encourage greater engagement on Twitter by running competitions where you give rewards to those that share your hastag or name or enter them into a competition draw. You can also use tweet to download to get people to tweet your details when they download a report rather than say providing an email.
18. Use lists
If you are following a lot of people create and use lists to help filter content.
19. Use favourites to save content
If you come across really helpful tweets you can favourite them to save them.
20. Measure your performance
You should measure more than the number of followers such as the number of mentions and retweets which give a better indication of engagement. You can also use Hootsuite to see which links in your tweets are being clicked on.
What is your experience? Share your top tips for using Twitter in B2B marketing.
By Steve Rayson