In spreading the word about new content, marketers clearly see the value of social media. In fact, 93% of B2B marketers use social media to share their content, with 87% of them choosing to do so on Twitter. (2016 B2B Content Marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America)
Customer success stories – with their focus on real customers, real results and how-to messages – are some of the most engaging content to share. And on Twitter, posting a written or video customer case study is pretty quick and simple.
Here’s a short guide for crafting your customer-story Tweets:
A study found that Tweets with images get 18% more clicks and 150% more Retweets, and are “favorited” 89% more.
Let’s look at a few examples…
You can choose to Tweet a photo that ties into your story, that represents the customer or the customer’s industry. Maybe even overlay a featured customer quote.
Create a graphic that conveys some of the biggest take-aways from your customer story.
Or share your customer video right on Twitter.
Create an Engaging Headline
Entice the reader to click by using words proven to increase engagement such as “new,” how to,” “check out” and “free.” Microsoft’s September post on Uber generated 299 Retweets and 374 favorites.
Recently, Twitter announced the availability of Twitter Moments, which allows you to tell a story by bundling existing Tweets of your own or others. For example, you might bundle a handful of Tweets about customer case studies all in one industry, or all in one geographic area. Or package Tweets all related to customers presenting their stories at your user conference.
Include a link to the case study or related blog post, and shorten it to make the most of your 140 characters. You may choose from sites such as goo.gl, ow.ly or bit.ly, among others, to shorten your link.
Tagging posts with Twitter handles and hashtags helps Twitter users find posts relevant to them. In the examples above, these companies have used hashtags such as #Quakes (the featured customer), #SAFe (product name), #veterans (intended audience) and #MSIgnite (an event). Don’t forget to tag the featured customer with @ so they notice and can Retweet their story.
All these tactics are easy, free (except for your time), and fun. Try them and watch how your Twitter engagement – and site traffic – respond.
Share your Twitter experience. What have you found gets more traction?
Ever walked through the living room when someone else is watching TV (on your way somewhere else), and just had to stop right there and watch?
I'd be willing to bet it was a compelling story that drew you in (if it wasn't some sultry hamburger ad).
Humans have always told stories and it's still the best currency for communication.
If anything, we rely on stories more than ever to be seen or heard in a sea of messages.
What's changed are the media we use.
So what's hot now in sharing customer success stories and case studies?
Here are my 5 predictions for the hottest ways to use your stories in '10. Drop a comment on your top ways.
An estimated 77% of active web users read blogs. They've proven to be powerful drivers of search engine traffic.
Even better, those following your blog are interested in your particular topic, giving you the perfect target audience.
Share your best customer stories on your blog - either in full or linked back to the full story on your website.
Focus on the customer's experience and path to success, not just tooting your own horn.
And finally, be sure to get the customer's permission before you publish anything with their name on it.
Enticing Twitter content gets fresh eyeballs on your blog or website. A decent percentage of my own web traffic comes from Twitter.
Customer stories are among the more interesting pieces of content you can share.
Mention a compelling customer story and link back to it on your blog or website.
Several of my clients regularly Tweet their customer stories, proving to be a source of new traffic to their sites.
Be sure to give it a compelling headline, and keep the Tweet short to encourage Retweeting.
Remember to follow what has become Twitter protocol of sharing more helpful links/Tweets than self-promotional ones.
Video continues its hot streak.
Consider capturing short versions of your customer success stories and comments on video, or use video technology that allows viewers to navigate to chapter marks.
Some surveys indicate two-thirds still prefer written stories, but if possible, have multiple ways that your audience can consume your stories.
Then post the videos on your website, blog, YouTube (the third largest search engine) and other sites like Viddler.
4. Sales Conversations
Sure, you may have your video and written stories nicely displayed everywhere.
But you don't really know whether those powerful stories have reached the right prospects.
Make sure those hot prospects know your best customer successes. Encourage sales reps to tell them in sales conversations.
To that end, communicate clearly and often to reps where your customer case studies and success stories reside on your website or intranet.
Discuss those stories in sales meetings.
Do everything you can to ensure that when a rep talks with a prospect, she knows just the perfect story to mention in conversation.
I'm big on awards these days - after seeing some Fortune 500 companies jump at the chance to tell their stories for awards opportunities.
Why? We all like to be recognized for our efforts. Your customers are no different.
If they're doing cool, best practices things, and your solution helps with that, find relevant awards programs and ask their permission to submit them.
You might be surprised how on board they get for an awards submission when they might not publish their story as a case study.
If your customer wins, their story gets natural publicity through the awards process.
Also, once you have all the juicy details, ask if you can make that public on your website.
What are your predictions for the hottest ways to use customer case studies and success stories right now?
Can 140 characters lead to more leads and sales? Absolutely.
There are countless tales of Twitter wins these days.
Several companies I follow on Twitter are Tweeting about their customer success stories.
While you can't tell your whole story in that amount of space, you can pique followers' interest.
Here are a few tips for Tweeting your stories:
Education, Not Promotion – Think of your 140 characters as a teaser, similar to an email subject line or blog headline.
Your subject line should promise the reader something, and help them understand what they will take away if they read the rest of your info. Think education, not promotion. Don't push your product in the Tweet.
- How a small business increased web traffic 400%
- ABC Manufacturing saves millions with better inventory management
- Gaming co saves equiv of 2 FTEs with online self service
Link to the story – Give followers the link directly to more information about that specific story, not your products in general.
This can be your produced case study or success story on your site, or an article that ran about the story online.
Use link shortening sites like http://bit.ly to reduce character counts.
Encourage customers to Tweet – Ask whether the featured customer will Tweet and link to the story about the success with your product/service.
Have you Tweeted your customer stories? Any tips to share from your Twitter experiences?