Since its launch, Twitter has become one of the top 10 most visited websites on the Internet and, according to Wikipedia, has been described as "the SMS of the Internet.” Today, Twitter often breaks news faster than any other media channel, and with over 500 million active users, it is clear your B2B company should be taking part!
We've outlined Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing in B2B in an earlier blog post this year and discussed some of the benefits of using Twitter - like sharing short form content (perfect for quick factoids and industry stats), communicating directly and instantaneously with a network of dedicated followers, and sharing links to other industry-related content (e.g. YouTube videos and interesting online articles, etc.). It’s also a great channel for sending people directly to your website to learn more about your products and services.
There are many tips and tricks for using Twitter in B2B companies; however, I wanted to share with you a list of my favourites:
1. Listen First. Tweet Second - Once you’ve built your account, start using Twitter Search to put your ear to the ground. See if your company name, your competitors’ names, or keywords related to your industry are sparking conversation. Learning about the conversation before joining eases your way into the discussion.
2. It’s Not All Shameless Self-Promotion – It’s important to tweet about interesting facts related to your industry and share links that will be of interest to your followers. Give a little, get a little. You get the idea! It’s even okay to talk about non-business topics once in a while. Focusing on more than self-promotion will make your tweets interesting, informative, entertaining, and newsworthy, increasing their chance of being re-tweeted.
3. Be Sure To Ask Questions – Twitter is a great forum for gathering advice and opinions from industry peers and followers. So mix up your posts and ask a question once in a while. Blogger Darren Rowse explores Why Asking Questions on Twitter is a Powerful Technique in a recent post. He recommends sticking to questions that are relevant to your industry or business, actively acknowledging answers, and also being willing to answer your own questions if need be. If you don't have the time to interact with your followers for a few minutes (or longer if you have a lot of followers), make a note of the question and ask it later.
4. There’s no Wrong Way to Tweet – But simply keeping in mind the 140 character limit is not enough. To get a little more strategic, it’s best to keep posts to 120 characters so the full post won’t be cut off if re-tweeters want to add a comment. And should you ask for re-tweets? Yes, but don’t overdo it or ask for re-tweets of trivial information. For a new product launch, for example, don’t hesitate to add “Please RT” to the end of your post.
5. Share the Love - Comment on other users’ tweets and re-tweets as much as possible. Set some time aside to do this each week and it will pay off. This is a great way to build a dynamic and engaged community online.
6. Schedule Tweets in One Sitting – Take advantage of third-party sites like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or TWhirl and post a week’s worth of postings in one sitting. These sites allow you to schedule posts ahead of time for an unlimited date range. This is an incredible timesaver and makes it easy to ensure you are being strategic with your post topics.
7. Space out your Tweets - A flurry of tweets will potentially overwhelm your followers, and as a result they may disregard your messages entirely. Space out your tweets throughout the week and also throughout the day to give your followers the best chance of seeing them.
How are you using Twitter for your B2B company? Take a look at how The Mezzanine Group uses Twitter – follow @TheMezzGroup to keep informed on trends in B2B strategy and marketing.
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