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B2B Marketers: Is Twitter Still Relevant?
Date: January, 2014 --
Twitter has been called the biggest game changer of the decade, the worst thing since
unsliced bread and everything in between. While there are certainly stories pointing
to success in B2C, many coming from non-marketing related functions, many B2B
marketers still question what type of investment in the medium is appropriate,
if any at all. Here are some useful questions and points to consider when
weighing this decision.
marketers using most mediums the desired end result is always the same:
Generate revenue for the company. However, as the medium has matured and trial
and error has been well observed, twitter has shown us that, while it may be a
step in the lead maturation process, it’s still largely unproven in itself as a
direct customer acquisition medium
for those in the B2B space.
leadership has become the go-to buzz word with regard to justifying B2B investments
in twitter, and rightly so. Therefore the question becomes whether the content
you’re disseminating via your tweets has viral legs and is becoming part of the
conversation. As twitter grows its userbase, content is supplied by more and
more users, and overall engagement continues to trend downward, the task of
breaking through the noise and engaging your desired audience comes with an
ever-increasing degree of difficulty.
important to track and set goals for follower count milestones, RT (re-tweet)
stats and/or mentions of your handle to make sure you are not simply shouting
into the abyss, these goals should not be the ends in themselves.
What To Do:
utilize relevant hashtags for your business and Identify industry thought leaders.
Where appropriate, engage them, this can be as simple as retweeting something
they’ve tweeted that you like, and get them on your side. If there are none in
your space, strive to become that thought leader and see what happens. If you
build it and they don’t come, twitter might not be the place for you.
you’re tweeting like you’re possessed, just dipping your toe in the water or
have avoided the medium like the plague, you should always take a step back to
evaluate whether what you’re doing makes sense. After all, we all work in
evolving businesses and blindly continuing a behavior simply due to it being
‘the way we’ve always done things’ is never a good idea.
Do I have, or still have, potential customers who are actively utilizing the
medium? What are my competitors doing in the space and is it successful? Are we
accomplishing the goals that were set? Should we do more, less or keep going at
our current pace?
As every good
marketer knows, there’s no such thing as a focus group of one. That said, we
thought it relevant to share some of the B2B marketing experience we’ve had on
twitter with @DataServicesInc over the last several years utilizing the medium.
Have we gotten business from twitter? Yes. Have we gotten a lot of business from twitter? No. But what has been successful (a
question we’ve been asked many times)?
for Data Services, Inc.:
If we can
point to one aspect on twitter that has proven valuable, it has been utilizing
the medium around industry events and tradeshows. Smart tradeshow marketers
actively promote and encourage their attendees to utilize unique event hashtags
(#), making for easy identification of twitter users who attend given events. Data
Services’ usage of these hashtags has not only raised the awareness of our
presence at these events amongst the attending twitter userbase, but has
routinely generated leads and fostered to countless in-person tradeshow meetings
with our business development team.
tradeshow marketing is effective, our overall B2B marketing experience, even
with a content driven focus, has been one where engagement remains very low,
leaving us largely to regard twitter, when taken on its own, as a space where a
lot of marketers are shouting into an abyss where very few are really
twitter is not a closed environment and one would be remiss to not mention the
added value an active social media presence lends to a brand’s performance in
search engine marketing, as twitter, facebook and other social pages for your
brand are liable to show up on the search engine results pages of those
researching your brand. There’s also the intangibles that come with customers
and prospects being able to follow your brand as well as consume and
redistribute your content (and for you to be able to do the same), which can be
effective, relationship-building touch points.
So, if you’re not on
twitter, should you be? The answer for most will be ‘Yes’. But we’d recommend
beginners use a conservative approach with content marketing at its core. You
may be surprised to find an active audience eager to find and follow
like-minded industry brethren. If you’re already using twitter and are unsure
of its merits, find out what’s worked and what hasn’t and adjust as necessary
to make sure your investment is an appropriate one.