There's a lot of advice about business B2B Twitter strategy online – unfortunately, a lot of those tips aren't worth your time. People just carry over advice on how individuals should use Twitter (not the same!) or make general statements that shouldn't be held as absolutes. So it's time for a little correction: Let's go over B2B Twitter taboos, and why it's totally okay to do these things.
Taboo 1: Don't Ask to Be Followed
Why You Should: Because you need followers.
If you were an individual on Twitter making contacts the traditional way, not asking for follows may be polite. But you are a brand that wants to gain a large audience. In this circumstance, it is absolutely okay to send out messages now and then asking people to follow you on Twitter, especially after a successful sale. Build your base!
Taboo 2: Don't Tweet Similar Content Over and Over
Why You Should: Because branding and themes are important.
We understand why this is a taboo among many businesses, because you don't want to bore people. However, there are a couple good reasons to tweet similar content. First, you are establishing your expertise in a certain area, so it's smart to stay in your wheelhouse. Second, Historical optimization is a very successful technique that allows you repost content that has done well in the past for new viewers, and you should be using it. Also, keep in mind that Twitter moves fast and a lot of people may not have seen your content the first time.
Taboo 3: Don't Leave Mentions and Tweets Unanswered
Why You Should: Because your time is valuable.
As your audience grows, you're going to get more mentions and Tweets. Don't feel the urge to reply to every one. Some of them will just be nonsense, some are nothing more than advertisements, and some won't do your brand any good even if you respond. There are better social media activities to spend time on then answering every single Tweet that mentions you. Focus on answers that will grow your brand and answer important questions.
Taboo 4: Don't Ask Followers Questions
Why You Should: Because knowledge is power.
It's totally okay for brands to poll their followers from time to time. It's an easy way to get a lot of opinions on an important subject!
Taboo 5: Don't Go Off Topic
Why You Should: To tap into growing trends.
Once your have established your tone and expertise, it's okay to go off topic here and there. Don't be afraid to discuss popular news pieces or events, even outside your industry. This often engages a broader audience: As an example, you wouldn't want to be the only one who isn't Tweeting about the Super Bowl!
Taboo 6: Don't Use the Full 140 Characters
Why You Should: Because sometimes you need to.
Technically you aren't supposed to do this because it makes Retweeting difficult in some circumstances where people copy your Tweet out in their own post and then don't have any room to add their own message. That's is a silly reason. If you need all 140 characters to explain your point well or to make something especially catchy, go for it.
Taboo 7: Don't Direct Message People Just for Following You
Why You Should: Because you're a business, and those people could be leads.
We're not saying you should direct message absolutely everyone, but if someone is following your business, then that's a potential lead you should capitalize on. Don't be afraid to direct message a follower to get the ball rolling.
Taboo 8: Don't Copy Hashtags
Why You Should: Because hashtags are popular.
To bring up a recent example, it's totally okay to use an Earth Day hashtag on Earth Day – and other important events or days as well. Tap into the general conversations occurring across Twitter so that people who would never see your Tweets can notice them!
Taboo 9: Don't "Stalk" Other Twitter Accounts
Why You Should: Because data is useful.
Stalking Twitter accounts is a little weird for an individual, but this is one taboo that doesn't translate well to businesses. If a potential lead is following you, it's smart to take a look at their Twitter history and bio to learn more about them. You don't need to start Retweeting every single Tweet they make, but a little stalking can equal good research – and help you establish a social connection with the lead.