Twitter - short and sharp
Twitter has been around since 2006, and it’s well known as the short-sharp medium for high impact messages. There are hundreds of millions of Twitter users around the world. But the question is, can it work for B2B marketers?
Given the size of the audience, there’s a very high likelihood that your potential business customers are using Twitter. It’s the second most popular choice of B2B medium for content marketing (after LinkedIn and just ahead of Facebook). Twitter also notes that people spend 26% more time viewing ads on the platform than on its rivals.
Of course, there’s no way that long-form content such as guides or articles are going to work on Twitter. It’s not the place to explain major technical issues or thought leadership points.
But Twitter does offer a great way to provide links to that sort of content - as well as other strategies such as podcasts, webinars and training sessions. In other words, Twitter is a tool for driving traffic wherever you want it to go – your website; LinkedIn company page or event booking page. It’s often referred to as a top-of-the-funnel tool.
So Twitter can be a great way to atomise your more substantial pieces of content. Break down your technical guide or article into single points – a thought for each. Quotes work very well in gaining re-Tweets (see the point below), and followers also respond to questions. These can be particularly effective if you want to start a conversation with your followers – a great way to gather marketing data and understand your potential customers better.
Post these with a link back to your article. And don’t hesitate to keep repeating that process. There are millions of Twitter posts each day, pushing yours down a follower’s news feed. It’s a good idea to give your potential audience continuous opportunities to see your updates.
You will see plenty of advice that images are essential for Twitter. They certainly do help with stand-out, particularly if you can keep your pictures strongly brand-focused. For example, create a style on Canva (www.canva.com) so that viewers can spot your Tweets more easily. Video also works well and it is possible to post short cuts of your longer-form videos such as vlogs.
Twitter works best when you engage with the platform. You must follow others to gain followers yourself. That should include your industry associations and your current customers too. You can also re-Tweet content from others: remember that this is about building a community, so engagement works both ways.
There are other important points to bear in mind. Using hashtags is vital to help potential customers find your Tweets in all the noise. It’s easy to overlook this step when posting, but it is essential.
Even more critical are links. Make sure that there is a link in your Tweet to the material you’re promoting (if the link is long, you can use www.bitly.com to create a free shortened version). LinkedIn studies also show that asking your followers to re-Tweet your links can be surprisingly successful. Research from www.Quicksprout.com shows that re-tweeting is four times higher when you ask people to do it.
So the answer to the question is yes, Twitter certainly offers benefits for B2B marketers. But it’s a hungry medium – requiring multiple and regular posts (at least one per day). Having something to say and a clear call to action are vital requirements for success. So building those big pieces of content should be the first step as these will help to power your presence on Twitter.