For some B2B marketers, Twitter isn't intuitive. I could come up with a list of reasons why not, but you can probably do that on your own. The thing is that many B2B companies want to establish a social media presence. They want to get their companies on the social media map so they don't miss an opportunity. The kicker is that it's not always as easy as it looks.
Through some very unscientific experience, I've discovered a few things:
- Using Twitter handles in Tweets gets more Re-Tweets.
We are, after all, people. People like seeing their handle in a Tweet. It will go into their mentions where they will see it. They'll include you in their Thanks Tweet or RT your Tweet with a "Thanks" - giving your Tweet more exposure. Others also identify with Twitter handles they recognize and are more likely to click the link you share or Re-Tweet.
- Always attribute.
I can't tell you how many Tweets I see with the title of a post and a link. That's it. And, you know what? That's lazy. If you want people to notice and respond to your Tweets, include the name of the blog, person, company or other identifying characteristic so those you Tweet about know you have and so that others are more likely to recognize why they should click.
- Be Creative.
Don't always use the title of a blog post or article when you Tweet. Find something interesting to say, ask a question or something else that will entice people to engage.
- Add a little something personal.
When you Tweet or RT, add a phrase or word that puts your spin on the Tweet. Yes, some people use all their characters requiring us to restructure their Tweets to fit in our comment, but it can be done with a bit of thought. Just keep the main idea, the link and the attribution handles. If you want to become known as a relied-upon resource, add your $0.02 to show people why they should follow you for access to great content they find useful.
- Ask for Help.
Putting a "Pls RT" at the end of your Tweets can help encourage people to do so. I wouldn't suggest doing this all the time, but sometimes we have something really great we want to share. Asking will encourage even lurkers to take action and help you spread the word.
- Be humble when you Tweet about YOUR stuff.
Do not be a sleazy, self-promotional putz. You know what I mean. The kind that posts about a "GREAT MUST READ" article, but after the click your audience sees it's your own stuff. Just put it out there to share with the best hook you've got and set it free. If it strikes a chord, people will RT your Tweet. And it's okay to RT with thanks once or twice, but don't do it every time. Do make sure to acknowledge people with a "Thanks for the RTs" Tweet or by direct message.
- Use Hashtags.
I forget about this one often myself, but many people have columns set up to follow hashtags (e.g. #marketing, #B2B, etc.) so you can gain a lot of additional exposure to those who may not be followers by using them. Do a bit of research and find out what tags the audience you want to attract is following. Then, make sure your Tweets are really relevant to that tag.
- RT someone you don't know well.
Look for new people who are Tweeting great stuff that aren't on everyone's radar. Help them get exposure and they'll repay the favor. Plus, it feels good to share a new find! And, the person you RT will feel good, too. I've met a lot of new people with great ideas by reaching out.
I think one of the things that gets confusing about Twitter is that the stream moves so fast. It can feel overwhelming and become a time suck if you let it. I was speaking with Trish Bertuzzi (@bridgegroupinc) one day and we joked that we should only Tweet while eating in order to limit our time! Of course that didn't work, but it sounded good at the time.
Instead of just grabbing things to post and moving on, take the time to put some thought into what you post - even if you post less. Remember that when we Tweet for business we've got goals to accomplish. What you choose to Tweet and how you choose to do so should be built around those goals.
Take the time to search for a Twitter handle, to create a great message and to construct it so that you leave 20 characters available for someone to easily RT. It'll pay off.
But we all need to remember that it's not just about the links. Sometimes it's about sharing a thought or idea or answering someone's question, responding to their ideas. Keep an eye out for those opportunities. They can lead to some amazing exchanges.
What would you add to my list above? Anything you disagree with?
Oh - and please follow me on Twitter @ardath421, if you're so inclined.