Many small business owners shy away from Twitter because they don’t think it’s an effective way to generate leads. But a 2012 survey from Hubspot found that 44 percent of marketers acquired customers from Twitter. If you’d like to start getting business by tweeting, here are a few strategies to implement:
1. Build your network – You won’t be able to generate any leads without a good network on Twitter, so that means you need to build a following. The best way to do that is to follow other people, such as colleagues, customers, and potential clients in your industry. Mention them in tweets and retweet their content on a regular basis. The goal is to start conversations, so that you can build trust. The cliché is still true – people do business with people they like and trust!
2. Optimize your Twitter presence – Your prospects won’t be able to find you on Twitter if your profile isn’t optimized. Include keywords in your profile that describe your business and/or industry. Also, include keywords in your tweets. You can include them in the body of the tweet, or set them apart with a hashtag. For example, let’s say you are tweeting about a blog post that talks about how to get leads from twitter. You can include a keyword like: #smallbusiness if you want to target small business owners.
3. Tweet valuable content – Keep your prospects’ needs in mind when creating tweets. Share useful information that helps them solve their problems. This can be content you create or content from other experts in your industry. If you do any lead generating special events such as webinars or teleseminars, you can reach a whole new audience by tweeting out the invitation link. A good rule of thumb for developing an appropriate content mix is to use the 4-1-1- strategy. For every one tweet you post linking to a piece of your own content, and another tweet that is purely promotional, you should post 4 tweets of content from other industry leaders.
4. Tweet regularly and consistently – Any type of marketing requires consistency. Social media marketing, in particular, requires that you spend time on a network and use it regularly. So, don’t think you can tweet once a week and that will do it. Twitter is a high volume channel. You have to tweet enough to get noticed by your followers and prospects, otherwise, you’re just wasting your effort. But you can overdo it too.
TrackSocial studied the tweets from top brands and found that there seemed to be a “sweet spot” for tweeting 4-5 times a day. Their survey found that when a brand tweets 2-5 times per day they get more Retweets per Tweet, by up to 300%, compared to when they Tweet only once a day. TrackSocial also found that there was a drop-off in response when a company tweeted more than 5 times a day.
5. Create a dedicated Twitter landing page – If you want to be a step ahead of your competition, create a dedicated landing page that caters specifically to Twitter users. Include the URL for the page in your profile. Make sure this page either introduces your company, or offers a piece of lead generation content, such as a white paper or eBook.
6. Tweet links to landing pages – Now that you have created this dedicated landing page, tweet about it! Not every hour, on the hour, mind you. Tweet a few times a week, and at different times of the day, so you can reach different prospects.
7. Share valuable content from your blog – Businesses that blog have 79% more Twitter followers than ones that don’t. The relationship between blogging and Twitter is even better for companies with fewer than 15 employees. These small businesses have on average 102% more Twitter followers than those who don’t blog. Just make sure you have lead generation calls to action on your blog and then link to it during your tweets.
8. Monitor industry terms – Use Twitter search to monitor industry terms and then follow users who mention those terms, or engage them in a conversation. Ask questions or offer advice, and invite interested users to join your email list or become a follower on any other social media channel you use, such as Facebook or Pinterest.
9. Participate in Twitter Chats – Want to expand your social network, showcase your expertise and learn from other experts? Take part in a Twitter chat. There are more than 600 of these organized events happening on Twitter at various times of the day or night. Ask questions, share insights and discuss. TweetReports.com offers an ever growing list of Twitter chats on a variety of subjects, complete with the chat hashtag, topic, moderators and date and time the chat takes place. Or you can follow @ChatSchedule for a real-time listing of chats currently happening on Twitter.
10. Weed out people you follow – There’s no rule that says you have to follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. Use third-party Twitter tools if necessary to weed out spammers and other users who aren’t good prospects for your product or service. Remember, it’s more important to have a smaller network of people who are interested in what you’re tweeting about, then to follow people who don’t interact.
These are just a few suggestions of how you can generate leads with Twitter. Remember that you are limited in the number of characters you can post (140), so keep your messages short and to the point. Don’t try to “sell” people. The goal is to carry on a conversation while sharing interesting and useful information about your business.