Can You Generate B2B Leads on Twitter?

Adam Smartschan

Partner & Chief Strategy Officer

There are two paths you can take with lead generation on Twitter: Organic or Paid.

Let’s break down both.

Getting Leads on Twitter Organically

Capital-B “Brands” engaging with buyers too often comes off like this: 

We hate that. You hate that. Everybody hates that.

Can you generate B2B leads on Twitter by posting organically? Sure. But honestly, it’s tough.

But you can consistently use it to draw attention to other marketing activities, like content – especially if your content performs well in other places.

Don’t expect any given individual tweet to generate a lead. That’s not how it works, and it’s too easy to come off as desperate. (We’re looking at you, Steve Buscemi.)

That said, can a robot or algorithm recognize desperate? Not really. 

So, not generating leads from organic tweets is actually OK. What matters more is that your social media plays nice with partners, peers and other brands. Here’s how.

Twitter as a B2B engagement tool

Want to know a not-so-dirty dirty little secret about Twitter? Every single company of note has at least one person watching Twitter all day for mentions. In fact, these folks are measured by how many times their employers get mentioned.

And the easiest way to spotlight a mention (and maybe get promoted) is to thank you – the company that mentioned them. 

By retweeting you. By commenting about you

And all of that feeds back into the master algorithm – aka Google. And to a much lesser extent, Bing, because you can Bing something if you truly must … but anyways, we digress.

The point is, that master algorithm matters. That’s where a brand’s authority and trustworthiness are born.

Will the tweet about the blog post where you mention Company X generate a B2B lead on Twitter? Not usually, no. But it will buoy your other efforts and get more eyeballs on your content. There’s value in them there hills … if you know how to mine them.

So, don’t measure organic leads tweet by tweet. Don’t engage with buyers by trying too hard to be “cheeky” and “fun.” Don’t be Steve Buscemi. (As pictured above, the real Steve Buscemi is actually awesome.)

But that’s just the organic path we’re talking about. What about paid?

Generating Paid B2B Leads on Twitter

We’ve talked before about how 2020 inflated digital ad spends. But the CPMs on Twitter aren’t insanely high. They’ve remained relatively unaffected (likely because Twitter is a less obvious place to reallocate ad budget than Google search or LinkedIn).

This is good news for B2B marketers. Twitter, as it turns out, offers the easiest way – out of all social media networks – to cannibalize the audiences of your competitors.

Let me explain.

Twitter encourages a binary relationship among its users (i.e., a follow for a follow). This means they don’t have a lot of data compared to competitors like Facebook or LinkedIn

But what they do have is data about who you follow. So that’s what they sell.

This means if you ask Twitter for help finding an audience, they’re going to say, “We can build you a lookalike audience based on a particular account’s followers.”

Here’s why that’s great for B2B marketers:

If your solution is 1:1 to that of a competitor, Twitter gives you a really easy way to find the people who use them. Because why the heck would you follow someone on Twitter if you don’t use their product or service? You don’t do that. (Again, because Steve Buscemi.)

Brands follow people because they actively have a relationship with them and want to talk to them. 

Generating B2B Leads on Twitter: The Big Picture

On the organic side, will any given tweet generate a quality lead? In all honestly, no. Not reliably anyway.

But will a tweet boost the ability of your other marketing efforts to generate a lead? If you do it right, yes. But not if you’re desperate about it. 

On the paid side, will an individual promoting a post generate a lead? Maybe. Which is a whole lot better than no! 

In fact, it’s pretty gosh darn simple to get lookalike followers from Twitter at a reasonable price.

So how do you use Twitter to generate B2B leads? It’s a little more complex than the usual posting strategy. It’s about using Twitter at a fundamental level.

Understand why the service exists, why it has the users it has, and what those users want.

And maybe most importantly, what they don’t want.

Adam Smartschan

Adam Smartschan heads Altitude's strategic marketing and branding efforts. An award-winning writer and editor by trade in a former life, he now specializes in data analytics, search engine optimization, digital advertising strategy, conversion rate optimization and technical integrations. He holds numerous industry certifications and is a frequent speaker on topics around B2B marketing strategy and SEO.
Adam graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2007. He grew up in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, just miles down the road from Altitude's headquarters in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.