B2B Companies: Twitter Best Practices to Target and Teach
A recent study conducted by UMass Dartmouth found that 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies have corporate Twitter accounts that have tweeted in the past thirty days – a six percent increase since 2013. An increasingly popular medium, Twitter can be a daunting platform for companies who need to distill complex information into a digestible 140 characters. To help you take the Twitter plunge, we’ve compiled a list of #TopTwitterTips, based on our experiences in managing B2B Twitter accounts:
#BeHelpful: Your social presence should help connect you with your target audience in a thoughtful and meaningful way—i.e., share content and craft messages of value. When leveraging Twitter to update the marketplace on company news and disseminate brand messaging, your social presence could be negatively impacted if used only as an advertising tool. As such, a great way to strike the right balance is by following the 70/30 rule: approximately 70 percent of the content you share should be informative, while 30 percent can be promotional.
#QualityNotQuantity: When it comes to followers, companies (and PR professionals!) often get caught up in the numbers game. But it’s important to remember that the quality of followers is just as—if not more—important as quantity. Columbia Business School Professor Olivier Toubia sums this point up nicely in a conversation with Business News Daily: “You could have a company with 10,000 followers, but half of them are not even real or not even relevant to your company. This will make your CEO feel good because they feel they have a big footprint on social media, but there isn’t really a lot of impact because they either aren’t real people or they are people who don’t care about your company.” This is especially relevant for B2B companies offering niche services to a specific subset of clientele.
…But #QuantityMatters too: While the quality of your Twitter following is important to meeting your business goals, when it comes to creating a social footprint, more followers can give your account the appearance of influence and entice other users to follow. Additionally, more followers equals more resources to share your content and expand your reach. Looking for ways to increase your following? Check out this article from Forbes contributor Dorie Clark.
#Repurpose: For many clients, the idea of the time commitment necessary for Twitter content creation can be daunting. But Twitter is a perfect medium to re-share content. ln the words of Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Marketingland, Twitter is the “live TV of social media…which means that if you’re not tuned in to catch a particular tweet live, then you’ve missed it.” Let’s say you share an article on a Monday. Consider sharing it again on Saturday, prefacing the new tweet with a qualifier like, “in case you missed it.
#ConsistentlyInconsistent: When it comes to maintaining a B2B Twitter account, it’s important to stay committed. Ultimately, you want to be a steady resource of information who your followers come to depend on, so tweeting daily is important. But make sure you keep an element of surprise – scheduling the same number of tweets at the same time every day comes across as both impersonal and insincere. Another way to be “consistently inconsistent” is by creating unique hashtags. For instance, if you’re a financial services company, consider sharing financial advice every Friday using a tag like #FinancialFridays – these types of tags create expectations from your followers, while offering a differentiating factor from competitors.
For B2B companies, the Twitter landscape doesn’t have to be an unknown territory fraught with uncertainty. Following best practices, along with careful planning, can open a world of social possibility.
Photo Credit: Maria Sinayskaya