With over 255 million active users per month, Twitter is an enormous database buzzing with real-time information about individuals and communities around the world. It is therefore an incredible source of information for marketers and salespeople, who can benefit greatly from easy, personalised communication with customers and prospects. Here then are 5 Incredible Ways To Use Twitter To Generate Leads
1. Identify prospects and build relationships:
Twitter is an interconnected game of follow the leader and provides a great opportunity to target your prospective market. In turn, the more followers you gain in turn, the more credible your company will appear and the further your tweets will reach. However, be wary of tools that claim they will gain you more followers – fake followers are easily spotted and could jeopardise your professional integrity.
Keyword searches are a brilliant way to identify your target audience. For instance, I work in content marketing and my primary targets are small businesses and freelancers; by setting up a keyword search in Hootsuite, I am able to gather every tweet that uses the word “small business” and “freelance”. Furthermore, you can monitor any conversations about your brand, industry or area of expertise – even when tweets don’t mention you directly – by setting up a stream in Hootsuite using a keyword search (domain name, hashtag, alternative spelling, industry, type of products you sell).
Look for buying signals by searching for keyphrases such as ‘anyone recommend’ or ‘any advice on’ to identify those looking for immediate assistance. Once you’ve spotted an opportunity, jump in armed with some useful copy that effectively sums up what it is you do and more importantly why the prospective customer needs your services.
You can also target people using hashtags. For example, I am able to target small businesses using the hashtag #SMB – this will allow me to join the small business conversation, identify potential prospects and analyse what topics are trending, potential issues or concerns and how my business can offer the solution.
Hashtags also allow you to engage in a wider conversation – #BrandChat and #B2Bchat are both good ways to network. #Brandchat meets once a week to discuss four key topics that change regularly – anyone is encouraged to join the discussion.
4. Identify the issue:
Keywords and hashtags can also be used to identify an issue. For example, a bed company may search on the hashtag #sleeplessnights. This will give them a stream of prospects with a problem, even if they have not yet identified it themselves.
This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the person in order to really tailor the solution to meet their particular needs. Using Twitter you will be able to find out a range of information about a person, including their name, profession, interests, distresses and sometimes even their age and marital status. All of this information will help you make your sales prospecting even more effective.
5. Make content the solution:
Once you have identified the issue, you can target your prospect by tweeting a link to a piece of specifically created content on your site. For example, ‘Five ways for a better nights sleep’ would be a good first step – it addresses the issue of a sleepless night and puts you on a potential customer’s periphery without the immediate hard sell. You can then use Twitter to monitor whether the problem persists and make contact again with information about your product – the solution of a better bed.
Making content the solution is a great way of engaging prospects through Twitter without immediately putting them off with the hard sell. By putting your customers at the centre of all of your content, and ensuring everything you retweet is relevant to them, you will build a community that successfully engages with and values your brand.
Sophie Turton is assistant web editor at Crunch and Freelance adviser.