Leads from Twitter? Really? Does that work?
I have heard this or a similar remark over and over again. But the truth is that Twitter is a great place to get leads. And people are using Twitter for lead generation in almost any niche.
For our first business – the publishing platform exploreb2b – we got 80k registered users based on a Twitter marketing strategy that involved lead generation via Twitter direct messages. But that is by far not the only method to get leads from Twitter. Direct messages are not the best way to go for just anybody. Conversations or direct contact may be a better option for you.
Some lead generation tactics on Twitter can be highly automated, some need a little more personal engagement. Some tactics will have a lower conversion rate and others can turn into lead generation power channels.
There are various ways to get in contact and you can choose the one method to get leads that suits you and your business best.
1. Direct contact
Where can you directly get in touch with people without annoying them? On Twitter.
Where a phone call is intrusive and a cold email is ending up between all the spammy advertising and promotional emails, a tweet can be seen as a nice opener to a informal chat where everyone can answer when he/she has time and even a long pause due to other things to do is not a conversation killer.
Our first experience with direct contact on Twitter was for our first business exploreB2B. As it was a publishing platform, we badly needed more published content on the platform – great content from established content creators. So we browsed the web and searched for people who were publishing content and that we thought would be a good match for our platform. We simply tweeted them with something similar to this:
“Great article on blog xxx – would you like to publish content on our new publishing platform exploreB2B? LINK”
Some tweeted back for more information. Some tweeted their email address to take the conversation to a more personal channel. Some simply registered and published content.
The trick with direct contact on Twitter is that you should not open the conversation with a promotional tweet. Try to figure out what your target audience is looking for and then offer it to them.
For instance, I could research for people asking about sales funnels and tweet them that we have a new ebook about sales funnels and would love their feedback. I should then not try to sell the ebook – in this case, a free offer will work better for lead generation. Send them to a landing page where they can signup in exchange for the free book. You can sell to your new leads later on.
Or, to look at the above example for our publishing platform: asking people to sign up for the publishing platform would most likely not have worked that well. People do not want to sign up for anything just as that. But in our case, they wanted to publish content.
Conversations with people from your target group are one of the best ways to get leads and clients.
No matter what people tell you: There is a ton of conversations happening on Twitter. There are also heaps of interesting conversations from your niche that you could join. The most difficult part about using Twitter conversations for lead generation is how to find those conversations. Here are some ideas:
- Follow hashtags, keywords and key phrases in a feed for this search. You can set up a feed in Tweetdeck for your searches or hashtags and check this feed a couple of times per week for interest conversations. Need help to set this up? Check out this article on Twitter search, scroll down, I explain the Tweetdeck and search method there.
- Join Chats – it is a little tricky to find relevant chats for your niche. And not in every niche, Twitter chats are very popular but you may want to check it out. You can, for instance, check the Chat schedule from Twitter Reports.
- Create a Twitter list of people from your niche that are active on Twitter. Watch the feed of this Twitter list. See what conversations are happening in your niche.
- There are also conversations going on around live events or conferences. You can join these conversations even if you are not attending. Events often have a branded hashtag that is used to mark all tweets.
If you want to learn more about how to find the best conversations on Twitter, check out this guide.
If you find conversations from your niche and topic, keep in mind to have conversations. Do not just shout out your promotional messages or nobody will listen to you. Conversations are not the best sales medium, but you can brand yourself as an expert from your niche and get the attention of not only the people talking but also everybody listening in.
As an example, you can check out the Twitter account of the Hilton hotels: @hiltonsuggests. they mainly answer questions and are helpful with tips for traveling people in the hotel locations.
3. Direct Messages
Direct messages on Twitter have a slightly shady or spammy reputation. Long have they been misused for spammy promotions and people started getting annoyed. In consequence, Twitter stopped some tools from sending automated direct messages to new followers.
But used right, direct messages have tremendous power.
Back to our publishing platform. We used direct messages to invite people to publish on our platform. It worked like hell.
With fast-growing Twitter followers and a direct message sent to each new subscriber, we were able to scale our user numbers – without a marketing budget.
The content of the direct message was crucial, we did a lot of testing until we found the perfect direct message.
Since not so many people are using direct messages for promotion anymore, people are not so easily annoyed anymore. But the messaging is still crucial. Always try to provide something that your audience wants. Do not focus on selling. You are still generating leads – not sales. Once you have your leads you can nurture them into customers.
4. Traffic – signups
As Twitter can be a real traffic powerhouse, the classic blog lead generation path is also working for Twitter:
- Get traffic from Twitter to your website
- Offer a freebie or lead magnet on your website in exchange for an email address.
- Use lead nurturing and sales funnels to turn thee leads into customers.
Image Source: Jeff Bullas
If you want to learn more about the classic blogger sales funnel, check out Jonathan’s recent post on sales funnel elements.
Final Words on how to get leads from Twitter
Not every method generates the same quality of leads. The more personal the method and the more direct conversation is involved, the higher usually the lead quality.
Traffic from Twitter can produce large amounts of leads but they are often not the best-targeted leads as people kind of stumble across your content – you will often not be able to reach out at exactly the moment they have a question and provide the answer. That is way better with Twitter conversations.
Some leads need more nurturing before they are ready to buy from you – and some leads have just waited for your offer. It is up to you, to give every new lead the right offer at the right time.