Twitter for B2B: 8 Ways to (Not) Succeed
We’re excited at the growing number of new Twitter users we’re finding in the packaging, converting, and manufacturing industries.As a promotional outlet, Twitter is as relevant to B2B as it is to any B2C establishment. It is a chance to build brand awareness, connect with customers, and stay abreast of industry news & trends.
When used properly, Twitter can also be a great source of leads and relationships you might never have found otherwise: it just requires a different approach than traditional sales tactics.
Are you thinking about testing the Twitter waters for your B2B operation? Maybe you’ve got an account, but don’t know how to make the most of it? Our latest 8 Tips for B2B Twitter Beginners – offers insights taken from our own experiences & lessons learned:
Have a voice. And a personality, for that matter.
Engaging on outlets like Twitter is not the same as creating a technical white paper. The more robotic and distant you appear, the less effective you will be. It’s about being real, putting yourself out there & interacting with others in your niche. That takes being human to really work. I’m not saying swear like a sailor and act so crude you alienate the world, unless that’s the brand image you’re going for. I’m just saying let a little of yourself shine through while you’re out there making a name for your company. It will go a long way!
Share & discuss, don’t just pitch.
Using Twitter for the shameless self-promotion of your product/service is more effective when you balance that with a lot of sharing and community engagement. By balance, I mean that you spend less time hard selling and most of your (Twitter) time community building: Share links others post. Find links to articles in your industry of interest and share those for others. Comment and interact with your audience – be they industry experts, potential customers, current clients, or anyone relevant to your niche. Selling, selling, selling alone will put you on the fast track to being follower-less, or worse, being blocked as SPAM.
“Me me me” tweets are equally as dangerous.
Spending all your time talking about yourself, your company, your misbehaving dog… whatever …is a big turnoff to many . Remember, Twitter isn’t a cold call or a tri-fold brochure. It’s a community of real people. It is important to promote yourself, but do it in moderation. Just don’t spend all your time talking about you. I mean, think about it. Would you hang around *that guy* at a party? …I didn’t think so.
But, please don’t share too much too often.
It can be equally as annoying to your follower base if you tweet too often – mainly because it clogs up a follower’s tweet feed with you and only you. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, and that’s fine; the point is to not flood your followers with tweets all the time. Break it up. Give others room to speak, too.
Don’t forget to make time for Twitter
On the flip side of over sharing is the balance of not neglecting. Twitter takes time – both in managing your presence and in seeing results. For the former, you will get the best results by devoting at least a few minutes a day to posting updates. For the latter, remember Twitter isn’t a sales-pitch or a billboard. It’s a community, and like all good relationships, what you get from Twitter won’t happen in 30 seconds. It takes work, but I’d say it’s work that’s well worth it.
Follower QUALITY, not follower QUANTITY.
A tight community of 150 followers who engages, interacts, and shares your message is infinitely more valuable than 1500 followers who don’t participate. Establish rapport with the few good souls who engage you back. It will go a lot farther than hanging on to the “followers” who spend their days tweeting about their sales flyer every 10 minutes…
Reach for warm leads when the moment is right.
There will be times you want to pursue additional contact with a user you consider “potential business.” When the time comes: don’t be afraid to ask for the next step. Keep in mind, the person running the Twitter account is not necessarily the decision maker you need, but a DM requesting contact information or permission to email is a good step in the right direction. Of course, there’s always the chance they could say “no” or simply not respond – but who of us hasn’t heard THAT before!?
Know when to fold ’em.
Like all other decisions in life, it’s important to think about Twitter in context. If you don’t see a fit for it, or if you don’t see your (potential) customers utilizing the medium, then maybe now is not the right time. If you give it a go and still can’t find the value in it, maybe it’s not the right time for you, either. It’s ok to say “this isn’t for me,” and take a step back.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of *everything* you should/shouldn’t do, and even for the points that aren’t listed, it all comes down to what works for you.
Just remember: Stay relevant, stay true to your brand, and don’t give up! With a little dedication and the right mindset, you can really go far.
Getting the hang of Twitter, or are you still struggling? How has it helped your B2B bottom line? Leave us a comment with your thoughts & experiences – we’d love to hear from you!