This is a guest post from Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing a Seattle based marketing agency focused on sales acceleration. I saw this piece he had written on how to use Twitter asked if we could share it. I hope you find it interesting and useful. Enjoy!
PS – I’ll save you some time… if your buyers are not on Twitter (and many of them are not) you can sally forth and do meaningful work or read on for future reference.
Twitter will never be confused with a direct response channel, but it’s still a proven and measurable tool for finding and engaging more prospects. Below are five specific tips to start finding more opportunities via Twitter.
1. Follow your prospects
Create private lists of your prospects in Twitter, and follow them via segmented columns in HootSuite, Tweetdeck or some other tool. If you want to stay more “stealth” until you're ready to reach out and engage, you can add prospects to a Twitter list without actually following them but either way, knowing what your prospects are thinking and saying will help you: get to know them better, learn quickly what their priorities are and give you plenty of opportunities to engage at the beginning of their buying cycle.
2. Follow your partners
Partners that work with the same target audience often share needs, questions, and/or look for help with existing projects via Twitter. The more these partners see and interact with you, the more likely they’ll remember you when their customers and prospects have a need you can fill.
3. Curate customer-centric content
One of the quickest way to attract prospects to you via Twitter is to read everything they wish they had time to read, and filter the best content into your Twitter feed. You don’t have to originate content to attract a following on the social web – it’s good enough (and sometimes better) to curate the best content from a variety of sources so that your prospects begin to trust that you’re, effectively, doing their reading for them.
4. Listen for buying signals
What are some of the things your prospective customers experience before they need what you’re selling? These buying signals are from people who aren’t yet ready to buy, but are about ready to start looking for solutions to a problem or pain. If you know your customer targets well enough, you can specifically search for those keywords and phrases from prospects on Twitter and other social channels.
5. Watch & use hashtags
Hashtags, especially those tied to associations or events, are a great way to follow conversations and find prospects that already self-associate with a group, a cause, an interest or a need. It’s a great way to engage in those real-time conversations and help your message reach new prospects directly. It’s particularly important when using hashtags to add value, and don’t directly sell. But if you engage in the conversation naturally, new prospects will be drawn in to learn more.
What a great list of tips – thanks Matt! If you (or Reps on your team) are using Twitter effectively we would love to know what you are doing so please comment to share your knowledge.