It’s one of the most asked questions we get from B2B companies: does my business need to be on Twitter? The short answer is, yes. Now let me paint a picture to explain why.
It’s winter and there’s a terrible storm. Your business sells industrial-grade ice melter to facilities, sort of like our client, Glen Martin Ltd. Everyone is talking about the storm on Twitter: it’s a Snowmaggedon Polar Vortex! It’s trending on Twitter and there is concern about the safety risks this icy storm will pose. Your ice melter is the solution, so you send out a clever, relevant tweet with a hashtag and link to your product.
Suddenly there is a spike in traffic to your site, you get calls from your clients because they saw your tweet and want the product, your followers retweet it, you get more followers and the local radio station calls your business for a soundbite about minimizing the impact of the storm. You officially joined the conversation and it paid off in 140 characters or less.
Are you still skeptical? Let me continue to convince you with two words: lead generation. Here’s the four ways that Twitter can generate B2B leads:
1. Drive site traffic and conversions from today’s connected buyer
Today’s customers are buying in different ways. Sure, they are searching through Google or clicking on the occasional online ad, but they are also scanning with their personal social feeds, including Twitter, for topics that interest them.
And these topics aren’t just the latest celebrity gossip and other mindless minutia. The B2B audience is searching for and following companies that have products, services and information that will help them do their job better — and they are finding it with keywords, hashtags and Twitter advertising. Then they are visiting the company’s site to research what it has to offer. They may download some content or fill out a contact form… and then a conversion is born, and a qualified lead.
2. Paid advertising targets the right audience
Many B2B companies continue to be stuck advertising in trade print publications. The same publications that sit in the mailbox or “read” folder, collecting dust. I would argue that few potential buyers are bothering to read these publications. But what they are likely doing is following the magazine on Twitter and reading what the publication shares on its feed. So why are you still advertising in their publication if you can’t even be bothered to read it yourself?
Here’s my challenge to you: just once, redirect the budget that you have for print collateral and put it into Twitter advertising. You’ve got a few options to choose from: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, Lead Generation Cards and Keyword Targeting in Timelines. Plus, Twitter lets you set a daily spending limit, and you only pay only when users take an action, like follow your account, reply, retweet, favourite or click on a link. The ads can be targeted to users based on their interests, location, device, gender and by keywords in their tweets. Businesses can also target ads to decision makers based on their engagement with a particular subject or the hashtags they use.
Test the waters and see if it works for you. An added bonus is that all the metrics will be staring you in the face with Twitter’s detailed analytics reporting tool for advertisers.
3. Monitor conversations…and jump in
“Join the conversation” might be the most over used and cliche term of the past five years. But hey, it’s actually true. I’m going to give another example using our client mentioned above, Glen Martin Ltd. They sell cleaning supplies for the healthcare industry. Cold and flu season is typically a hot topic in the winter.
When the chatter about flu vaccinations, handwashing and other preventative measures starts happening on Twitter, it’s the right time for our client to start offering tips and solutions. Just remember that it’s not about pushing your products or stepping in when it’s not appropriate. It’s about offering advice and education that will inevitably drive traffic to your site and build your brand awareness and credibility. Just remember to #hashtag your message with the trend.
To start monitoring, use one of the many free social listening tools available. Check out this list of 10 worthy ones here.
If you’re one of the B2B companies out there that thought Twitter was just built for consumer brands, I hope this has helped to show you otherwise. We’ve seen it work for our clients, and for our own business too. Let’s help you do the same.
Want to know more about generating B2B leads? Download this resource guide with more information on how to generate more leads online or reach out to one of the Giants.