One of  B2B marketers’ ever-present challenges is how to grow their clients’ following on social media.

And no, buying followers is not the solution.

You don’t want just to see a big number of followers on your clients’ platforms. 

You want people to engage with the content you share and you want to build a community around your client’s brand.

But back to the task at hand, let’s talk about how your B2B client can attract new and qualified Twitter followers.

If you’re looking for advice such as: customize your Twitter profile, tweet all the time (great advice, huh?!), place Twitter follow buttons on your website, well this is not what this post is all about.

Instead, we’re focusing on how to grow a B2B Twitter account by finding and following industry professionals.

How It All Started

In Q4 2019, we started an experiment to test the hypothesis that we could grow Twitter followers for our clients by following industry professionals that met a certain criteria.

The first thing we did was to define what qualified as a “good follower.” We used these three attributes:

  • Had an active Twitter account and has been consistently sharing content and/or engaging with their community.
  • Their Twitter bio included specific keywords as well as roles such as manager, director, VP, C-suite, etc.
  • Their followers had to be similar to our client’s Twitter account following.

We had several tactics we wanted to try, so we decided to split the experiment in two phases and use different tactics for each phase.

Phase I – Q4 2019

Phase I was all about research and it lasted 12 weeks.

Actions taken during Phase I:

We covered keywords research, event hashtags research, analysis of competitors’ followers and what we called “cross pollination” followers (e.g., we followed followers of other clients’ accounts).

For the keyword research, we looked for followers that met the three attributes above using hashtags specific to the client’s industry.

For events, we searched for event hashtags to find people who were interested in a particular event or attended that event.

When it came to competition, we looked at our client’s competition and selected from their following those who met our attributes.

Because several of our clients share or activate in the same industry, we were able to use what we called “cross pollination following.” Which basically meant following each other’s followers.

Phase II – Q1 2020

Phase II was all about adjustments. We analyzed phase I findings and adjusted our strategy. At this point we decided to focus on only one tactic and that was to find and follow people based on keywords specific to our client’s industry.

Findings

The experiment lasted 20 weeks and it involved over 210 hours of work.

We learned that focusing on one strategy at a time is the best course of action and it gets the best results. We spent 10 percent less time in the second phase while getting better results, an increase of 51 percent in the overall number of followers for our client.

Below you can find a monthly comparison for the two phases.

Twitter Follow Vs Follow Back Q4 2019

Twitter Follow Vs Follow Back Q1 2020

Conclusion

While there are many ways to grow a following on Twitter for B2B brands, the general rule of going after quality followers over quantity applies here as well.

We also learned that using only one strategy at a time, adjusting it based on previous findings generates better results.

During the second phase of our experiment, we attracted more and qualified followers for our client’s Twitter account, followers that can later become leads. But we’ll talk about that another time.

Now, we’d like to hear from you. How do you grow your B2B following on Twitter? What are your favorite tactics and what results did you get?

Feel free to tweet us @Leadtail!