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Twitter Strategies for the B2B Marketer

Twitter is a great place for direct-to-consumer companies to ply their products; surely you’ve heard about the Oreos campaign during the Super Bowl or Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Twitter-fueled YouTube initiative. But the social networking site can be just as effective for business-to-business marketers looking to build their portfolios. By combining proven Twitter strategies and the latest technology, your business can benefit from a platform that too many B2B marketers overlook.

Read on for ideas that will help you reach out to other businesses.

Look Professional

Make sure that you’ve filled out all the relevant information on your company’s Twitter profile, including listing your web page address. This should go without saying, but of course some people still don’t do it. Having an empty box for your profile picture looks unprofessional, and you never want to force someone to Google to find your web page. It’s often the simplest things that can help a campaign rise or fall; don’t get so caught up in the bigger ideas that you forget to do them.

Sharing Isn’t Just for Kids

One of the best ways to ensure that your Twitter messages reach a broad audience is to share, share and share some more. When you pass along content from other places, you’re participating in one of social media’s most valuable contributions, disseminating information. Aim to be a reliable content curator. The more you share from others, the more likely someone will share from you.

The key is not just to retweet the same old people day after day. Broaden your horizons. Retweet someone from outside your industry, which will help them take notice of your business. They’ll be more apt to pass on some of your own information, and that will expose your brand to people who weren’t previously familiar with it.

Pay Attention to What Works

Twitter offers some really helpful analytics on its basic dashboard that can help you go beyond simply who followed you and which messages have been retweeted. Track your growth over time, mentions, and even your unfollows. You can also follow the reach of your campaigns. This tool is supposed to be free and is slowly rolling out, but unless analytics have already reached your account, in order to use Twitter analytics you need to create a campaign for a Promoted Tweet or Trend. If you want to keep an eye on your analytics even without advertising on Twitter, you might want to do your monitoring from another platform.

If you already use HootSuite to help control and time your campaigns, you’re in luck – HootSuite includes some easy analytics tools and is an official partner in the Twitter Certified Analytics Program. HootSuite’s tools allow you to build a custom analytics dashboard and reports to suit your needs. Whatever tool you use, you should make it a practice now to tag your URLs with Google’s URL Builder to better monitor traffic coming from Twitter in your Google Analytics.

Observe and Learn

Twitter delivers an almost overwhelmingly large amount of information in the blink of an eye. You want to be sure you catch your target audience while they’re actively on the site, because you’ll have a better chance of catching their eye with a promotion or share. Find out, either through market research, observation, or a tool like TweetStats, what times of day those in your industry tend to be most active on Twitter, and make sure you mold your editorial calendar around this information.

See what your rivals are doing with their Twitter strategy and adapt what appears to be working for your own purposes. If they are using hashtags and getting a lot of play from your target audience, adopt those hashtags into your own tweets. Your top priority is to get people to pay attention to you, whatever it takes!

Stay Active

Perhaps the number one mistake that B2B marketers make on Twitter is creating accounts and never using them. Don’t do that. It makes your business look unprofessional to have a Twitter account that’s sitting unused. You’ll lose followers and you’ll look like you’re behind the times. Worst of all, people will make assumptions about your reliability. If you can’t keep up with a simple Twitter account, then how will you deliver on whatever you’ve promised your clients?

Make sure that you stay active on Twitter by putting one person in charge of the account. That way you have no misunderstandings about who was supposed to tweet that month’s special deal or do a live-tweeting session from an industry conference. Others can tweet when they have some compelling information, but the account is bound to be more consistent if one person is in charge.

Adrienne Erin is a blogger and internet marketer who helps all kinds of businesses succeed, from local businesses to east coast rehab centers. She spends a lot of her time writing, but when she isn’t you might find her working her way through a Jamie Oliver cookbook or brushing up on her French skills.

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