Written by Russell Davies

We’ve blogged before about Facebook and whether or not it’s right for a B2B audience. Prior to this, we explored the power of LinkedIn. This week, I’d like to turn the focus to an equally powerful online tool – Twitter.

Twitter experienced a difficult year of growth in 2017. Problems around harassment and abuse caused users and investors alike to re-evaluate their investment in the platform and this caused monthly active users to remain around 330 million over the course of the year. The platform was also scrutinised for simply not doing enough from a product development point of view to stay competitive.

But towards the end of the year, Twitter’s luck changed for the better. TechCrunch reported that “Twitter ended the year on a fascinating run”, managing to finish with shares up more than 36 per cent. The company received endorsements from Wall Street, and started to show real signs of innovation and plans for growth in 2018.

So, what does this mean for your business? Well, for starters it’s worth noting that, whilst all of this was happening, 74 per cent of B2B marketing companies were using Twitter to distribute content in 2017 (Content Marketing Institute).

More importantly, however, it means that your business can make use of the powerful tools that Twitter has always offered, but also ride this exciting new wave of momentum and reap the benefits (such as big investments into video, and increasing the tweet character count from 140 to 280).

Let’s also not forget that 330 million monthly active users is still huge. This alone places Twitter as one of the largest social media networks in the world. In other words, if you’re in B2B, there’s a high chance that your audience is actively searching for interesting content on a daily basis on Twitter.

So how can Twitter help your business?

Depending on your business needs and objectives, Twitter offers a selection of different campaign options. These can range from helping to build your following, maximise brand awareness and drive more targeted traffic to your website.

You can target your audience by country, gender, language, device and interests, all of which allow you make every click count. As with LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s important to remember that all paid advertising is done programmatically, which means that the entire online bidding process is done automatically, optimised to help you get the best return on your investment.

Twitter also offers the following additional targeting options:

  1. Keyword – Targeting users who search for specific keywords related to your product or messaging. This allows you to reach customers at the beginning of their search when they are exploring their pain-points.
  2. Followers – Targeting users who already follow a particular account, such as competitors or key influencers in your field. This can be useful if you’re aware of a competitor and want to leverage their own audience whilst you build your own.
  3. Behaviour – Targeting users who share a particular behaviour, lifestyle or shopping habit. Perhaps your audience all read via Kindles, or listen to a particular type of music.

Alternatively, if you have your own list, then you can upload this to the platform and target these data-points specifically with more personalised content. Or, you can build a list from scratch based on users who have visited your website, targeting these users with lower down the funnel content to provide a more relevant user journey. And when you consider the fact that visitors who are remarketed with ads are 70 per cent more likely to convert, this starts to be quite an attractive option.

Twitter also offers effective organic advertising. The rapid-fire nature of updates means that your business can establish an almost ‘real-time’ conversation with its community of followers. You can use a number of different ad units including animated GIFs, which are proven to drive six times more engagement than basic text ads. This helps to keep your followers engaged and build stronger relationships which ultimately drive business growth. It also means that you can respond to customer interactions and complaints sooner, helping to achieve greater customer satisfaction.

You can also use Twitter to drive influencer campaigns, and turbo-charge your marketing efforts. It’s no new concept, but one of the most effective ways to connect and engage with new audiences, without the price tag of paid advertisements. In fact, 87% of marketers planned to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017. It involves finding and connecting with key influencers in the field that you care about most, and leveraging their own influence, as well as the trust that they have built with their community, to drive awareness of your own product or brand. An increasingly popular option, particularly with the increase of ad-blockers.

When you link all of this together with the many different creative ad units that Twitter offers such as multiple video options, static image advertisements, animated GIFs and even the possibility of image recognition triggered ads on the horizon, you have one of the most effective ways of connecting and engaging with your audience in 2018.

What do we think? Despite a rocky ride in 2017, Twitter is one to look out for this year, as it continues to make serious investments in its platform capabilities and technologies. If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to reach the people you care about most, Twitter should be top priority for your marketing mix.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you get a head start on 2018 using Twitter.

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