Why most of the European companies overlook Twitter as lead generation channel?

In a world that seems to be getting louder and louder, trying to have your brand heard above the noise can be a daunting task. It’s why brand marketing is such a crucial component in today’s online success. 

Gary Vee stresses that much while also highlighting just how important a platform Twitter is in building your brand

Twitter can also be a crucial channel to engage with buyers, converse with your market and eventually generate leads. However, very few European companies still haven’t harnessed Twitter’s potential and instead use it in a deeply limited manner. 

In my role at Expandi, I consult B2B companies on how to best use social media for lead generation, and I’ve come to notice a significant difference between British companies compared to their continental counterparts in how they use Twitter. 

The former use Twitter as a key channel in their strategy to reach a larger audience than possible on LinkedIn while also targeting buyers based on their individual interests. 

Thanks to the powerful concept of hashtag-ing, (#) companies can quickly identify their prospects based on their interests, what they discuss online and the influencers they follow – the hashtag is so powerful that LinkedIn eventually introduced their own. The latter, however, use Twitter mainly as a press release engine to simply distribute corporate news and cover events; missing out on an opportunity to leverage Twitter in their social media strategy. 

When meeting my European clients, I always highlight the importance of Twitter, but it’s normally followed by a score of scepticism. Twitter is just not perceived as a business channel. And Twitter’s recent struggles as a company has only helped contribute to an increase of this perception.

 I’m curious where this perception of Twitter came from? One hypothesis I have is because European countries don’t have many recognised business influencers that appeal to their audience enough to justify utilising Twitter for their business purposes.

 If you take a look at the most popular influencers in social media, nearly 99% of them are British or American. Although US and UK Twitter is largely used by politicians, journalists and celebrities, there’s still a significant number of active business influencers who generate great content on a daily basis. They attract thousands of business decision-makers that populate Twitter which enhances its reputation as an attractive channel to B2B marketers 

You could argue that those British/American influencers are also being followed by European decision-makers as Twitter is a global channel. While likely true, however, the fact they communicate only in English does contributes to the perception Twitter is largely an Anglo-Saxon channel from a business point of view.

Unfortunately, this perception encourages European companies to overlook Twitter as a marketing channel as companies see it only as a news feeder. 

In this article I’d like to hopefully change that perception and explain how Twitter can effectively be used by B2B companies for lead generation. 

Firstly, you must acknowledge that Twitter is the only truly open social media platform. That means, social intelligence tools (e.g. social listening tool like Brandwatch) rely heavily on Twitter to collect their data. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook which are completely or very closed, Twitter allows you to extract an incredible amount of data and insights about your audience. 

Secondly, Twitter allows you to get in touch with anyone without a friend request, connection or relationship being established. Although it’s true LinkedIn has now lowered the barrier to engage with people outside your network, you still need to use your InMail allowance or create a friendship first. In Twitter you can send a message to anyone and broadcast a post without limitations.

Thanks to the hashtag taking a powerful life of its own, you can easily identify potential prospects interested in a specific industry, market segments, solutions, etc… From a strategy point of view, you should use Twitter for coverage, engage with as many prospects as possible, and establish a deeper relationship with the most relevant prospects by moving to LinkedIn.

I also believe the lack of European influencers represents an opportunity for companies to position themselves as micro-influencers. Publishing relevant contents on Twitter can help companies to reach a larger audience than LinkedIn and position themselves as expert in that market segment for their country audience. 

Finally, Twitter offer interesting advertising options such as targeting people who follow a specific hashtag or account that allow advertisers to reach a vast audience. 

If you to know more how to effectively use social media for lead generation click here

Marco Ottonello

email: marketing@expandigroup.com

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