Why Your BtoB Company Should be Using Twitter

Jan2.TwitterIt seems only logical that most business-to-business companies consider LinkedIn to be the most effective and successful social media platform for content marketing; after all, it is built on business relationships and networking. But what about its runner up – Twitter?

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, Twitter is the second most common social media platform that BtoB companies use (behind LinkedIn). In addition, 55% of marketers rated Twitter as an effective platform, which is a 5% increase from last year. Still, many BtoB marketers – especially in the manufacturing and engineering industries — believe Twitter won’t be an effective platform for their type of business.

 

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So why is Twitter so popular?

First, we need to take a look at why marketers love LinkedIn. While it is mainly used for professional networking, LinkedIn can also be used as a social media platform. Just as you would make a status update or post a link to Facebook, the same can be done in LinkedIn.

But the reason more marketers are using LinkedIn is because the target audience is already there and easier to find. LinkedIn is packed with industry executives and thought leaders – exactly who you want to target.

But here’s the secret: Twitter is also filled with those same industry executives and thought leaders! While it may be harder to find them in Twitter’s 1+ billion users, they’re out there and ready to view your content. A quick search for accounts with the words “manufacturing” or “engineer” brings up an endless list of users in the industry. The results also include companies in the industry, aka your competitors and your customers! “Following” the right companies, personalities and other important profiles can effectively lead to the same networking opportunities as on LinkedIn.

Not only does Twitter offer a massive collection of potential customers, it also offers other features that marketers love. Twitter is super mobile friendly, making it even easier for users to have it at their fingertips any time. Another great feature is that analytics are now built right into the application, so you can view how many people you reach and how many people engage with your tweets.

 

How can you use Twitter effectively in the BtoB space?

The obvious way companies are using the platform is to tweet company or product information — links to datasheets, whitepapers, announcements and the like. This can be valuable information that reaches a wide audience if it is presented in an appealing way. You need to entice them to stop scrolling through the feed to review what you’re offering. And you only have 140 characters, so lead with a benefit for your customers!

Twitter can also be used as a simple way to offer customer service. You have the ability to monitor feeds and receive notifications anytime your Twitter handle or company is name is mentioned (a simple setting in the platform notifies you). Responding is as simple as replying to a tweet and asking the customer to send a DM (Direct Message) for further help.

Additionally, live tweeting during events helps to draw in those who couldn’t attend in person. For trade shows or conferences, an editor or publication tweeting about your company’s booth or presentation can bring additional visitors to your space — be it virtually on your website and social media or in person at the event. Those industry publications and trusted editors are on the lookout for insightful and engaging information that will appeal to their readers, which also happens to be your pool of potential customers. They can typically engage a wider audience than you might currently have access to, so catching their attention enough to earn those precious 140 characters can potentially gain you more followers in turn.

Take pointers from those industry big shots and vary your content as well. Live tweets, links to articles, pictures, charts and third-party information is all helpful and will build trust with your audience. It might be social media, but people are still seeking out educational and authoritative information if it’s available.

So strive to be that engaging new profile and start tweeting!

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