Social media marketing is often thought of as a B2C game. And in large part, it is – Facebook drives a quarter all referral traffic to e-commerce and lifestyle sites, with Pinterest right behind it. But social media marketing can and should and go beyond simple traffic referrals. One of the biggest reasons to participate in social media is, after all, to socialize.
As such, businesses and their employees have the ability to turn social platforms into a kind of global water cooler. LinkedIn is the obvious choice – and B2B marketers who treat LinkedIn as a social network that should be regularly updated have seen success. But Twitter is more widely used by thought leaders, executives, and the press. This makes it an obvious choice for B2B marketers to connect with, make an impression on, and yes, even sell to, their target audience.
Following are general tips for using Twitter for B2B marketing. For more information about digital B2B marketing, download our latest B2B marketing guide.
In Twitter, you have a few opportunities for branding a business profile: the background image, the bio, and the content that you Tweet. Each of these elements should prominently represent your branding (logo, corporate symbols, name, etc.) and put your business’s best foot forward. Use a simple background image that helps to characterize your business, and a brief, well-written bio. Link to your website.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t substitute a personal profile for a business profile. You can promote your business from your personal profile, but don’t make the mistake in thinking a personal profile is all you need, unless you’re a sole-proprietor who lives and breathes your business.
Images can be tough for B2B marketers to come by – but it they don’t have to be. Create a branded template for quotes, statistics, and other compelling information, such as the one shown here.
On Twitter, your followers won’t necessarily be potential customers. That’s OK. Businesses can use Twitter for so much more than selling. It can even be part of a broader content marketing / link building strategy, so long as you’re creating and sharing great content.
Follow your ideal customers, industry thought leaders, and influencers (including industry publications and their editors). If you’re contributing to the conversation by Tweeting interesting industry news and thought leadership, you will likely earn “follow backs.”
If you want to refer traffic back to your website, you’ve got to have something pretty compelling to draw your audience out of their streams. Create “link-worthy” (and Tweet-worthy) content on your website such as blog content, webinars, and infographics. The more content you create, the more reasons you have to link back to your website without coming off as overly promotional or spammy.
Sure, you can promote your latest white paper, but when it comes to selling products or services, leave that to Promoted Tweets. Instead use your stream to share interesting industry news and branded content, and to connect with customers and influencers.
This goes back to the idea of Twitter as “global water cooler.”
You would never stand around a water cooler and talk about yourself ad nauseam. You would say, “Nice job on that project!” or, “I saw something you might find interesting…” The same goes for social media. Create relationships by putting your best, most social, foot forward – conversing with others and even sharing their content when appropriate and relevant to your audience.
Link to your branded Twitter account from your website and email marketing content. You might even ask your sales personnel (and any other client-facing staff) to include a link to the company’s Twitter profile (and other social profiles) in their email signatures.