Tips on Promoting Your Business with Twitter

Collaboration – 25 November 2011

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Twitter is recognized as one of the most popular and best-known social media platforms, but its potential application to B2B marketing, may still be underutilized. While it has been embraced by many B2C companies, it is perhaps even more useful in B2B marketing.

It’s all about influence

An important aspect of Twitter is following, and being followed by the so-called “influencers.” As the name suggests, influencers have the ability to influence others. They are opinion makers or trend setters.  In some cases, they may be among your clients or prospects, but that is not necessarily the case. But their influence over your clients and prospects assures their status. Especially in B2B marketing, which is characterized by longer sales cycles and cautious buying decisions, having one or more influencers interested in your content is a distinct advantage.

Setting up your business Twitter account

First, choose a Twitter handle that readily identifies your business and, if possible, your URL. For example, if your business’s name is Acme Technologies, and your URL is acmetech.ca, your Twitter handle could be something like @acmetech. That way, people who only know you through Twitter can readily find their way to your website.

Be sure to upload an image to your Twitter profile. If it’s a corporate account, you may want to go with your logo. But, if your company is known for a particular product, you may want to use your product image as your Twitter profile pic.

Adding a bio to your Twitter profile

Once your Twitter account is activated and you’ve uploaded an image, you’ll want to spend some time creating an effective bio. This can be your “elevator speech,” the way you describe your company and what it does to an outsider such as you might encounter in an elevator at some industry conference. It has to be short, informative, and easy to follow.

Be careful to also include keywords in your Twitter bio that will help search engines find you. If you are not sure what the relevant keywords are for your company, you can get help from SEO specialists.

Finding people to follow

A bit of searching using the keywords you’ve identified as relevant to your business should turn up some Twitter users you can follow. There are also online Twitter directories grouped by subject or area of interest. The best suggestion is to start by adding a handful at a time. Read their posts and decide which ones are worth continuing to follow.  One early key is to start off by listening. Just like being a good conversationalist, it is always best to listen first before you speak.

Getting followers

An entire post, or even an entire book, could be written about getting followers. For now, we’ll boil it down to a couple of basic tips.

First, some of the people you follow will follow you back. For those who do not (often they are the ones who have many followers and who may themselves be influencers), they may begin to follow you once you start engaging with them.

How do you engage them? Replying to Tweets and Re-Tweeting posts you find interesting is a great and very natural way to build a following. For example, say one of the accounts you follow posts a link to a story you find particularly interesting. You can re-Tweet that story to your own followers, perhaps also adding a personalized thank you message to the person who posted it. That will invariably get their attention and greatly increase the chances they will start following you.

Getting followers is a natural process of “mingling” and engaging people in conversation. In this way, it is a lot like meeting and getting to know people at a networking function. For the more introverted among us, it is actually the best way of networking, as it cuts down on a lot of the natural shyness introverts feel about face-to-face interactions with strangers.

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