B2B Marketing Blog

5 Things We Learned After Using Twitter for B2B Lead Generation

By Andrew Nguyen
Feb 12, 2015
Find me on:

Twitter is a peculiar platform. For B2B marketers, it doesn’t provide the most functional targeting features. And case studies provide conflicting results on whether B2B lead generation is actually effective on the 284 million strong social network.

With the majority of revenue coming from mobile advertising, a channel that leans towards B2C, it’s no wonder B2B marketers look at Twitter lead generation and think: meh...

However, that hasn’t stopped Twitter from increasing focus on its ad platform. In their latest earnings call, Twitter’s ad revenue per 1,000 timeline views (Twitter’s version of CPM) jumped sharply, a sign that advertisers are spending more.

twitter_ad_revenue_per_thousand_timeline_views_copy

From BusinessInsider.com 

Twitter totalled $220 million in ad revenue in Q4 2014, increasing 121% year-over-year. The majority of which came from mobile advertising, which makes up 75% of total ad revenue.

We talked in the past about how to use paid search and LinkedIn for effective lead generation, but haven’t shared our experience using Twitter.

In short, it left us wanting. But provided plenty of valuable lessons. And B2B demand generation on Twitter is young.

We split Twitter advertising into three areas, much like you, and those are 1) Community engagement, 2) Building your lead generation pipeline, and 3) Event promotion.

Using Twitter For Community Engagement And Customer Acquisition

Twitter is effective from a community engagement standpoint. If you aren’t already using a social media tool, do it. There are a bunch of reliable ones like HootSuite, Tweetdeck (which we use at Bizible), and SproutSocial. Choose the one that’s right for you.

A best practice is of course following the relevant keywords in your industry. You never know when an opportunity to recommend your product for a problem that a Twitter user is Tweeting about.

Without your finger on the pulse you may miss simple conversations like this which can easily be taken offline for a demo, and result in a new customer:

bizible_twitter_lead_gen

You should follow influencers in the space. Creating lists on Twitter or your social media tool can organize Tweets from the most important influencers.

The below opportunity, resulted in Bizible being published in SearchEngineWatch which resulted in a number of leads and customers for us.

bizible_lead_gen_twitter_2

Creating a community is incredibly powerful. While Twitter has not worked well for us as a paid channel, we receive a consistent flow of leads organically from Twitter, from people sharing our blog posts and content downloads.

The table below shows our leads by websource, and in this case: organic leads from Twitter.

lead_generation_on_twitter

Reports like these help content marketers understand how their content is driving leads and new customers.

While content marketing has emerged in recent years as a powerful tactic for generating awareness, enabling content marketing to track and report on the revenue is the topic of conversation right now. 

These reports are available via Bizible, learn more about our product here. End shameless plug. 

Make Lead Generation Cards Work For B2B Marketing Using Twitter

Search “b2b lead generation twitter” and the first two results provide completely contradictory opinions on the effectiveness of Twitter.

The first organic result is written by conversion optimization expert Jeremy Said for Crazy Egg, and provides a deep dive on B2B lead gen:

twitter_for_b2b_lead_gen_is_not_effective

The second search result provides a different opinion.

twitter_advertising_b2b
 

The marketers at B2B internet marketing firm, BopDesign, had a higher success rate for lead generation using Twitter. And they outlined their process clearly here.

Twitter for lead generation is still young and there's still a lot to learn. For those who like data and experimenting, now's a good time test Twitter Lead Generation Cards for your industry. 

The Twitter Card

Twitter unveiled their Lead Generation Card in summer 2013 and it may be too early to tell whether it’s a viable channel for B2B marketers.

Here’s how it works. A Lead Generation Card includes an image and an offer. The user’s email address pre-filled. Users submit their lead information with one click and never leave your Tweet.

It’s a streamlined process that avoids popups, separate landing pages and lengthy forms, resulting in highest conversion

Advertisers pay on a cost-per-lead basis and bid on access to their target audience. You can target based on followers, keywords, and interests.

Testing content offers the cost-per-lead was $8.23, making it our cheapest (paid) lead source. However, conversion to opportunity was incredibly poor.

Why didn’t it work for us?

This is the classic lead generate vs pipeline marketing conundrum and why we measure marketing by revenue, not leads.

All this is not to say that Twitter should be ignored by B2B marketers. Twitter can compliment your organic Twitter activity, building your brand awareness.

Here’s what our Twitter card looked like.
twitter_lead_generation_card

Wishlist For B2B Lead Generation On Twitter

If we had a wishlist for making Twitter more effective the two highest items on that list would be to improve targeting parameters, e.g. target people who follow @Salesforce AND @AdWords, and be able to ask custom qualifying questions.   

Use Twitter To Drive (Foot) Traffic

Conferences, trade shows and exhibitions generate a lot of business. Only 9% of B2B marketers rely on virtual events alone, and 72% of B2B marketers helped conduct at least one conference in 2014.

When it comes to marketing physical events, using social media ranked in the top 3 most effective channel.

top_3_most_effective_channels_b2b_lead_gen

From Ayaz Nanji, co-founder of Inbound ContentWorks

Twitter is a vehicle for getting more foot traffic to your events. Sending activation information, maps and offers via Twitter provides air support for your boots on the ground.

Here’s an example of how we directed visitors to our booth at last year’s Dreamforce.

twitter_for_event_promotion_b2b

There You Have It

Although we haven’t had a lot of success on Twitter there is still room for more exploration. Do you have feedback on using Twitter for B2B demand generation? Send us a tip @Bizible and share your knowledge on our blog. 

Follow our blog here

Definitive Guide To Pipeline Marketing  Everything you need to know to be a revenue-focused B2B marketer.  Download Now

Topics: lead generation, social media marketing, demand generation

  New Call-to-action