How To Use Twitter For Lead Generation

Strategic use of Twitter can increase lead generation for your business.
Engaging on Twitter allows you to gain exposure, establish your expertise, and chat with random people grab the attention of people who want to buy what you have to sell.

How To:
1. The Basics: Being active on Twitter helps you establish expertise and thought leadership. It also allows you see what’s important to your people, and provides you with a low cost way to get involved in conversations and to get your message out.

Monitor and Listen to your industry, competitors, trade organizations, and your stakeholders (clients, prospects, vendors, etc.)
Get Involved – Tweet and ReTweet
Reply to your followers, to comments
Share links of things that relate to your business or industry
2. Use Search on Twitter: Use Twitter’s “Search” feature to see who’s talking about what moves you and your organization. It allows you to uncover trends, determine influencers, even see who’s asking questions about things that you can answer. By interacting strategically, you can broaden your reach and generate leads by identifying important people who are interested in what you do.

Basic Search To find people, just type in their names
Check out Who To Follow and see suggestions; you can also browse by your interests or keywords
You can find people you already know and get their Twitter name easily through email info or your LinkedIn connections.
Advanced Search can let you find people who are asking questions about what you do, give you a sense of the attitude (positive or negative tweets) on a particular subject, allows you to zero in geographically, and let you find conversations or comments using various combinations of keywords (all, either, exact match, etc.)
Case Study Examples and Tips:
Case Study: A dental product wholesaling company used Twitter to create an opportunity to take a prospect and make them a client. A rep active on Twitter uncovered comments about a new dental device outside of their distribution channel, and offered to do a demo “how to” video of the product using a camera-friendly thought leader known in the industry. Read about this case. By taking information gleaned from Twitter, the organization cultivated a relationship with a new client, enhanced their relationship with an existing client, formally worked with a thought leader in the industry, and drove additional revenue.

Tips: Use Twitter to let your audience know about incentives, upcoming events, and sales driven activities.

Case Study: IBM uses a Listening for Leads approach to lead generation on Twitter. They have employees listen to and look at conversations on Twitter. They look for clues that tell them someone is about to buy something or start the buying process. For example, key triggers might include “I’m looking to replace my old server” or I’m about to issue a RFP; does anyone have a sample RFP I could work from?”. The IBM employees identify the leads and get them into the follow up system which qualifies and validates the opportunity.

More: For ideas about lead generation on other social media channels, check out How to Use Facebook for Lead Generation.
I’d love to hear your success stories, and urge you to share what has worked and not worked for you when using Twitter for lead generation. Thanks! Please use the comment window below.

About Liz Horgan
Digital communications and social media marketing consultant. Help businesses and individuals use digital communications and social media successfully and efficiently for outreach, marketing, lead generation, branding and career change. Customized services include: strategic social media planning, marketing, implementation, training, and measurement/analytics.