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Using Twitter as a sales tool without losing followers

By Tim Fuell - July 29, 2013
Image courtesy of bearvader / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bearvader / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twitter is and always should be a communication tool not a sales channel. Yet, while blatant “buy here” tweets should be avoided that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use Twitter as an insight tool to help you reach and beat your sales targets. Here’s 6 ways that you can use twitter to improve your sales without filling up your tweet stream with sales patter.

1. Collect twitter usernames

On your contact forms and any data collection exercise make sure you include space for people to add their Twitter handle. You may not use it immediately but it could be valuable information and ensures your accuracy of contact details too. You may be able to revisit and use that data in a few months to develop new leads or campaigns.

2. Monitor who is using social media

As well as offering people the chance to give you their Twitter names, be pro-active and go and out and find information from the social sphere too. Consider it as part of your customer support. Who is tweeting about you? Who is asking for help? Who is being supportive? Who is upset with the brand? Having your finger on the social pulse of your brand is vital if you are to maintain good profile and reputation. Certain people now have social media as their preferred route of communication, try to build that as an option into your customer communications programme and plan how best to use that information.

3. Research your lead’s social presence

Before you jump on the phone and call that sales lead take 5 to have a look at what they’ve been tweeting about. Piking up the phone and being able to engage in a conversation is key to winning new custom, so if you can talk to them immediately about subjects close to their heart – like a new car or a recent meal out – and you are on the path to success. Be careful not to appear like a stalker, but use the information to build a friendship.

4. Monitor your competitors

Not just what they are saying direct but more what others are saying about them. in the same way you should be monitoring your own interactions, have a look at those of your competitors too. What can you learn from them. Are there people in the social sphere you should be interacting with?

5. Check long-tail keywords on social media.

So no doubt via Google Analytics or some other tool you monitor the keywords that drive the most traffic to your website. Well social media is very SEO relevant so what about checking those same terms for comment on twitter. You can identify potential new customers just by discovering who is using those same keywords in their social comments. Equally, they may have limited potential customer value but they may be good content creators or sharers in the field you know your customers are most interested. If so, seek to engage them via social, re-tweet and see if you can build a relationship beneficial to you both.

6. Monitor your own follows

Who followed you today on Twitter? What do you know about them? Even if somebody followed you via a suggested follow tool, the chances are they have shared interests or knowledge with you. They have more potential to be a customer than a cold call, and if not a customer they probably have their use as a partner for your business in some way. Don’t ignore these new leads. See who they are and where they are and look at how they interact. You could even send them an introductory tweet, but make sure you avoid automated insincerity.

Twitter can be a great tool for your sales team if used the right way. That doesn’t need to be more creative but it may need a little bit of thinking of outside the box.