This is an excerpt from our research study “B2B Demand Generation Trends on Twitter”. You can download the complete report here.
From a marketing perspective, two things set Twitter apart from other social networks.
The first is Twitter’s open nature. Unlike other social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook, Twitter is completely open and public. You can see anyone’s Twitter page, including their profile, what they’ve posted, what posts they’ve shared, and whom they are following.
The second thing that sets Twitter apart is its real-time updates. According to Internet Live Stats, every second, on average, around 6,000 new tweets are posted, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets a year.
Because all the information on Twitter is public, marketers can get creative with this data to reach their target audiences. Yet, the sheer volume of activity and noise on Twitter makes precise targeting a challenge.
To help B2B marketers understand how to take advantage of Twitter for lead generation, we decided to analyze how our customer base has used the Socedo platform – which gathers and analyzes data from Twitter in real-time – to reach their target audiences.
We looked at how over 500 B2B marketers have used the Socedo platform and Twitter data for lead generation.
These marketers are using Socedo to gain new Twitter follows, engage with sales prospects through direct messages, and acquire new contacts for their inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Collectively, our customers have gained more than 7 million Twitter followers, sent more than 5.6 direct messages (DMs) and generated over 1.5 million responses from their campaigns.
As you look around and think about how your organization can take advantage of real-time activity from Twitter and the broader web in your marketing programs, we hope that our findings can help inform your organization’s demand generation strategy.
In this study, we answer these questions:
- When does it make sense for B2B marketers to turn to Twitter to reach their prospects?
- How much data is Socedo processing from Twitter?
- Which types of professionals are most active on Twitter?
- What types of strategies are B2B marketers using to find their target audiences on Twitter?
- What are the performance benchmarks for lead generation campaigns across Socedo’s customer base?
- What are the top performing keywords and hashtags based on user response rates and click through rates?
- How is Socedo investing in predictive intelligence to help its customers find more prospects?
I. When does it make sense for B2B marketers to turn to Twitter to find new leads?
B2B marketers have no shortage of options when it comes to lead generation.
LinkedIn has the largest repository of B2B professional data and provides a suite of advertising and marketing solutions. There are also hundreds of B2B contact data providers and companies that offer paid lead generation programs.
So, why should B2B marketers to turn to Twitter for lead generation? When does it make sense to invest time and money on Twitter?
We acknowledge that Twitter is not the best place to find new leads for all businesses, as the coverage of professionals on Twitter varies widely by industry. There’s also a ton of noise on Twitter that has nothing to do with B2B buying.
Yet, Twitter has one unique advantage: Twitter provides a ton of intent data in real-time to anyone who wants to take advantage of it.
Intent data is user activity or behaviors that indicate buying interest. With intent data, you can figure out who is showing interest in your space, what topics they care about, and predict where someone is in a buying cycle.
On Twitter, you can see everyone’s tweets and profile pages. With tools that process this data (like Socedo), you can figure out who is a potential lead for your business, what they care about, and target them when they are showing interest in your space.
As B2B marketers, we all know that timing matters. If you could reach someone within a few minutes after they showed interest in your brand, you can get a much higher response rate than if had you waited a few days.
II. The State of Data in Socedo
Every day, on average, our system is searching anywhere between 15-20 million new tweets. We index and store about 4 million new tweets into our system every day. All the data on each person’s Twitter profile – including the individual tweets, follow relationships, enhanced bio and location information – is stored in a giant “global index” in our system.
Our system lets users find their target audience based on both conversational and biographical keywords found in people’s Twitter pages and their LinkedIn profiles. Every Socedo user can utilize public Twitter data (i.e. tweets, follower relationships) from all past searches in their own search to instantly get lead results.
As of the end of February 2017, we’ve indexed over 102,000 unique conversational keywords.
While this may not sound like a ton of data compared to the entire Twitter verse, keep in mind that our system is only indexing the keywords our customers are using to find business professionals. In the last 12 months, we’ve seen on average a 1.9% month-over-month growth in our keyword index.
To date through Socedo campaigns, our customers have:
- Used nearly 13,000 unique keywords to search for their target audiences
- Gained over 7 million Twitter followers
- Sent over 5.6 million direct messages through their campaigns
- Generated over 1.5 million responses
III. Which types of professionals are most active on Twitter?
There is still the lingering perception that B2B buyers aren’t active on Twitter. Based on our data, we have to say this just isn’t the case.
Within Socedo, we have built out 10 templates, or sets of keywords, to identify various groups of professionals:
- UX Designers
- Marketing Professionals
- IT Professionals
- Software Engineers
- Finance Professionals
- Sales Professionals
- Real Estate Professionals
- HR Professionals
Each template contains a set of bio keywords which commonly show up on people’s LinkedIn or Twitter profiles. Each template also contains a set of conversational keywords, which are things that people talk about in their tweets.
For example, the marketing professional template contains bio keywords such as “Advertising”, “Chief Marketing Officer”, “Digital Marketer”, “Growth Hacker”, and “Search Engine Marketing”.
This template contains conversational keywords on popular topics marketers care about, such as @ContentMarketing, #SEO and Marketing Automation and lead generation.
We ran a search to see how many professionals we can match on Twitter based on our templates and here’s what we found.
In the past 30 days, over 5.8 million professionals across these ten industries have tweeted at least once in the last 30 days.
Nearly 1.2 million UX designers, 1.1 million marketers and over 840,000 entrepreneurs have tweeted at least once in the last 30 days.
On average, a UX designer tweeted 7 times in the past 30-day time period. The average marketer and average entrepreneur tweeted 8 times in a 30-day time period.
And although certain professions such as lawyers and HR Professionals are not nearly as active on Twitter, there is a clearly a subset of people who are very active, as the average lawyer and HR professional who tweeted in the last 30-day period tweeted 8 times.
In the past 180 days, over 10.4 million professionals have tweeted.
When you compare the 180-day data to the last 30-days data, you’ll see that for every professional group, at least more than half of those who have tweeted in the past 180 days have also logged in and tweeted within the past 30 days.
If you compare the All-Time data to the last 30-days data, you’ll find that over one-third of all those who tweeted at any point also tweeted within the past 30 days.
IV. How are Socedo customers using keywords on Twitter to reach their target audiences?
There are a lot of ways to answer this question. To start, we looked at most frequently used hashtags, keywords and follower relationships across our entire customer base. Based on the types of terms used, we started seeing a few types of keyword strategies emerge:
- Cast a wide net – use broad keywords
- Target people who are following or engaging with large technology companies
- Target people who are following or engaging with industry publications
- Target people who engage with individual influencers/thought leaders/authors
- Target well-known industry conferences
One caveat to the analysis is that the majority of customers we have today are in the technology, businesses/professional services, media and advertising or HR industries. The keywords indexed in our system tend to focus on these industries.
Top 30 most used hashtags used across our entire customer base
For insights on targeting strategies, performance benchmarks and more, take a look at the complete study. You can download this study below (click on the image).
In addition, we’ve published our data as interactive visualizations so that you can explore the dataset for yourself. We recommend you view it in full screen.