Twitter is one of the best social media platforms for B2B marketing. Why? Because it’s open and it’s public (unless you set your profile on private of course). People frequently check in to share professional content, to do research and to engage with companies. Best of all, Twitter is a great place for businesses to find the people who are interested in what they’re selling.
At this point, there’s a myriad of options available when it comes to using Twitter to promote your brand and generate leads. In this article, we’ll walk you the different options available and provide some guidance on how to choose the best option to achieve your lead generation goals.
Broadly speaking, there’s three approaches to generating leads on Twitter:
- Manually identify your target audience, reach out to individuals one on one.
- Use Twitter’s in-house advertising options
- Use a social demand generation system that leverages Twitter data as a starting point but allows you to engage with your audience on a deeper level.
For this article, we’ll focus on the last two options.
Twitter’s In-House Advertising Options
Twitter has suite of advertising options that allow you to target the right people so that your ads are displayed for Twitter users who are most likely to be interested in your content, product and services. Here’s a run-down.
Promoted Accounts allows you to grow your audience of followers and build social proof.
Promoted Accounts are displayed in multiple locations across the Twitter platform, including the Home Timelines, “Who to Follow” widget on the left side of a user’s logged-in Twitter.com homepage and Connect as well as the “Who to Follow” page, in “People” search results, and on users’ profile pages as part of the “Similar to you” widget.
A user may see your Promoted Account as a suggestion if your account is relevant to them. Using this type of ad allows you to grow a larger base of Twitter followers, thus increasing the credibility of your account.
You can target users in several ways:
- Keywords: Target people who have used certain keywords in their tweets, and the tweets they’ve recently engaged with, and users who search for specific terms on Twitter
- Interests and followers
- Tailored audiences – Target users based on past visits to your website, email addresses and other data from your CRM system, or lists of Twitter IDs
- Devices and Platforms
For all ad formats, pricing is based a pay per action basis within a bidding system.
Is it worthwhile to run a Promoted Accounts campaign?
When you run a Promoted Accounts campaign, you’re spending dollars to grow an audience of followers, not necessarily engaged users or users who provide their contact information on their website. You’ll need to deploy other tactics to encourage your followers to take more high value actions (i.e. sign up for a subscription, visit your website, download a piece of content).
Measuring the ROI of a Promoted Account campaign can be tricky. While you could assign a value to each follower, it’s harder to measure the ROI based on revenue generated from the campaign, especially if you have a longer sales cycle. Someone who follows you may not be ready to consider your product for a year. Or they may be interested in your tweets but never purchase from you.
To measure the ROI of your campaign, you’ll need to add a Twitter website code to your website. This is not a simple process. For example, if you use the Twitter’s universal website tag to track multiple website conversions, you’ll need to generate a new single-event website tag code snippet for each new conversion event (i.e. site visit, download, sign-up, purchase). Then, you’ll need to place that code snippet on every place on your website where a conversion event is completed.
In addition, you’ll need to select the time window for crediting Twitter with conversions that happen after a person engages with your campaign. Twitter provides many options for post-engagement attribution window – from 1 to 90 days. But for many B2B businesses, a follower may not turn into a customer for months. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to accurately measure the ROI of your campaign.
Promoted tweets are like regular tweets but they allow you to reach a larger audience of people interested in your business. They can be used to promote your best content. You can use promoted tweets to:
- Drive website traffic by asking users to click on your best content
- Drive leads using Lead Generation Cards
- Promote sales and giveaways
- Expand the reach of your content like blog posts, whitepapers
- Increase the likelihood that influencers and brand advocates see your content
- Promote awareness around events and product launches
Twitter uses a variety of signals to determine which Promoted Tweets are relevant to users, including what a user chooses to follow, how they interact with a Tweet, what they retweet, and more. Targeting options are the same as for Promoted Accounts.
Leads campaigns are a type of a Promoted Tweet. They are designed to help marketers collect emails from people who express interest in their offer by allowing Twitter users to quickly and securely share their email address with the brand. With two clicks, potential customers can share their contact information with you so you can follow up with them later.
When someone expands a Tweet with a Lead Generation card, they’ll see a description of the offer and a call to action – usually a specific follow up action such as receiving a newsletter or special offer. The user will see their first and last name, @username, and partial email address (which they have previously entered in their Twitter settings) already pre-filled within the Card. With one click, the user can send this information direct to you.
[Illustration provided by Hubspot]
Once leads come in via your Lead Generation Card, you can download them directly from the Card in CSV format.
Are these Lead Campaigns worthwhile?
This is going to depend on what you offer and whom you’re trying to reach. Are you looking to get new subscribers for your email newsletter? Or are you trying to find qualified leads to pass to your sales team?
While this ad offering provides you with some lead information, it may not give you enough information to follow-up with leads. Remember that this option only provides you with a lead’s name, email address and @username. In the B2B space, we often need more data to figure out what to do with a lead. For example, at Socedo, we rely on fields like company size and technology usage to qualify people and to segment leads into different nurture paths. We need leads to provide a phone number in order for marketing to pass a lead to sales.
At Socedo, if we chose to run a Twitter Lead Campaign, we would need to take the email addresses provided by Twitter, try to match to other data fields by leveraging data enrichment services like Clearbit to get more info about the lead (company size, industry, job title) before we decide how to follow up with these leads. However, data enrichment providers tend be decent at matching corporate addresses to other fields, but are fairly bad at matching personal email addresses.
Twitter Trends appear alongside or within every user’s timeline, and represent emerging popular topics. Promoted Trends occupy the top spot among a user’s trend and can receive a lot of exposure. When a user clicks on a Promoted Trend, they can see Twitter results for that topic, with a related Promoted Tweet from the advertiser at the top. Promoted Trends are visible to all users on Twitter.com while they are being promoted.
At this point, we haven’t come across any good examples of B2B companies using Promoted Trends.
With App Cards, you can share your app with a relevant audience. The App Card allows mobile users to preview an image, view app ratings, and install or open an app directly from their timelines.
You can use App cards to increase downloads, encourage people to re-engage with your app, and target users most likely to install your app.
How to Measure ROI from Twitter Ads
Our role as B2B marketers as changed a lot in the past decade. In the past, we could sit back once we’ve generated enough leads (a list of contacts) for the sales team. Today, most of us are accountable not only for generating leads, but we also need to make sure that we pass over leads that sales can close.
Twitter Ads, like other advertising offering, provide you with common performance metrics such as CPL, CPC, cost-per-action, number of clicks and conversions on your website (if you set up conversion tracking). These metrics are enough if you’re a B2C brand selling products that consumers can immediately purchase. But for most B2B companies, the metrics provided by Twitter Ads are not the metrics that allow you to measure the true ROI of your campaigns.
Don’t be too impressed if your Twitter campaign generates a thousand new followers or 5000 shares. Look at whether this engagement translates to leads that move through your funnel and turn into opportunities. You want to look at the cost of acquiring a new customer through your ads, not simply the cost per action or CPL.
Here are some questions to answer to get to the real ROI of your Twitter ad campaigns:
- How many leads are generated as a result of my campaign? We recommend that you count conversions on your website, not simply clicks, retweets, or new followers you got.
- Are these leads engaging with my website or emails or other programs after they took that initial conversion action?
- How many Twitter leads have become Marketing Qualified Leads based on our company’s definition?
- How many these Twitter leads have become sales qualified leads? How many have closed?
- Funnel velocity: How long does it take for these Twitter leads to move through each stage of the funnel? Are they getting stuck somewhere?
- You can use these conversion rates and your CPL from the ad campaign to figure out the true cost to acquire a new customer (CaaC) from this campaign. Then you can compare the CaaC from this campaign to other marketing channels and programs.
- What’s the average selling price (ASP) for a customer acquired from the ad campaign? How does that compare to the ASP of customers from other programs/channels?
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you’re generating more revenue from these customers than the cost of running your ad campaign.
Option 2: Use a Social Demand Generation System
With a social demand generation system like Socedo in place, you could set up automated programs to discover, engage and qualify new leads through Twitter. This system has some similarities to Twitter’s in-house advertising options, but some key differences as well.
- Discover and Target the Right Buyers
Socedo allows you to discover your target audience based on Twitter content. You can search for your target audience based on keywords such as location, job title, industry, events, topical hashtags as well as interactions with brands and influencers (follow, mentions, retweets).
Our system has indexed a significant portion of Twitter and we’ve built a large database tweets skewed towards businesses. Once you enter your criteria, our system will run the search to identify matching content from Twitter and LinkedIn, and immediately serve up prospects whose recent tweets and engagement patterns meet your criteria. This isn’t a one type search. Once you’ve set up your target keywords, our system will continue to discover new prospects based on new tweets every day.
In our system, you can look through leads’ profiles and either manually choose which leads you want to reach out or utilize our team to approve leads on your behalf.
2. Create Contextually relevant lead nurture programs on Twitter
Once you’ve discovered your target audience, our system can automatically follow these people on Twitter and add them to certain lists. For contacts who follow you back, you can trigger a direct message 24 hours later and offer them relevant content (i.e. an e-book) aligned to their buyer persona and interest.
We’ve found that Twitter direct messages get very good engagements and often outperform emails by 10X. With a direct message targeted only to relevant prospects, you can get more people to take actions like visiting your website or downloading your content. By driving your prospects to a gated landing page where you offer a valuable piece of content, you can capture their contact information into your marketing automation system.
3. Generate new contacts or leads & sync them into your marketing automation or CRM system
Socedo can generate new contacts or leads in two different ways. You can simply use Socedo to drive traffic to your website, by sending your target prospects direct messages that link to a gated landing page on your website. People who are fill out the form are added to your marketing automation system or CRM. Alternately, you can get new leads’ contact information directly through Socedo.
Once Socedo finds your target audience on Twitter, the system matches people’s social media profile to other lead qualification data points including their company name, industry, job title, corporate email address, phone number and more. You can export this data as a CSV file, or sync this data automatically into your marketing automation system or CRM.
Unlike typical data enrichment solutions that provide periodic updates, Socedo provides contacts based on real-time social media activity (recent tweets that match your criteria).
4. Test targeting criteria, messages and CTAs.
In Socedo, you can set up multiple campaigns and test out different targeting keywords to see which ones provide you with the best leads or target audience. You can also A/B test Twitter direct messages and see what messaging and CTA performs best for a particular audience.
5. See Measurable ROI from Social Media Marketing
While Twitter’s advertising platform will give you engagement metrics and cost metrics, Socedo gives you visibility into how your social campaigns are performing and impacting conversions at each stage of your marketing funnel. By integrating with Google Analytics, Salesforce, Marketo and Hubspot, we can show you how your campaigns translate to new leads, marketing qualified leads, opportunities and revenue.
6. Monitor buying signals from your existing leads to accelerate leads through your funnel
Social media represents a source of real-time buying interest. Socedo can match the leads in your database to their social media profiles, monitor their real-time social media activities (engagements with your brand, competitors, events in your space, influencers), and provide you an on-going record of their social media activities as well as a historical record.
With this type of data in your marketing automation system, you can trigger new workflows, email campaigns, and reach out to warm leads sooner and update your lead scoring model to pass more qualified leads to your sales team.
Want to see how you can find your target audience on Twitter? Sign-up for a free trial of Socedo.