The Art & Science of the B2B Tweet and Strategic Intent!

Given the reality of inbound marketing in the B2B realm, especially in the long sales cycle kind, marketers need to have a well-crafted social media strategy that combines creative talent with logical skills in order to achieve desired results.  This is especially true with Twitter, where 140-character messages inundate the social media networking space, so getting noticed is challenging enough, not to mention eliciting a reaction to your tweet.

The Marketing Id assumes that the underlying purpose of a B2B tweet goes beyond the traditional “broadcast and inform” variety and that the majority of B2B tweets have a strategic intent.  In doing so, they are part of the B2B sales enablement process and thus support a desired phase of the B2B’s overall revenue performance management cycle.  Accordingly, it becomes critical for every strategic B2B tweet to be embedded with an appropriate click-compelling link, which a percentage of readers are expected to click through to per the B2B’s marketing plan.

In order to better understand the art and science of a strategic B2B tweet, The Marketing Id needs to deconstruct its 140 characters approximately as follows:

  1. Actual strategic message text             100 characters
  2. Related hashtag(s)                             20 characters
  3. Go to compressed link                        20 characters

While Twitter provides 140 characters to communicate, the actual message text needs to be less than 100 characters for a strategic B2B tweet.  The other 40 characters are of critical importance to a B2B marketer – these 40 characters will invariably become the source for either an existing customer/prospect or better yet an originating source for a new one! In dissecting the actual message text – 100 characters allows for approximately 10 to 15 words in which the B2B must succinctly convey a very powerful message.

From the halcyon days of those Mad Men of Madison Avenue to these present times of rather chaotic social media marketing, the age-old AIDA concept for messaging and advertising still rings true.  For a B2B’s 100 character message to resonate on Twitter, it must instantly draw Attention, grab its reader’s Interest, create sufficient Desire so that the reader will be compelled to take instantaneous Action and click either on the related hashtag or on the link embedded in the full 140-character tweet.  It is important to use URL compression, such as offered by TinyURL or Bitly, on the actual link address so that the URL is shortened to inside 20 characters.  Twitter has also recently integrated its own t.co auto-shortening service for tweets.

So what about the hashtag and how is it related to the embedded link?  B2B marketers can use the hashtag to promote marketing campaigns, events, collateral, products, PR etc. with a related link that can direct readers to a landing page where they can be processed per the B2B’s strategic intent.  The B2B’s purpose might be to make available, in exchange for basic reader contact information, a critical white paper from a subject matter expert, or a product-related webinar on demand, or an invite-only new product demo, etc.  Associated hashtags also embedded in the tweet allow readers to link with a specific audience that is already participating in related Twitter discussions.  The marketing possibilities are endless but each one of them must be geared towards supporting the B2B’s revenue performance management cycle.

The Marketing Id believes the best way to illustrate the art and science of a strategic B2B tweet is by example.  So we will draw from a couple of recent blog posts that cited certain key events and create the requisite strategic tweet in each case to promote those specific events.  The Marketing Id’s readers can then decide if the generated tweets meet the AIDA test and are click-worthy enough to compel them on to landing pages associated with their respective events.  The Marketing Id’s sample tweets are as follows:

Example 1:

Learn how a social enterprise can become the Holy Grail for B2B marketers in sales enablement–watch #Dreamforce2011 keynote @ bit.ly/nDVDcO

The hashtag (#Dreamforce2011) takes readers to a Twitter page that highlights all the tweets relating to this event. The compressed URL (bit.ly/nDVDcO) takes readers to a YouTube video that plays the “Opening Keynote: Part 1 – Welcome to the Social Enterprise.”

Example 2:

Here’s how a B2B marketer can incorporate social media at every stage of the revenue cycle–download #Marketo whitepaper @ bit.ly/9ofVoF

The hashtag (#Marketo) takes readers to a Twitter page that educates them on other reader experiences with Marketo. The compressed URL (bit.ly/9ofVoF) takes readers to a landing page that lets readers download “The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media.”

From these couple of examples, it can be seen that Twitter is a powerful social media tool that can be used very effectively to generate demand in the B2B world, if a marketer recognizes that there is an art and science to every strategic B2B tweet.  So let your B2B marketers creative juices flow and intermingle with their logical streams – the result could very well be a lead that began with a simple, albeit strategic, tweet!

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About Jack Nargundkar

High-tech marketing is always a constant compromise between logical left-brain analytics and creative right-brain activities. Jack has been living this struggle his entire working career, which he began as a software geek after graduating with a BSEE degree from Bombay University. To hone his marketing skills, Jack went on to pursue an MBA degree from Columbia Business School in New York City. Jack has since gained wide-ranging marketing experience from working at start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the global IT, Defense & Space, and Telecommunications industries. In the past few years, Jack has focused on developing integrated marketing strategies and plans that incorporate a judicious mix of inbound and outbound marketing techniques. In addition to being a self-published author, Jack has been recognized for outstanding analytical and communications skills, authoring technical articles (self and ghosted) in numerous trade publications and editorial opinions in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
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