With 319 million monthly active users that, between them, are sending out 500 million tweets every single day, Twitter is one of the leading social media platforms.
It’s safe to say, then, that there are a lot of people using the platform—but are they using it for business or pleasure?
You might think of social media marketing is reserved solely for business to consumer (B2C) companies, as a means of sharing messages about their products with thousands of potential customers for free. But business to business (B2B) companies can also benefit.
Social experiences have always acted as a key factor in the decisions humans make: as the expression goes – people do business with people, not companies. Social media is the online equivalent of these relationships. Companies with a positive and appealing social presence can create those same positive social experiences with potential customers.
In this post, I’ll share a couple of the tools that can help your B2B business market itself better on Twitter, and avoid falling into a common trap that many companies have made before.
Quality over quantity
To grow awareness of your brand and ultimately sell your services, a good place to start is building your followers. To the uninitiated, the number of Twitter followers a business has might seem like an indicator of its success…but don’t let those numbers fool you.
A study released by the University of Southern California revealed there could be up to 48 million bots on Twitter—accounting for up to fifteen percent of the platform’s active monthly users and far more than Twitter’s own bot estimate of (just!) 27 million.
Several of these bots can be bought to increase an account’s perceived following and influence. Twitter is constantly doing its utmost to crack down on ‘fake’ accounts, and tools are starting to surface that can identify how many of an account’s followers are bots, so the gig is up for many businesses trying to exaggerate their audience.
The key message here is that you shouldn’t get hung up on how many followers you have. The real trick is finding real people that are likely to have a real interest in your company. But the Twitter platform is so big, how can you expect to find them? Let’s look at a couple of helpful tools that can aid in your search.
Understanding your Audiense
Audiense (formerly SocialBro) is a platform that lets you find, identify and better understand individuals on Twitter (and other social channels). The aim is to help grow your number of followers with ‘good quality’ accounts, giving you a better chance at engaging with them and turning them into a customer. You can use Audiense to:
• Discover new users with similar interests to you and your business
• Cut down on followers that aren’t offering you value
• Target your content to give it the best chance of being seen by the right people
• Find out what content your followers are engaging with
• Tweet to your followers at the most opportune times
Audiense can you with a general idea of what your followers are interested in, and when and how to reach them. But in terms of specifically knowing what they’re reading, it falls short.
Creating the right buzz
If you want to discover what content is performing the best, what is being regularly shared and the key influencers in your industry, you should look towards BuzzSumo. It helps you find specific articles that people are currently sharing, giving you an overview of the most popular topics right now—a big positive considering the constantly-moving nature of social media. You can use BuzzSumo to:
• Discover new Twitter users
• Discover top influencers and build relationships with them
• Review the content in your tweets and find users who are tweeting about similar things
BuzzSumo recognises accounts with a high number of followers and lists them as ‘influencers’, as content they retweet will be seen by hundreds or thousands of people.
So, having influencers among your followers holds great potential. Finding the top influencers in line with your business or industry and building relationships with them has the potential to increase your current Twitter reach massively.
The heart of the matter
At the heart of great B2B Twitter marketing is your strategy; a combination of best practice and useful tools to maximise your reach and positively engage with others. There are other keys to success, like making sure you post consistently, making the best use of hashtags and making sure you keep your group of followers constantly updated.
With the right strategy in place, you can use the tools mentioned above to ensure your tweets aren’t falling on deaf ears by finding the perfect audience for your business, start tweeting about the types of content that will reach the most people, and have the best chance at turning them into customers because they will find your content interesting, relatable and relevant.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and no individual tool can outweigh the value of a well-planned marketing strategy.
By understanding these fundamentals, you can begin creating a B2B Twitter marketing strategy to find your next customers among those 319 million users.