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Five things to know about lead generation on Twitter

A Forbes article back in 2013 claimed “Twitter is the strongest social media channel for generating business-to-business (B2B) leads”. Two years on, opinion is more divided, and the success stats out there are very mixed. The truth is that B2B lead generation on Twitter is still relatively new, and there is much experimentation still to be done. For the B2B industry particularly there remains a lot to learn, but now’s a very good time to be testing Twitter’s lead generation capabilities, to see how it may work for your business.

There’s no denying that Twitter is placing increased focus on its ad platform. In its Q4 earnings last year, Twitter said its global ad revenues for the quarter came in at $2.37 per 1,000 timeline views, its standard engagement metric. That was up 60 percent from a year earlier. For the quarter, mobile ad sales accounted for 88 percent of the total, up from 85 percent in the third quarter.

This goes to show that advertisers are spending more on Twitter, but if you are relatively new to using it for lead generation, don’t be tempted to burn through cash too quickly. Starting slow can be the best way to grow your Twitter lead generation programme. Remember it’s possible to use Twitter without spending a penny, so spend with caution.

It can be easy to get bogged down in the do’s and don’ts of Twitter, and there is much you can do for free...but if you are thinking of allocating some budget to your Twitter lead generation programme, here are five things you should know...

1.       Supplement your organic reach with paid tweets

It can be helpful to have a good balance of organic and paid-for tweets, particularly as Twitter has been actively reducing the reach of its organic tweets. If you are keen to explore the full potential of Twitter as a lead generation platform, then Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets are worth experimenting with.

Promoted Accounts show up in search results and in the “Who to follow” section, Twitter’s own account recommendation engine. They will be displayed to users who meet your targeting criteria. You will only be charged when someone chooses to follow your Promoted Account. It is also possible to promote your tweets so that they are more likely to reach your followers as well as potential followers who you would like to target.

2.       Twitter Lead Generation Cards

Lead Generation Cards are relatively new and allow you to capture email addresses directly through Twitter. They make it easy for people to express interest in your business without having to fill out a form or leave Twitter.

With Lead Generation Cards you simply describe your offer and, once the call to action is clicked, Twitter will ask the user if it’s okay to give you their handle, name, and email address. Once the individual agrees, the data is stored and they are sent to a subsequent landing page of your choice. This information will be saved in Twitter Ads for you to easily export later as a CSV spreadsheet. 

Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards are a paid-for service, meaning you set a budget based on the amount you would like to spend per day, or per lead. To get the most out of this service, think carefully about the offer you are promoting, and make sure it’s of relevance to your target audience. The idea isn’t to just grow an email list but rather to grow a targeted email list. Ebooks, or free digital resources, tend to perform particularly well.

3.       Consider your targeting

A successful lead generation campaign requires careful targeting, and so it’s worth putting some time and effort into it. Once location, gender and language options have been confirmed, Twitter allows you to additionally target by keywords, followers, interests and even the TV shows people are talking about. Audiences can also be targeted by the devices they are using to access Twitter.

4.       Get visual with Promoted Video

Tweets with images or video receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favourites and 150 percent more re-tweets. So Promoted Video campaigns can provide a great way to quickly engage with your customers and encourage them to take further actions. Twitter allows you to include a call to action with an embedded URL of your choice, along with an additional link in the tweet copy or description. Ideally, you should aim to keep your video between 35 and 45 seconds in duration.

Video campaigns carry cost-per-view pricing, so you only pay when someone chooses to watch by clicking “play.”

A recent study commissioned by Twitter found that purchase intent lift was 28% higher for users who chose to watch brand videos on Twitter than for users who saw the same videos as pre- or mid-roll ads during a 22-minute program. On Twitter, 90% of Promoted Videos views happen on mobile devices, so be sure to optimise your video for mobile.

5.       Measure the performance of each lead generation tweet

It seems obvious to say, but factor in time to measure the success of your lead generation activities. If you have chosen to use Lead Generation Cards, Twitter will store data on all of the users who have engaged with your card and make this available to you. Additionally if you are an advertiser on Twitter you have access to the Twitter Analytics dashboard. It contains a wealth of data, so be sure to keep track of your engagement rates and clicks through to cost per engagement. Measure and optimise as you go.