1000 is critical mass in B2B. It’s the magic number where things will start to happen organically if you get a group together. But acquiring 1000 real meaningful Twitter followers is hard. We almost did it in 30 days (870 and counting!) Here are some things that worked for us that might also work for you:
– Start by identifying 100 key people to follow in your industry. Find related accounts and follow who they follow, or their lists. Engage with their content; if it’s good, share it. There is no secret formula to following but if you notice that the bios following you are not really the audience you’re after, watch your content and your following.
– With B2B content you reap what you sow. If your niche is dentistry, how can you add value to the dentistry discussion on social? Have an angle, a focus. It will help you stand out and make your content planning that much more straightforward. We posted a lot of content because we could and still maintain quality; reduce frequency vs compromising in quality.
– If you have no followers, you need more than random hashtags, you need a hashtag strategy. Include a relevant but not too specific hashtag in each tweet. People who search for that hashtag will then see your tweet and your follower count could see a nice boost.
Bad hashtag: congrats to #publicis on their #new RTB #partnership with MDC
Good hashtag: congrats to #publicis on their new #RTB partnership with #MDC
– Be responsive if possible. Budget daily responsive time in three 20-minute chunks. Scan Twitter for stories that are not yet huge or have a new angle. Ignore those mainstream stories. Your goal here is niche.
Prep time: Invest the time if you want to figure our how to stand out and then prep up to 70% of your tweets. The quality of our tweets is high. That helped us gain credibility with the B2B Twitter audience and generated a significant amount of engagement, but it required an investment of time and creativity. Expect senior staff to spend two hours a night to get a similar 20-tweet-a-day schedule in place. However, most B2Bs only need to do a portion of that volume; most industries don’t have significant enough developments for more than four to 20 posts a week.
Hashtags: did we mention hashtags? It is hard to overstate how important hashtags are early on. Some will generate hundreds of impressions. The key is the balance between too specific and not enough.
Test: we found out early personally oriented content and humor did not resonate with this audience and that digital marketing was a big draw, as were technology and entrepreneurship content.
Worst practices: we got 42 autoDMs during the first two weeks. Nearly 10% of our followers. How is this still happening? Please do not use auto-DMs; even the very best crafted are annoying and pointless, if not off-puttingly intimate.
The most important takeaway we can share is to focus as much as possible on a niche by using key hashtags and adding value. Going wider with generic content to attract a wider audience is never a good idea; it’s confusing to your core and may result in you gaining neither.
Photo by Ferran Jordà, Flickr