In a Yahoo Small Business Advisor blog by David Kushner (“Tweet This, Not That! 9 Twitter Strategies Every B2B Marketer Should Know”) came this rather chilling statement:
“Once you’ve established and have familiarized yourself with your target B2B Twitter audience, it’s time to schedule your Twitter campaign! Using your social media management tool, you can plan your Twitter campaign in advance, allowing you to set your tweets on autopilot as you focus your efforts elsewhere.”
Granted, he does recommend that Twitter contributions such as conversational tweets, breaking news and retweets should be generated as and when an opportunity arises, but going on autopilot with a string of pre-planned tweets would not seem the best way to win hearts and minds!
We would initially recommend the following four tips for B2B Twitter campaigns.
1. Interact don’t automate
Would you meet up with colleagues at the water cooler and inflict them with a barrage of prepared snippets of information? Actually, we have all met people like that and most of us would agree that they are not the greatest conversationalists!
- Shovelling in a load of tweets that have been dreamt up weeks or months before is to miss the value of Twitter as a channel for ongoing news, views, interaction and entertainment.
- Planning on the strategic level about corporate branding and social media objectives is absolutely fine, but autopilot tactics can kill the art of engagement, the “give and take” of Twitter.
2. Build a quality following
Twitter is a remarkable B2B communication tool and a great way for businesses, particularly SMEs with limited budgets, to present themselves to a wider audience. But frequently Twitter users seek to demonstrate their popularity through playing the numbers game.
In a contribution for TNW News, Luke Chitwood describes Twitter accounts aimed at growing a Twitter following by unethical means. He continues: “And, at least by their follower counts, this approach seems to be working. But, as with offline relationships, quantity rarely trumps quality.”
That’s absolutely right!
We would add that:
- Buying followers can be an especially big mistake, because it becomes apparent after pretty quick examination of a Twitter account.
- Growing followers organically may be slower and more painstaking, but the following you gain is likely to be more genuine and useful to your business.
3. Achieve engaging ratios
While it is preferable to aim for a higher ratio of followers to following, in a B2B context we do not believe that the difference between the numbers should be too great. Again, this is where “Twitter and the matter of give and take” comes in.
- If you follow, it shows willingness to participate in conversation and demonstrates an interest in similar businesses and industry bodies.
- Aiming for a celeb-style “Followers 43.7K, Following 25” would do little to encourage potential B2B interaction!
4. Present your business in a wider context
In a recent article on our website “Subtracting Value in Marketing” we warned that consistently pushing out core branding messages on social media could damage engagement opportunities.
Twitter provides a platform for businesses to demonstrate their broad focus and character. For example:
- Pharmaceutical companies can show their concerns and aspirations for healthcare and medical research
- Manufacturers can display their wider interest in engineering and apprenticeships
- Logistics companies can demonstrate their enthusiasm for improvements in the transport infrastructure and supply chain security
BBI Brandboost handles the Twitter accounts for a number of clients in different sectors, focusing on the quality of followers we attract and the quality of engagement we generate. Contact us on 01494 452600 or by email to discuss how Twitter can support awareness of your business in its target audiences.
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