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the whys and hows of twitter for B2B companies

Twitter can be a boon for B2B companies. If you haven’t done so already, you might at least consider including Twitter in your B2B inbound marketing strategy because of it’s huge upside.

Here’s why Twitter’s worth a look:

1.      Lead generation: A Mediabistro study recently found that Twitter is the best lead-generating social media platform there is. And by far. More than 80% of social media leads come from Twitter (that’s 9 times higher than Facebook and LinkedIn).

2.      Site traffic: A Twitter study found that tweets will increase your B2B company’s website traffic. That means your B2B audience is on Twitter. What are you waiting for to connect with them?

And here’s how to optimize your B2B company’s Twitter platform:

3.      Content: Great content will guide people to your page – and have them returning in the future. Never be idle; ensure you always produce a stream of relevant, fresh, engaging and informative content.

Just look at HubSpot (@HubSpot). Its success is in large part due to the vast amount of reliable blog posts and white papers it produces – links to which are always posted on their Twitter page.

4.      Brand alignment: The look and feel of your Twitter page is very important. Make sure your properties are branded, streamlined, and inviting. Your Twitter’s background page, avatar, and header – especially the colours – should compliment your company’s overall image.

5.      Integration: Post links to your blog articles on Twitter twice, or even three times (but at healthy intervals; don’t be overly pushy!). There should also be “Follow me” buttons on your website, and “Tweet this” buttons on your blog. Cross promoting is an important way to increase your followers.

6.      Hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to send content to an audience other than your followers. Promote updates and new content by researching current hashtag trends, or by creating your own.

Remember this year’s General Electric (@generalelectric) campaign? Using #IWantToInvent on National Inventors’ day, GE invited users to suggest invention ideas, which they then sketched in real time. The entire campaign became one very successful, interactive advertisement.

7.      Follow & share: Follow your customers, your ideal future customers, and pertinent media and bloggers. What keywords do they use in their bios? Who do they follow? What hashtags are they using? Get on their radar. And share content from sources other than your own. It’s a great way of offering something different to your followers, and of being followed and retweeted in return.

8.      Customer service: Twitter is an incredible way to engage with your customers. Your B2B company can respond directly to questions, criticism, or concerns. The customer has direct access to you, and you to them.

Dell is one of many companies that does this well. @DellCaresPRO, for instance, provides around-the-clock support for small and medium-sized businesses. Their entire Twitter feed is dedicated to personalized IT support.

9.      Promoted tweets: Consider promoting some of your tweets. For a fee, Twitter can bump your tweet to the top of Twitter feeds of your choice (often chosen based on geography, demographics, who the person follows, etc.).

10.  Shortened URLs: It may be a minor detail, but don’t forget to shorten your URLs to make the most of an already limited character count. What’s more, a full length URL often looks tacky and amateurish.

Like most marketing on social media, with time, dedication and patience come great rewards. Include Twitter in your inbound marketing strategy, follow the above suggestions, and you will reap the benefits.

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