|9 Uses of Twitter for B2B Vendors|
by Tom Pick
Thanks to celebrities jumping on board, awareness of Twitter has exploded in the past year; 87% of Americans said they were “familiar with” Twitter in a poll taken earlier this year, versus just 5% in 2008 and 26% in 2009. But Twitter isn’t just for Oprah and Ashton; the world’s most popular microblogging platform is also a valuable tool for B2B companies. Here are eight ways B2B firms can benefit from being active on Twitter.
1. Communicate with customers: whether by providing support, answering queries, sharing content or communicating reminder messages, Twitter is a quick and easy method for dialog that doesn’t need to be kept private
2. Reach out to prospects: use tools like Twellow, Wefollow, Geofollow and your own CRM system to find prospective customers on Twitter and share thought-leadership content with them to provide value and set your company apart from competitors.
3. Answer questions: demonstrating your knowledge—rather than just promoting your products or services—is a much better way to build trust, and a following on Twitter.
4. Ask questions: Twitter is a great forum for getting hard-to-find factual answers (related to the expertise of your followers of course) as well as gauging sentiment on key issues.
5. Share interesting content: the key to building a (relevant) following on Twitter is to share content that is truly interesting to others, not just your marketing pages and case studies. Share blog posts, reports, resources like industry-specific glossaries and infographics. Share a mix of your own content and relevant content from other (non-competitive) sources like industry trade publications.
6. Promote others: follow the bloggers who write about your industry. Retweet their posts. Recommend them to others through #followfriday tweets. This builds relationships, and is far more likely to get them to some day write something nice about your company than is mass-emailing your press releases.
7. Increase brand awareness: Twitter isn’t great for direct response in the B2B world. It is, however, a potentially powerful tool for building your brand and enhancing your company’s image as experts in your marketplace. Make the most of your tweets; a company’s Twitter account is often one of the top four results on a Google search for the company name.
8. Promote events: going to a trade show? Speaking at an industry forum? Attending a networking event? Twitter is a great place to showcase these and make arrangements to meet some of your followers in person.
9. Gain competitive intelligence: Twitter is great for keeping tabs on competitors, particularly by looking at what others are saying about them. What kinds of questions do people ask? What kinds of problems do they report? How does the competitor respond?
Just because Twitter has been popularized by movie stars, TV show hosts, sports and music figures doesn’t mean it isn’t also a valuable tool for B2B commerce, if used wisely.
Tom Pick (@TomPick) is an online marketing executive with KC Associates, a marketing and PR firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, focused on B2B technology clients. He's also the award-winning writer of the Webbiquity blog, which focuses on B2B lead generation and Web presence optimization -- the fusion of SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing and interactive PR. Tom was on the Judging Panel of the 2009 B2BTOTY Awards and now sits as a member of the 2010 B2BTOTY Awards Steering Committee.
Newer news items:
Older news items:
by Ayaz Nanji | shared from MarketingProfs Some 66% of small-business owners are using mobile devices and/or mobile solutions as part of their operations, according to a recent report from Constant Contact. Of those small-business owners using mobile devices, 73% said they use their phones or tablets to...
by Hank Blank | shared from The UPS Store Often when I talk to small business owners about networking many say they have no time to network. They are too busy. I have heard that many times. Who isn’t busy today? I also know that many small business owners have simply selected the wrong priorities in allocating their...
by Eric Michaels | shared from The UPS Store To make your business grow, you need the help of the latest technology. No matter what device or operating system you use to power your business, there's a way to get technology on your side. These six essential apps for small business owners do the work for you. 1....
by Lara Galloway, The Mom Biz Coach, www.MomBiz.com Having my first child ten years ago made me a mother. And starting my business eight years ago made me an entrepreneur. I can’t say I had any idea what either of those terms really meant before they happened to me. But here are a few things I’ve learned since then about what it means...
by Dr Billy M. | shared from The UPS Store Kicking off a business initiative can be overwhelming, but often, just starting is the hardest part. Many people find themselves starting a small business from home as a result of such life-changing events as retirement or parenthood. A business based at home will benefit you personally by eliminating a...
by Michael Mothner | shared from Inc. Over the past five years, social media has become an increasingly important part of many companies' marketing strategies. But there are still some misconceptions about how to use social media to drive sales and which services are worth the investment of company time and resources. Here are the six...