Is Twitter a suitable platform for B2B organisations? We look at the platform and what it takes for it to work
Twitter can be seen as predominantly a B2C social media marketing platform but as much as 75% of businesses use Twitter as a marketing tool.
Twitter has a staggering number of accounts, but it is estimated that only 336 million of these are active users - there are a large number of Twitter accounts with no followers.
WHY DO BUSINESSES USE TWITTER?
B2B sectors in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and other scientific sectors generally have smaller audiences than in B2C so expect fewer followers in contrast.
Boots will sell many of the products a B2B science manufacturer will produce and have 130k followers, whereas Catalent, one of the contract manufacturers for some of the drugs sold in Boots, have 18k followers.
Approximately 500 million tweets are made every day which means the Twitter news feed moves very quickly, therefore, posting the right content - so your content doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the pile - is crucial.
There are many content types you can post to get your audience engaged. We are getting to that time of year where there are events every other month; use this to your advantage. You could make people aware of the events you’re going to be at so they can make appointments with you by asking them to visit you at the stand, and while you’re at the show you can take pictures of the stand/show for awareness purposes.
HOW CAN TWITTER CONTRIBUTE TO MARKETING AND BUSINESS OBJECTIVES?
Sometimes it is hard to know where to start with Twitter strategy. There are many different ways that Twitter can help businesses accomplish objectives and a variety of ways to keep audiences interested in you. We think Twitter is a great B2B platform that is easy to use and presents a wide variety of opportunities.
This is your chance to show your audience what you can do; a way for you to show what you know to demonstrate why you are the best at what you do.
Be sure to follow and engage with industry professionals. Using your Twitter profile to connect with people helps you to either build new relationships or work on the ones you already have. I suggest creating a list of the types of people or names of people you would like to connect with.
Repurpose the thought leadership content you already have for further positioning. Content has no expiration date and you might as well get as much as you can out of the content you have created. When you attend shows and conferences, take notes from the keynotes and turn this into content your audience would be interested in reading.
BUILD BRAND AWARENESS
Twitter is a good tool if you want to tell people about your brand and get them engaged with what you are doing. There are different features you can use to get your followers involved with you.
Twitter chats are a good way to connect with your audience. It’s a feature that allows you to organize a conversation about a topic of your choice, this will allow you to connect with the industry influencers. Creating a chat on a topic you are familiar with will also give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise in the subject area. Chats will normally be hosted by a brand moderator who will ask a question which will hopefully lead to a discussion and increased brand awareness.
Twitter polls is another technique you can use to involve your audience. This has been proven to get people engaged as users enjoy taking quick quizzes because it's fun. You can use polls to get feedback from the products or services you offer and it is a good way to ask people what they thought without giving them the option to write anything negative.
Having a human touch is a real advantage when it comes to sales. Relationships are always effective within the sales processes and social media is a brilliant way to help build on these relationships.
With social selling, it is important to listen to the prospect and let them tell you what they want before you try and sell them your services. Using this technique on social media is a good way to help you save time, traditionally you would listen to one person at a time but with Twitter you can listen to a group of people all at the same time.
Engage your audience, but don’t sell to them (at least not right away). Don’t attack your prospect with everything you can offer them as you will need to nurture the relationships you have. If you see a tweet which you think you could add valuable insight to, make a comment. Once the prospect sees you are interested, they are likely to follow you back because they have seen you have invested time into them already.
Once they are following you, they will begin to see your content on their timeline and when they need something, they will subconsciously think of you.
All of the above eventually generate traffic to your website and landing pages. Having something visual in your post is a good way to catch people’s attention, posts with visual content are more likely to get interaction than posts that only have text.
For the pharmaceutical industry, infographics, static images and video content seem to work well. Knowing what your customers want is important because they are going to share content they are interested in, which will generate more brand awareness resulting in more traffic.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT SHOULD YOU BE SHARING?
Sometimes knowing what type of content to post is difficult, especially in such a specific industry where there isn’t a lot to compare yourself to.
Include links in your posts - if a user is taking the time to read your post it’s because they are interested in your organisation - to give them the option to find out more by adding a link to the full article on your website which you are referring to within your Tweets.
HubSpot state that 92% of user interaction was from link clicks, and is a brilliant way to nurture users down the funnel and generate Twitter leads.
SELF-PROMOTION (BUT BE CAREFUL)
There is no place for unconsidered self-promotion on Twitter. People are not going to your profile or to follow you because they want sales pitches thrown at them. You can use Twitter to promote yourself, but you must be careful about how you go about it. Don’t make this promotion obvious.
Engaging with other people’s posts and posting your own informative content is a really good way to promote yourself, people will read your content and become more familiar with your brand without realising.
Be conscious of how you are engaging on Twitter. Nobody wants disengaged followers - people would prefer 10 high-quality followers against 100 disengaged ones. By disengaged, I mean people who just like and share posts without really engaging with your message and brand. If you take the time and are thoughtful in the participation the results are likely to be much better.
You need to make as much time and effort with Twitter content as you would with a whitepaper (perhaps not quite as much!). In terms of content, Twitter is important as people will follow you because they want good content that educates, informs and inspires. If your content does not match any of these criteria, it might not be worthy of posting. Informative content with links for extra information, though, always gains good results.
Infographics, how-to articles, why and what posts are the content types your audience want to see. This is the type of content they are going to engage with which will lead to you becoming a thought leader in the space - posts like these do well in the sciences sectors. See a previous post on pharma content examples.
KNOW WHEN TO POST
You’re in a B2B market and as you well know the beginning of the week is always busy. If it’s busy for you then it will be for your prospects too. Post at the beginning of the week but save your best content until mid to end of the week. This is the best time to share your informative content because the workload isn’t always as heavy; people will have a minute to spare.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE TWITTER?
Every business is different and something that may work for you might not work for another. Be sure to monitor the analytics Twitter offers so you can see if the techniques you are using are working. A digital marketing agency can do this on your behalf, along with all of the management of your Twitter and social media profiles, should you find that you do not have adequate internal resource.
You can expect a small number of shares, comments and likes on your posts early on. Pharma is known to receive less engagement compared to other industries like clothing or sports. But this isn’t always a bad thing as receiving good quality engagement from people who are genuinely interested is much better than lots of mindless engagement. On average pharmaceutical pages are looking at an engagement of 7 to 15 on a post.
Twitter is known as a format for few words but users are more than happy to access long-form and in-depth content off the platform, on your website. Twitter is, therefore, alongside LinkedIn, highly suitable for B2B organisations. to stay ahead of the curve, find out what's next for Twitter...