Social media and inbound marketing can drive powerful connections and awareness; however, to have part of their budget allocated for online marketing resources, B2B marketers need to be able to demonstrate a clear ROI. And for most B2B marketing departments, ROI comes down to one major metric: leads. While awareness and conversations are important, having clear and measurable leads acquired through social media is critical to the support of future efforts and resource acquisition.
In the coming weeks, we will look at social media lead generation best practices across many social platforms. Today, we are going to focus on one platform that is at the top of most B2B marketers' lists: Twitter.
Test, Don't Assume
When thinking about social media lead generation, the only safe assumption to make is to "always assume your assumptions are wrong." Instead of making assumptions and excuses for why your company "can't" use social media for lead generation, develop clear tests that allow you to measure and collect data around a variety of social media lead generation programs. Tests should be agreed upon by all decision-makers and have clear benchmarks for lead quantity and quality goals. Before any test, it should be clear that if the test meets the goals, it will get the resources needed to continue; if it doesn't, it won't.
How to Generate B2B Leads With Twitter
Generating leads using Twitter is really about leveraging a community of people interested in your knowledge to share your information to new people unfamiliar with your business and expertise. It is your job as a marketer to convert new visitors and connections from Twitter into leads. This isn't a blog post about how to get started on Twitter or get a ton of followers. We already have a ton of information to help you get started using Twitter for business . This article is for people who understand Twitter and are looking to take the next step to drive leads for their business.
Generating B2B Leads With Twitter Profile Pages
A Twitter profile page presents a couple of opportunities to optimize for lead generation. The first opportunity for optimization is the Twitter background. First, make sure you have a custom Twitter background for your company. What is also important is to include a call-to-action or URLs pointing visitors to potential lead generating web properties. Make sure that if someone arrives at your Twitter profile, they will instantly know how to get more information. In addition, make sure they can obtain that information in a way that could also convert them into a lead. As a bonus, you can use the browser extension ClickableNow to make your Twitter profile background links and calls-to-action clickable for users who have the plug-in installed.
The second, and more important opportunity you have to use a Twitter profile page to drive B2B leads is with the profile URL. Most companies simply put a link to their corporate website homepage. This approach is fine, as along as you have lead generation opportunities on your homepage and have done some testing to optimize your homepage as a lead generation tool. The problem is that many businesses don't use their homepage to drive leads. If this is true for your business, then you may want to consider using the URL for your blog if you are using it as a lead generation tool. The other option is to create a custom Twitter landing page that provides information and insight about your company and includes a clear call-to-action or form to support lead generation.
Distributing Content via Twitter for Lead Generation
Using Twitter as a way to distribute content and information can helps drive leads for other content properties such as blogs, contests, webinars, eBooks, etc . When distributing content via Twitter, use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to track statistics for the clicks and shares of your content on Twitter. This will be an important set of data to better understand what subjects and types of content drive the best traffic and leads from Twitter.
Twitter serves as a great platform to generate word-of-mouth buzz around your content and ideas. As a marketer, it is critical that you have clear calls-to-action and lead generation opportunities on your blog, in your eBooks and other content you are sharing on Twitter. This, combined with closed loop web analytics , can drive clear reporting for leads and customers acquired through Twitter.
Using Twitter Search for Lead Generation
One of the major keys to mining Twitter for information is being able to find the most relevant information and people to your business: customers, thought leaders, media analysts, etc. Using advanced Twitter Search allows businesses to dig deeper into conversations. If you find a key reporter or analyst that covers your business on Twitter, leverage the people search feature to see who they have been talking to about your industry. This can help identify what your competitors' relationships are like with influencers and help you determine the type of information and trends they are covering. Knowing this can help your business to tell its story better and improve lead generation offers.
When identifying sales prospects and influencers on Twitter, bio information is a key piece of data. Tweep Search is a third party tool that enables users to search Twitter bios for keywords. As seen in the image above, gathering listings of users by industry and expertise is free and simple. This information can be used to generate leads and build a relevant Twitter follower base.
Twitter is simple and yet complicated at the same time. Conduct tests and leverage the advice from this post to develop effective Twitter lead generation strategies for your business.How has your business used Twitter for lead genernation?
Originally published Jun 8, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017