Recent reports from XEN (@xensystems) (citing Regalix) and Shane Barker (@shane_barker) detail how Twitter and LinkedIn remain the top social media platforms utilized by B2B businesses. Regalix detailed how 93% of companies are using Twitter, while 91% are using LinkedIn. Amid this usage, the acceleration of social media usage continues, with Barker detailing how by 2021, social media usage will exceed 3 billion globally – up from 2.6 billion in 2018.
And businesses are an important part of this usage, with XEN detailing that by 2015, 95% of B2B businesses used social media. Blogging was the primary tactic of this business usage, with two-thirds using multiple social platforms to share their blog content. (Here’s more information on the importance of blogging for Middle Market Advisors, Public Affairs Advisors, and Legal Services Sector Professionals)
Primary goals of B2B businesses include brand awareness (the first priority according to XEN), lead generation, constant customer engagement, updating customers about company products or services or promotion of company products or services.
Prime forms of B2B business content include blog posts (the most popular), case-studies, white-papers, and articles.
Optimizing Twitter use for B2B businesses
Dominique Jackson explains in Sprout Social that Twitter is a crowded place, where businesses must utilize specific techniques to increase their chances of being seen. But importantly, it “drives the third most referral traffic of any social network”, as Andrew Hutchinson (@adhutchinson) has noted in Social Media Today.
Hutchinson further details how Twitter has recently seen recent growth in active users, in time spent on the platform, and in engagement. It’s open, public platform provides advantages to businesses, he says. This provides B2B businesses with an opportunity to identify and engage with clients and customers on a global scale, either through Twitter itself – or via other platforms including email.
Jackson suggests utilizing an often overlooked tool that Twitter affords users – the ability to directly message followers. (Here’s more information about how Twitter lists, which can be used to identify and organized key contacts for B2B client development via Twitter). Beyond direct communication with individual followers, Jackson recommends working with Twitter’s algorithm. Specifically, Twitter reversed the way it displays users feeds to show Tweets they’re more likely to care about. Hence, learn and tweet about what your target audience wants to know about – and your Tweets will receive greater exposure among your target audience. When followers engage more with your Tweets, Twitter’s algorithm will pick up on this and prioritize your tweets for this audience.
Jackson underscores the importance of Twitter video, citing statistics that reflect that 82% of Twitter users watch video on the app. Even with few followers, your videos stand the chance of being seen by many more users on Twitter. And using industry or subject specific Twitter hashtags is another way to find people looking for the subjects you’d highlighted with your hashtags
Because tweets don’t have the same organic reach as they did before, Jackson recommends tweeting more frequently. Utilizing different hashtags and becoming creative with the introductory language to specific content would be helpful here. For example, sometimes use the title of your article when posting it to Twitter – other times use excerpts from the body of the article.
Jackson emphasizes the importance of “always put quality ahead of quantity. If you have the ability to Tweet something awesome every hour, go for it. Your audience will tell you if it’s working or not.” He mentions Twitter advertising as another option (though it’s more expensive than Facebook ads). (Here’s more information about how Twitter can be utilized by Public Affairs advisors for business development).
Optimizing LinkedIn use for B2B business
Shane Barker explains how LinkedIn, one of the most popular and widely used B2B social networking platforms, provides an opportunity to connect with other B2B professionals to grow together. In particular, the site provides for the sharing of content, engagement around content and recruitment. (Here’s more information about how your can identify emerging business issues as a guide for B2B content creation).
He cites a CMI study which indicates over 85% of B2B organizations use LinkedIn, with 500 million members (as of 2017). Beyond brand awareness, Barker explains, LinkedIn permits users to promote products or services – and then engage with other users in your industry or ideal customer focus to build connections around your business. This engagement helps strengthen relationships which ultimately lead to one-on-one interactions. One of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn is the ability to reach decision makers easily, which helps make the often complex nature of B2B sales – more easy.
Neil Patel (@neilpatel) recommends 7 advanced LinkedIn strategies for B2B marketing. They include turning a LinkedIn company page into a lead generation page, using LinkedIn advanced search to identify prospective clients or customers and utilizing groups to search for topics of high relevance to your ideal potential clients and customers.
Choose to harness LinkedIn and Twitter for B2B Growth
Given the vital importance of Twitter and LinkedIn to B2B business growth, any B2B business seeking to generate new clients and customers – should seek to learn and implement strategies for harnessing these two platforms as a means to achieve growth. This article provides some first-step information — but there’s much more available by searching: LinkedIn and Twitter.
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