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How to: use Twitter in B2B marketing

Even if you’ve been using Twitter for a while, it’s still important to stay up to date with the latest developments and industry ‘best practises’. This is why Twitter Academy, a webinar hosted by the Twitter SME team, has proved extremely popular with the Twitter population.

After the last webinar however, we noticed that even though many of our fellow listeners were B2B marketers like ourselves, most of the examples were geared towards B2C marketing. Judging by the number of listeners who took to Twitter on the subject, we’re sure that the Twitter SME team will address this, but in the meantime we decided to provide our best tips for using Twitter to market to a B2B audience.

 

Choosing what to tweet to a B2B audience

In a B2B market it’s difficult to engage followers while promoting your business, particularly when your customers are using twitter to market to their customers.

For maximum engagement, try to use the 70:30 rule. This means that 70% of your tweets should relate to content, advice, offers, tips- anything that will genuinely help your target audience. The other 30% can be more self-promoting, such as links to your own web pages, customer testimonials or news about the specific products you offer.

Some good ideas for tweets could be:

Links to useful content -

How much do you know about [insert product]? Test yourself against our factsheet: [insert link]

Special offers and promotions -

Want to save a few bucks? We’re offering a 10% discount if you sign up to our newsletter and recommend it to a friend: [link]

Industry news:

While you were sleeping [x] did [x] – good or bad decision? Tweet us your thoughts!

 

Increasing followers

Not only should you be looking to gain new customers on Twitter, you should also use the network to strengthen ties with existing ones. If you have a CRM tool, work through your customer list and look them up on Twitter. The likelihood is, that if you follow them they’ll follow you back, creating another touchpoint which could help strengthen brand loyalty.

Also build a (private) Twitter list of customers and make an effort to browse their tweets at least once a week, noting down any recurring questions or themes you see. This is a great way to find new ideas for blogposts or tweets that your audience is likely to engage with.

 

Networking

Build up a network within your industry and make the effort to respond to other users and converse with them regularly. Industry associations or boards can be great at retweeting your message to other businesses and this will give you access to a much larger pool of users. Also build a Twitter list of brand advocates who regularly share your content so that you remember to repay the favour and nurture those key relationships regularly.

Hashtags are also a good way to network with others in your industry. Find ones relevant to you, by looking at the tweets of competitors or by doing a Google search. We’ve listed examples from various industries below:

Business: #jobs, #business, #sales, #economy, #marketing, #socialmedia, #startup, #smb2b, #insidesales

Marketing: #marketingprofs, #marketing, #sm, #smchat, #social, #PR, #branding, #seo

Tech: #android, #iphone, #iphonegames, #ipad, #app, #tech

Education: #edtech, #education, #lrnchat, #teachers, #elearning

Social Change: #socialgood, #cause, #volunteer, #4change

 

Holding competitions

A competition for a B2B audience will work differently than with B2C. A consumer can react on instinct whereas a business may have to validate its participation and could be restricted in what it can retweet or respond to.

Also remember that the person behind the company’s twitter account may not necessarily be the person with buying power. If in doubt, try to offer a prize that will benefit the entire company such as discount on a month’s subscription, access to exclusive content or a company lunch delivered to the office. Anything which could impress the user’s boss or colleagues will make them more likely to participate!

If you’re planning to give something away you should also ensure that you get the maximum return on your investment by leading customers to your website, requesting their email address or asking for feedback in return for the chance to win.

A good competition tweet format for B2B marketers could be:

(Existing customers)

Want to win 50% off your Twilert subscription for next month? Find out how – [link to website]

What’s the best #twilerttip you could give to a new user? Our favourite will win a special prize! Full details here: [website link]

(New customers)

How would you like to win lunch for your team on Friday? Sign up to our newsletter to be in with a chance to win! Full details here: [link]

How much do you know about what we do? Find out with our 2 minute test and you could win an iPad! [link to website]

 

Monitoring and reviewing

It’s impossible to be on Twitter 24/7 so setting up twitter monitoring is an essential part of your B2B Twitter strategy. Set up Twilert search alerts for keywords, hashtags or mentions of your brand and set a time each day to respond. This will ensure that you never miss a conversation or mention from a potential customer. Try to favourite, RT or respond to any users who mention your brand and don’t be afraid to start a conversation when someone tweets about something relevant to your business.

It’s also important to review your tweets regularly and see which ones receive the highest level of engagement. With just 140 characters, it’s often all in the wording. Take the below tweet as an example:

New post on the Power of Twitter Monitoring: http://bit.ly/1cRxVxw

Think about how this tweet could be written to sound more dynamic. A call to action, quote or question, will help engage users and result in a higher click through rate:

Read about the Power of Twitter Monitoring and why it’s essential for your business: http://bit.ly/1cRxVxw

Do you need higher ROI on Twitter? Read about the Power of Twitter Monitoring: http://bit.ly/1cRxVxw

“57% of customers use Twitter for business” read more on the Power of Twitter Monitoring here: http://bit.ly/1cRxVxw

 

Using Twitter for B2B marketing can be very effective, when you know how. What are your best twitter tips for marketing to a B2B audience? We’d love you to tweet @twilert and share them with us.

 

Create perfect tweets and monitor them with a free trial of Twilert through this link

Beth Gladstone

Marketing Manager @Codegent, looking after Community Manager for Twilert. Crazy about blogging, social media and all things digital. Book reader and yoga devotee, with a bit of lifestyle writing on the side.

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