Twitter is a great social network for connecting with new people. The open nature of Twitter makes it easier than other social networks to grow your network, build relationships and start conversations.
In this guide we will cover 6 ways to use Twitter to connect with prospects, establish a relationship, add them to your network and convert them into paying customers.
Location Specific Businesses
We will be focusing on a location specific business in this guide. If your business is not location specific, using Twitter to connect with new customers will be even easier. The same strategies that will be covered in this guide will apply to your business. Just omit location as one of your criteria when identifying potential customers on Twitter.
For this guide, a location specific business means that the service or product that your business offers is limited to a specific geographic region. Real estate is a great example of a location specific business. A real estate agent in Seattle will most likely not be interested or able to sell a house to someone in New York.
Finding Prospects on Twitter
The first step is to find prospects among the millions of users on Twitter. This is easier than it sounds. Just use the search feature provided by Twitter. Start your search by using keywords and topics that you expect prospective customers will be tweeting.
Twitter makes it really easy to search a specific geographic area. All you need to do is specify a location in your search by adding, near: “(your location)”, after your keywords or topic. This will limit your search results to Twitter users who are in the specified location.
If you are a real estate agent in Seattle, you could do a search for: new house near: “Seattle”. This would return tweets from people in Seattle who have mentioned the keywords “new house”.
Now that we have covered how to find prospects on Twitter, it’s time to start interacting with prospects and build a relationship. Don’t rush in and try to convert them into paying customers right away.
Take the time to build a relationship. Before interacting with prospects, make sure to do your homework. Browse their last 25-1 Tweets, read their profile, check out their followers. This will give you a wealth of information. It will also help you find common ground.
Broadcasting Value on Twitter
Since Twitter is an open network, most of your initial interactions with prospects will be visible to everyone on Twitter. It is important to make sure that your public interactions are adding value not just for the prospect, but also for other people on Twitter.
Now that we have established how to build a list of prospective customers on Twitter and understand the importance of taking the time to develop a relationship, let’s shift focus to the strategies we can use to establish a relationship, engage and convert these prospects into customers.
Suggest a Solution
Once you understand the problem your prospect faces, suggest a solution. Using our Seattle real estate agent example, let’s assume a hypothetical prospect is looking for a new house with a great school for their kids. Take a few minutes to find the highest rated schools in desirable neighborhoods and tweet the 3-5 best areas to the prospect.
When Tweeting a solution to a prospect make sure to include the @ symbol and their username. This will ensure that they will see the Tweet.
An example could be, “@username Best schools and neighborhoods in Seattle for Kids, neighborhood 1, neighborhood, 2 and neighborhood 3”.
Ask Relevant Questions
If you don’t have enough information to propose a solution, ask a relevant question. This enables you to communicate that you are listening, interested and are available to help.
Depending on the Twitter user, they may or may not notice this tweet right away. Some Twitter users have smartphones and apps that will alert them of new tweets but others use Twitter every few days.
You can also try suggesting a few possible solutions. Using our real estate example, this could be suggesting a few neighborhoods in a Tweet that might be a good fit and then following up with information about pros and cons of the neighborhoods. This will not only add value for the prospective customer, it will also be valuable to other people on Twitter.
Another great example is to tweet a few properties that you think might be a good fit for the prospect. Make sure to ask a follow-up question in a tweet to get their input and offer to answer any questions they have.
Ask For Opinions
Once you have found a few prospects that have a similar problem, get their opinion. By asking prospects for their opinion it not only communicates that you care about what they think, it also gives you valuable information.
It is possible that their opinions are based on limited information. If that is the case you can help them become a more informed consumer while also establishing your expertise.
Building on the real estate agent example, you could ask their opinion on a topic such as, “Is a great view worth a longer commute?”.
If you find a prospect has a tweet that is relevant to the product or service you are looking to offer them, retweet it to your followers. This is a great way to initiate a relationship on Twitter. Most people notice when they are retweeted and appreciate it.
Try to promote discussion focused around the prospect’s tweet. If done correctly, this can be a great way to engage followers. You can even crowdsource recommendations from followers and create a series of focused tweets on the topic. When the prospect sees the retweet and checks out your Twitter profile, they will see a series of valuable tweets from not only you, but your followers.
Using our real estate agent example, let’s say that a prospect tweets about wanting a house with the perfect view of Seattle’s Puget Sound. Retweet this to your followers and ask them a question. For example, you could tweet, “What neighborhood in Seattle has the best view of the Puget Sound?”. When followers suggest neighborhoods with great view, you could look up listing with great views in those areas and tweet them to your followers.
By including the original prospect in these Tweets using @username, the prospect can see a series of options and that the recommendations are based on suggestions from a community of followers. There is a chance that one of your existing followers might like one of the houses and become a customer.
Blog About It
Writing a blog post and tweeting it in response to a prospects questions, problem or situation is a great strategy. When the blog post is tweeted to the prospect using @username it is also visible to other people on Twitter. If it is a well-written and informative blog post it is likely that people will retweet it. This can lead to new followers, leads, increased traffic to your blog and an improved search engine ranking.
Building on the real estate agent example and the question about the best views of the Puget Sound in Seattle, we could write a blog post that attempts to answer this question. When blogging make sure to use images, video and share listing. This is a great way to decrease the amount of original content you need to write.
Send a Direct Message
If the prospect is already following you on Twitter you can send them a direct message. This can be a good way to engage prospects without tipping off competitors. In competitive markets, it is possible that your activity on Twitter is being monitored. A competitor could hypothetically see that you have found a great prospect and use similar strategies to convert them into a customer.
Start Finding Customers on Twitter
The open nature of Twitter makes it a great tool for finding prospective customers. Using Twitter’s search feature, you can quickly find prospects and start interacting with them using the six strategies covered in this article.
Let us know how these strategies work for your business! Have tips or other ways to find and convert prospects on Twitter into customers? Share them with us by leaving a comment.