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Rebecca Reynoso on January 14, 2021 (last modified on January 15, 2021) • 19 minute read
While many brands actively maintain a presence on social media, there’s so much untapped potential for making social channels actually work for more than just content sharing.
Twitter presents a huge opportunity for business-to-business (B2B) companies with one area in particular: lead generation.
Generating leads on Twitter for B2B companies is something often overlooked or seen as a nice-to-have when building a brand account. But on the contrary – using Twitter to generate actual leads is more necessary than ever in an atmosphere oversaturated with social platforms and potential customers one-click beyond your reach.
To help your business take full advantage of the lead generation opportunities that live on Twitter, we’ve covered the following to help get you ahead of your competition:
From an outsider perspective, the concept of creating a social media strategy for your B2B business might sound a little uninteresting – maybe even boring. Naturally, we’re more familiar with business-to-consumer (B2C) companies having great social media skills, not B2B.
But using the right social channels will help your brand stand out from the noise and become admired for its ability to take social media by storm. Depending on your audience, Twitter may not be the right platform for your business needs.
Still, when compared to other social media platforms, Twitter’s ability to generate leads is drastic. Twitter performs better for lead generation purposes nearly 50% to other social media competitors.
But if you want to learn how to generate leads on Twitter – and you know your audience is on this platform – we’ve come up with some unbeatable hacks you need to know from the get-go.
In essence, Twitter is great for the following – especially when used correctly:
Still, brands have their own reasons for using Twitter as a source of B2B lead generation. CJ Xia of Boster Biological Technology notes that “Many businesses are using Twitter for lead generation – mostly to find new clients and new customers for their businesses.”
So you can add that to our list: find new customers. Not just be visible to a digital community, but actually seek out and find people who may want to become paying customers of yours down the line.
Now that we’re familiar with why Twitter is effective for B2B lead generation, let’s explore 6 core tactics that you can put into action to actually help you generate leads rather than posting for the sake of creating digital content.
Once you have your social media strategy for Twitter in place, it’s time to figure out how to actually use Twitter to your advantage.
B2B brands can tend to come across as too businessy, stuffy, or formal when compared to B2C brands. However, your goal should be to dismantle this misconception with content and a strategy so powerful, other B2B brands will wonder how you mastered Twitter into a lead generation engine so masterfully.
Before we get into our expert tips, take a look at the data. These methods work best for lead generation. To no one’s surprise, responding to followers (communication) and getting involved in other conversations (also communication) top the list.
It’s that personal connection to the people behind the screen that helps generate leads more so than any of the self-promotional fluff or vanity metrics behind your account.
With this in mind, let’s explore a few of these elements and more to see how you, too, can generate more leads with the help of Twitter.
You’ve spent a lot of time building a strategy for your audience. Your followers. Your leads. But what you haven’t been doing is paying enough attention to what your competitors are up to on Twitter, too. Instead of focusing on just the audience you already have, you should actively be seeking out people interested in your type of offering, products, or services, but who may be misguided by following your competitors instead of you.
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Agency notes how great of a lead generation tool Twitter is, but it could be better if you do this one thing: To generate targeted and qualified leads, you want to start engaging with your competitors’ followers. Basically, if someone is following your competitors, it means they might be interested in their content and solution; thus, they might be interested in yours as well.”
This is sound logic. But why? Well, let’s put this into perspective where you’re the consumer, not the seller.
If you follow a brand on Twitter that offers a back pain relief solution, what’s the likelihood that you’re interested in relieving your own back pain? It’s pretty likely.
And while you might regularly like and engage with content from Brand X, if Brand Y sneaks in and starts engaging with your tweets about how your office chair sucks and your back is killing you, or how in need you are of a massage, this is a perfect opportunity to turn you into a Brand Y lead, and possibly a buyer down the road.
This is what Aufray is getting at. See who your competitors are engaging with and start engaging with them, too. Just do it better, faster, and with a more strategic approach.
Just as you’d do on Google when conducting keyword research for your next blog post, you need to master keyword research on Twitter as well. There’s a simple search function that allows you to write in any and all target keywords, giving you the perfect opportunity to play a little “x marks the spot” search and find game.
Searching for relevant hashtags and keywords is a great way to find highly targeted tweets you can respond to. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search function to look for tweets containing relevant industry keywords in combination with the word recommendation or looking for.”
Pairing niche and industry keywords with location-bound keywords is going to be a recipe for success when it comes to finding the right people you want to be connected to, who might actually turn out to be leads for your brand.
Going off of the last tip, you can expand on your search efforts twofold.
You respond to people who @ mention your brand. You’re signed up for alerts if someone types out your brand name without tagging you on Twitter. But what you’re not doing is seeking out unanswered questions from buyers in your niche.
John Frigo of Best Price Nutrition says that you’re missing out, and here’s what to do to change it: “While it’s somewhat time-consuming seeking out people on Twitter who have questions or are looking for advice about something having to do with your niche. By interacting with these people, you can establish yourself as an expert, provide value to them, and potentially mention a product or service of yours that they might find useful while browsing for help.”
Let’s go back to the last tip, but flip it around where you’re the seller – not the buyer. To find people who are in need of a solution like yours, you’re going to have to do some footwork. But how do you start? Keyword searches, naturally.
When you’re searching through Twitter for keywords like “back pain,” “painful back,” “need a massage,” or “need a chiropractor,” you (Brand Y) are going to land in a pool of potential leads. But they won’t work for you if you don’t put the work in, first. Using your brand account, like their Tweets, retweet what they said with a clever response, a discount code, or a tease to get them to interact back with you:
Hey, @ back-pain-sufferer-45, we hate back pain, too! DM us for a gift, on us, to help relieve some of that pain you’ve been having!
By doing something as simple as @ mentioning them on Twitter, you’ve caught their attention, lured them in with the concept of a free gift, and put the onus back on the tweeter, not your brand. You’ve done half of the work; now, it’s up to them.
Ian Wright of Bequests agrees that establishing your brand as the go-to or the expert in your niche is the way to go, and mentions how simple it is to do just that: “Share information, educate your followers, and offer solutions to their problems. When they see you as an authority in what you do, it’s easier to direct them to your landing page.” As you can see, it’s all a long game.
But Wright isn’t alone in this thought process. Francois Mommens of Linkody also goes on to say that finding tweets that discuss a problem your solution can solve is the best way to become a resource for that user.
Mommens notes: “By being specific with your tweets so that they correspond to your industry, you can start replying. Reply directly to them, follow them, or offer them a solution for their issue. You could also go as far as providing some special offers that would be unique to your Twitter account to help yourself with gaining followers.”
While this search-and-find game can be time-consuming, these personalized, hyper-specific interactions will make users feel like they’re being seen and heard – even more so when the brand they’re already following doesn’t bother to interact with them on the same level. You’ll already be ahead of the game. Plus, even if you don’t end up getting a real lead, you might gain some traction on social media, and we’d still consider that somewhat of a win!
We’ve already established the importance of having a Twitter account for your B2B brand – that’s clear. But actually using Twitter to drive real engagement among your followers? That’s a whole different ball game.
Carlos Trillo of Evinex notes that keeping your audience engaged with your brand is a surefire way to boost visibility, discussion surrounding the services and/or goods you provide, and more: “Engagement is the key in terms of social media lead generation. It applies both to B2C and B2B strategies. If you want to succeed on Twitter, you should post frequently and post at the best times (when your target audience is most active) so you can drive engagement and start conversations.”
Trillo emphasizes meeting your audience where they are, making sure to post more when they’re active. But how do you know when the best time to post on social media actually is? You can base it on a number of factors, like your location (physical business space) or how far-reaching your connections are.
Twitter analytics are going to become your best friend when trying to see how engaged your followers are after posting new content.
*Editor’s note: While Twitter has its own analytics platform you can look through, using a Twitter (growth & engagement) dashboard template can provide you with insights about the number of followers you have, how engaged your followers are, the amount of replies, retweets, and @ tweets your account receives, and more.
It’s important to remember that your engagement numbers will fluctuate based on the type of content you’re putting out into the world. Trillo goes on to mention that using various formats can help boost engagement in new ways: “Start using video formatting, and share updated industry statistics when relevant. You should also leverage interactive Twitter features such as polls and surveys.”
Basically anything that will get your followers to click, be interactive, and actually engage with your content will automatically raise up the metrics on your tweet views/clicks, and possibly replies, retweets, quote tweets, and follows.
This is precisely what Andrea Loubier of Mailbird tells us: “To generate leads on Twitter, curate your posts with engagement in mind. If you can start a conversation, then responding to all of the comments and providing information can make your post memorable and therefore help to build brand recognition.”
Brand recognition in niche B2B industries is especially important if you want to stand out as a leader and be remembered in future conversations for the type of offerings your business provides to customers.
Alexandra Zamolo of Beekeeper agrees that generating leads on Twitter can only be done with effective engagement and that your engagement needs to fuel conversations and positive interactions among potential customers. Zamolo suggests the following: “When creating your posts, craft them in a way that poses a question, or starts a conversation. This can generate interest in your brand’s products or services, which may, in turn, become a qualified lead.”
While you can’t guarantee that every super fan of your Twitter account will actually become a lead or potential customer, you’re more likely to sometimes find success through this route rather than never posting and wondering why your competitors (who are active on social) are experiencing an upswing in leads.
A lot of niche industries have loyal followers and posters (tweeters, in this case) online. Digital marketing has transformed the way we build communities, and if you want to find a wealth of potential leads, discovering and becoming an active member in your niche’s digital community is a must if you want to be successful.
Priya Kumari of Valasys Media breaks it down beautifully: Automation has taken over much of the lead generation endeavors, but real community interaction and engagement are still the most powerful tool you can use.”
Kumara continues: “Twitter provides a niche community and an entrepreneurial ecosystem for B2B marketers to engage with their favorite content, exchange ideas, and connect with experts, brands, and influencers. Optimizing community engagement is the most critical aspect of generating leads from Twitter. To interact with the community, you need to make efforts in real-time and give your honest perspective. Automating community engagement would do little or no favor in the interest of your brand.”
This means you can no longer just rely on social media posting software that does that busy work for you. You will never build transparency and trust with your niche community this way. People know the difference between automation and human interaction.
While automation tools might be able to help share a blog post, a webinar link, or a YouTube video series your team made, it can’t make up for human interactions with potential leads. So no, your AI-powered social media friend can’t take over for a social media manager’s job – at least not for the foreseeable future.
To help you with boosting your brand’s community engagement for high-quality leads through Twitter, Kumara lays out some key steps you can’t overlook:
“To get more high-quality leads:
Keeping the human side of the conversation intact on Twitter is an evergreen lead generation strategy to generate leads from social media platforms. Building engagement may take some time. It depends on the number of followers your company has, but once you indulge in meaningful conversations with your target audience groups, sooner or later the high-quality leads will pour in.”
While Twitter has strict character limits (280 per tweet), there’s so much potential with how you craft your social content for potential leads. Andre Oentoro of Milkwhale wastes no time with the secret: dropping an obvious CTA after tweeting out a thread.
Oentoro notes how storytelling is going to be your new best friend: “Learn to compose really interesting tweets and include a CTA in a thread. This way, users are interested in reading your thread and scrolling down until the bottom. Once they’ve reached the end, you can insert a CTA.”
Given the nature of Twitter’s threads, you might even be able to insert multiple CTAs in the form of links. Whether you link to a demo page once, your landing page another time, or a gated asset in which a user has to enter their email address to access content, you have multiple opportunities to drop links in subsequent tweets.
With the tips above, you might be wondering how to capitalize on using Twitter for B2B lead generation by taking it to the next level. It’s no mystery; you can simply use Twitter Ads.
While you don’t want your brand to come off as disingenuous or spammy, it can be a smart business decision to integrate the usage of Twitter Ads as part of your larger B2B social media marketing strategy.
Jennifer Willy of Etia notes the importance of using Twitter Ads for lead generation: “Twitter is an important medium for generating leads and one of the best ways to do so includes Twitter Ads. Video campaigns and promoted tweets are a great way of generating leads. They help in getting better retweets, likes, followers, and replies to your post.” Willy is right.
In fact, Twitter notes that “people spend 26% more time viewing ads on Twitter than on other leading platforms.” That means people spend more than a quarter of their time viewing ads on Twitter – a valuable resource you’ve probably been overlooking for too long.
Willy continues, mentioning how “[Twitter] Ads are a great way of targeting your niche audience and giving them what they desire the most. There’s a direct connection between the engagement of your ads and the cost per engagement that you’re paying. You can lower the former with time and dedication. Twitter is a better medium than other social media platforms because the engagement level is higher. Posting frequency is also very important for engagement.”
This is aligned with what other experts have said. Keeping your audience engaged is key to seeing success. It seems to go without saying, but sometimes we could all use a reminder.
Still, good engagement isn’t going to come on a whim, and you can’t just hope for results. Even with regular posting and good audience interactions, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see the results you’re looking for, or end up actually generating any leads. Beyond post frequency and follower interaction, you need to optimize the Twitter ads you’re putting out into the world.
Bernadett Dioszegi of Bannersnack agrees, noting that you have to not only have a strategic plan, but also a goal in mind: “Think about your campaign goals, what type of Twitter card you’ll use, and your landing page.” These three elements are sure to help you streamline and hyper-focus your Twitter Ad campaigns for maximum results.
On top of that, Dioszegi elaborates about how relevance is what you should be aiming for: “The Twitter card you use for lead generation should be relevant for your audience so you can attract their attention.” What’s great about this is the fact that Twitter allows its users to target a lookalike audience custom-created to reflect that of your customers, followers, or reflective of your competitors.
Dioszegi goes on with an example to put things into perspective: “If your company wants to gather new email addresses, you can create a landing page offering a free PDF containing valuable information for prospects. When people download your PDF, they’ll have to give you their email address. At that point, you can add these leads to an email nurture campaign and retarget them via advertising platforms, including Twitter Ads.”
All in all, this is an unassuming way to gather leads who actually want to hear from you and be contacted by your brand. You don’t have to worry about cold emails being ignored anymore because you’ll actually have a list of people who won’t mind (and might even enjoy) being contacted by your brand.
*Editor’s note: Assuming you’ve built a social media strategy for more than just Twitter, you might care to track all of your metrics from the four core platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn) all in one place. That’s where a Social Networks overview dashboard comes in handy. Track basic analytics for all four of your core social media platforms to make sure your efforts aren’t going to waste.
Whether you go about lead generation through an ad-based approach or prefer to stick to the search-and-respond method many of our experts recommended, not utilizing Twitter for generating leads is a big misstep in any smart social media strategy. But you know that now, right?
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