In addition to serving as a knowledge sharing platform, Twitter can be an instrumental tool for community building and lead generation. With more than 200 million active monthly users, there is a great opportunity for businesses on Twitter to find and engage prospects, and convert those prospects into qualified leads.
Decide who you need to be following and why. Twitter lists help you organize your followers and apply a strategy around engagement, keeping in mind that you probably follow different people for different reasons. For example, you may be following services you use, like Google AdWords, for the latest updates surrounding their product, while also following large clients from various verticals to stay on top of their news and announcements.
Organize your curated list of followers based on their usefulness and how youd like to engage with them. Once that is complete, you can assign your team members to follow the lists that best match their area of expertise, turning tweets into action items. Here at ReTargeter, for example, our Marketing Analyst follows the tools and services that provide him with the information he needs to excel at his job. Our content manager follows the list of high profile publications known for content that excels. Lastly, many of our salespeople follow key prospects. Each team member can then engage the right people in the right way.
Its important to note that you have the option to publish your lists or keep them private. You may not want everyone to know exactly which list theyre in or why youre following them. Conversely, some lists could be useful to your followers and employees and would better serve as public.
Make sure a relevant audience sees your tweets by allotting some of your advertising budget to Promoted Tweets. This Twitter advertising feature allows you to target tweets to the followers who either look like your ideal customers or who are searching for keywords that relate to your product or service. When youre working hard to create valuable content, you want to amplify your reach and ensure your content is being seen by the people who will find it useful.
Just last month, Twitter announced even more targeting features within Promoted Tweets. Specifically, you can select exact match, phrase match, or basic keyword match when entering keywords for your promoted tweets. You can also select negative keyword targeting to prevent your tweets from showing up for a particular keyword search thats not relevant to you. These options allow you to allocate your budget in a more cost-effective way.
Twitter Advanced Search
Twitters Advanced Search feature gives you the option to do a deep dive into who and what is being talked about on Twitter. You can get into specific keywords, hashtags, languages, people, and even locations with Advanced Search. This data can be highly useful for your sales team as they are prospecting new leads and for your marketing team when looking for an extra PR push around a piece of content.
Search to identify key influencers, competitors, and trending industry topics. Then you can align your tweets with the right hashtags, and reach out to the individuals who will not only be responsive, but will also help to share your information with their followers. For example, you can use search to find an influential journalist or industry leader, and collaborate with them in an attempt to capture their followers as well.
With hashtag being awarded 2012 word of the year by the American Dialect Society, you should already know what a hashtag is and be using them regularly. In case youve been living in a hole, a hashtag allows you to tag and comment on tweets by placing a # in front of the keyword of your choice.
Hashtags are searchable. If you are running a Twitter promotion or pushing content, you always want to make sure that you are tagging those tweets with the hashtags people are already searching for. Dont hashjack. Hashjacking is the practice of jumping into a trending conversation to promote your own brand or product. A particular hashtag may have a lot of traction, but unless its directly related to what youre tweeting about you shouldnt use it.
Failure to research hashtags before using them can lead to a PR disaster, as illustrated by McDonalds #McDStories. Meant to be a brand boost, it took an unexpected turn when instead there was an influx of negative stories about eating at McDonalds using the hashtag.
When it comes to using Twitter for lead generation, participating in relevant conversations and sharing useful content are the building blocks to growing a strong online community. Twitter lists, advanced search, promoted tweets, and hashtags can serve as useful tools to boost your efforts and grow your audience. Once you build your presence on Twitter and remain active and engaged, followers and potential leads will come to you.