Is Twitter an Effective Social Channel for B2B?

Many B2B companies struggle to use social media in their marketing efforts, but this is a missed opportunity for too many. Twitter can be an effective platform for B2B organizations to connect with their target market. First, look at Twitter’s growth over the past seven years.

Is Twitter an Effective Social Channel for B2B? - Stat: Monthly active Twitter users

Twitter now has hundreds of millions of users. Given that, it’s likely that a B2B’s target market is using this social network. And if the target market is on Twitter, then the company should connect with them there.

Second, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s study on B2B companies, Twitter is the second most used platform for content marketing purposes, coming in right behind LinkedIn.

Social media platforms for B2B marketers

B2B marketers use Twitter to disseminate content, and in 2017, it gained a slight edge over Facebook to become the second most used platform. B2B businesses, however, must use Twitter strategically to make it an effective channel. Those companies that succeed in this will enjoy the benefits of Twitter as a way to connect with their target market.

Benefits of Twitter for B2B Companies

Twitter allows organizations to talk with audiences in a way that other social networks do not. Companies use Twitter to connect with users in real-time, answering questions, posting updates, and replying to other posts.

When asked ‘Of the social media platforms you use, which three are the most effective at helping your organization achieve specific objectives,’ 67% of B2B marketers answered Twitter (Content Marketing Institute).

Most successful social media platform for marketing

Twitter helps B2B companies to connect with audiences, gain insightful feedback, and learn more about their buyer persona.

Benefits of Twitter for B2B Marketing:

  • A platform to share thought leadership
  • Build awareness within a niche industry or subtopic
  • Share insightful content using subtopic hashtags ( for example #SmartCities )
  • Social selling
  • Traffic building
  • Lead generation using content offers

How B2B Companies Should Use Twitter

What’s important to remember is that Twitter is a top-of-the-funnel tactic. Where many B2B organizations go wrong on Twitter is trying to post sales or technical content. The prospect is still at the awareness stage, and they are looking for high-level materials that meet their needs or addresses their pain points.

That doesn’t mean companies can’t be somewhat promotional. Using links that direct prospects to a helpful blog post on their website, businesses can begin to push the prospect down the funnel. Link clicks account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets (HubSpot), which means this is an excellent way for brands to get users to their websites. However, the tweet description must match or add value, insight, or an opinion related to the blog post or where the link directs to, or you will risk annoying the potential buyer.

Remember, tweets should focus on educating the prospect or addressing their pain points, not overly promoting your company.

In summary, here are some B2B Twitter rules:

  • Don’t be overly self-promotional
  • Don’t just pitch your products or solutions
  • Thoughtful participation beats mindless sharing
  • Create great content worthy of sharing that actually educates, informs, and inspires.

How to Measure Twitter Efforts

B2B companies should always measure social media efforts to discover which are most and least effective. Twitter offers native analytics which can be helpful in learning which tweets received the most attention (retweets, replies, and likes) each month. Using Google Analytics, businesses can then see if Twitter aids in overall marketing campaigns goals.

Companies should measure if Twitter increases the lead pool or top-of-the-funnel marketing leads. Are prospects going from Twitter to the website to download a white paper, filling out a contact form, or signing up for the company newsletter? Furthermore, how many are doing this compared to other social networks.

Businesses should then follow those leads in the sales funnel to see how well they convert. Are they becoming sales qualified leads? Do they move from the awareness to consideration phase? And lastly, do any of them become clients? Do they result in sales? Why or why not? Working with the sales team, marketers can measure how well Twitter users convert. Marketers can then calculate an ROI on Twitter efforts by analyzing time spent on the network and the overall sales from leads that came from the site.

Twitter is no longer just a B2C platform. One could argue that B2B companies can find even more success using this social media platform. However, companies must take a strategic approach to Twitter and keep content at the top of the sales funnel–not the bottom. Twitter can be a way to talk to users one-on-one and address any concerns or answer questions, so it’s important to have a marketing team member monitor the site and communicate to users in real time, so problems do not go unnoticed. For B2B companies that invest in a sound Twitter strategy, they will find a way to talk to users and increase their lead pool, thought leadership, and industry awareness.

Sources

  • Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, 2017.
  • Statistica, Number of monthly active Twitter users worldwide from 1st quarter 2010 to 4th quarter 2017 (in millions), 2018.
  • HubSpot, 14 Ways to Increase Your Click-through Rate on Twitter, Originally published March 19 2015, updated August 25 2017.



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