Getting exhausted by tired old methods for finding sales leads and connecting with customers? Twitter is a fresh alternative to waiting for email registrations, and it’s a great way to provide better service to your current clients. The best sales resource is knowing your customers. In this regard, social media can be a great complement to customer intelligence analytics. Twitter’s features make it a good choice for sales reps who want to get plugged into their consumer market.
The best way to maximize the service is to get a platform like TweetDeck to help you organize the people you follow.
First, you’ll need to identify leads. It may take a while to build a following, but it will be worth it in the long run. Start by using the search function to look for words buyers of your product might use, says Anna Bratton for Salesforce. Follow the people who fit your customer profile.
Another good idea is to check out your competitor’s Twitter feed. If you’re lucky, they may have already done the legwork for you. If they’re not on Twitter yet, well, that’s good for you too.
Once you’ve generated a list of people to follow, organize them into lists. For instance, your competitors can have their own category. These indexes can also be used to organize potential clients by where they are in the sales cycle, suggests Bryan Kramer on the Salesforce blog. Twitter is a great tool for keeping prospects on your radar.
Look for signals
Use the search function on Twitter to identify businesses that are looking to buy a service you offer. Twitter benefits both buyers and sellers by providing a large community to answer questions. Look for users who are asking for recommendations. They will be particularly pleased to get a quick answer from you. Search for terms like “anyone recommend” or “any advice on,” says Bratton.
Keep on eye on various signals. Once again, list functions work perfectly for this. On TweetDeck you can create a list that compiles any tweet containing words you’ve identified. Look for tweets that mention name of your company, or a keyword that best represents what you do. Having a list devoted to competitors is never a bad idea. If a user mentions a competitor, specifically a negative experience with one, you have an opening to jump in and suggest your services instead.
Optimize the experience
No one likes a self-serving Twitter feed. The point of social media is to generate conversation and engagement, not to promote your own company ad nauseam.
This platform is ideal for companies seeking a thought leadership role. This means that most of what you tweet shouldn’t be directly about you at all. On Marketo’s blog, Heidi Bullock provides a useful guideline, called the 4-1-1 rule. For every tweet your company makes to promote itself, you should retweet someone else (but don’t cheat by retweeting another user’s complimentary words about your services). In addition, you should share four pieces of content from other sources. Provide insightful articles with digestible headlines that are under 140 characters. Actually, the less characters you use, the easier it will be for other to retweet you with your words intact.
Promoted posts are another strategy to consider, although this service may not even be necessary. You can use promoted tweets to target specific users. Since this is a slightly more invasive strategy than targeting users who seem specifically interested in buying, it may be wise to test the waters before rolling these out on a wide scale. Wait until there’s a big industry event underway and provide timely and engaging content like a white paper or e-book for those who may be associated with the occasion.