B2B social media marketing involves a carefully planned mix across multiple channels to build relationships and increase lead generation. To ensure the effectiveness of such marketing mixes, it’s important to continue checking initiatives against overarching business goals, and allow time to calculate ROI of marketing efforts.
The same holds true when developing strategies for Twitter. To ensure the most effective return on Twitter, consider the following 9 tips for B2B marketing success:
1. Share control – One way to ensure a steady flow of messages from your company Twitter account is to employ not one, but multiple users to represent the brand. Doing so extends the amount of content and conversations from one person’s view, to multiple people’s views and ideas.
In addition, having multiple people messaging on Twitter will insure an ongoing, steady stream of tweets in the event a team member transitions to a different role/company.
2. Timing is everything – Understand the specific days and times your company’s messages are more likely to be read and shared. If, for instance, analytics indicates that your community tends to retweet and share content more frequently early in the day, or early in the week, time your most compelling content to hit the stream during those times.
3. Spread valuable information – One of the ways Twitter adds to an effective B2B marketing campaign is its ability to share your message with a large number of people in a short amount of time. Within a few seconds, your message can be shared with a community. And the more valuable the content, the more likely it is to get passed along.
4. Encourage employees – Don’t look simply at one official presence on Twitter. Encourage employees to create personal accounts and spread the news about the company and its culture. Ensure the overall strategy incorporates the use of brand messengers who give personal value to prospects and current customers.
It’s a good idea to provide training on proper B2B social media etiquette and company policy before asking employees to tweet about the company via personal accounts.
5. Optimize – It’s easy to find out who is tweeting about a topic and how frequently the topic is mentioned by simply going to search.twitter.com and enter the keyword your interested in. This is a smart place to begin a Twitter strategy because you can quickly size up the market and level of interest for your top keywords.
Consider using a similar keyword research strategy for Twitter as you would for creating search-optimized content. Focus on keywords and phrases relevant to your industry; examine both research and buying phases and target those keywords; find what competitors are doing and who’s talking about them.
Be sure to include popular or trending industry keywords in your tweets so you will show up in others’ searches on Twitter.
6. Hashtags – Along with building a targeted search, hashtags are powerful ways to not only find, but also send out content to a wider audience, other than just your followers.
Research current hashtags or even create a new hashtag to promote your updates. Many B2B buyers start with simple searches of prominent hashtags on Twitter.
Tip – When your employees are at an industry event, be sure to have them participate in the hashtag stream, as almost every event has one. You can tweet about your experience at the event, retweet other people’s event experiences and, when appropriate, tweet links to your company’s blog posts, booth updates or event happenings.
7. URL shorteners – The maximum character count to a Twitter update is 140. This doesn’t leave room for unessential information or excessive self-promotion. To achieve optimal social messaging with Twitter, consider using URL shorteners such as bit.ly.
With this service, not only do you have more room to type, but you can also utilize built-in analytics on statistics such as click rate, dates, times and demographics.
8. Promote others – One of the keys to an effective B2B social media program is sharing. Sharing content, insights and news from sources other than your own provides additional value to your followers and recognizing others builds relationships and increases the chances they will share your tweets.
9. Use the right tools – Knowledge and a powerful B2B social media strategy are essential elements, but without proper tools to carry out your strategy, results may become less than optimal.
Consider researching and compiling needed Twitter tools to enhance your existing strategy. Tools to refer to include: client tools, search tools, Twitter directories and Twitter analytics packages.