Twitter is a great place to start relationships that end in sales. We often forget that’s what it’s all about, don’t we?
Getting more sales, or any sales at all from Twitter starts with targeting. I know it’s a nasty little marketing term, but it’s critical.
Before I get into the tricks let’s talk about targeting. If you’re using Twitter for any purpose don’t you want to be talking to interesting relevant people? Of course you do, so start intelligently targeting an interesting audience. None of this works without targeting/attracting a relevant audience.
Research and Target Your Ideal Customer
Dig in and find people that might want what you sell. Twitter search is the obviously place to start.
Brainstorm what folks might put in their profiles or say in their Twitterstream that would identify them as prospects. Even better, take a look at some of your existing customer’s Twitter profiles and streams. Any clues in there on how to find more like them?
Here’s one of my favorite targeting techniques: Harvest your competitors’ followers.
Follow Your Prospects
Don’t be shy. Twitter is a very open networking venue. People don’t mind you following and the BIG BONUS is that most auto-follow you back! That’s the easiest (lowest friction) marketing opt-in on the Web.
This does two things for you:
- Gives you a free stream of targeted market research
- Gives you the biggest, cheapest, fastest marketing list ever
SECRET: We’ll talk about automation again later, but I’m going to reveal a little trick I use. Remember how I said I like to follow who my competitors follow? Well, there is this cool tool called Tweetspinner [affiliate link] that let’s me mimic the following of certain Twitters. It also automates my following of certain keywords (sales triggers). I’ve been using this for a couple of years. It pays for itself in sales, every month!
Make Yourself Attractive
For some of us this is harder than others.
Ever notice how you can spot the Twitter spammers–scantly clad women. We’ll there’s a reason. Attractive sells. Of course, I’m not suggesting this, but you should take some time to make your profile appealing. That means:
- Take a nice picture of yourself (smiling!)
- Fill out your profile. Make it about what you can do for others
- Make a Twitter background or have one made
These simple, fast basics will increase your appeal over 90% of the Twitterverse.
Make Your Twitterstream Interesting
At some point (hopefully) your prospect is going to visit your Twitterstream, make it a good reflection of doing business with you. Here are a few things I suggest:
- Make it personal. Show that you are actually talking to people, not just broadcasting.
- Find and add value: RT and highlighting interesting links (content)
A stream full of auto-tweets from your blog or no tweets at all will definitely kill any potential. Your stream should also display your expertise–help people, answer questions, provide references. It’s sales, but it looks like good old fashion “help a neighbor.”
Send Them Places
This is a big one that folks often mess-up.
“People come back to places that send them away. Memorize that one.” Dave Winer, Scripting.com
This adds value and demonstrates that you have your finger on the pulse of your industry.
(Smartly) Use Automation
Twitter can get really hard to manage.
As you build a sizable audience you will attract more and more noise–follower management then becomes critical. A tool like TweetSpinner [affiliate link], which I use, can help you de-spam your followers, productively find new relevant folks, and do clever things like rotate in fresh bio photos and backgrounds.
Another smart thing to automate is the Tweeting of you most recent blog postings (if you have one).
However, what you shouldn’t automate is gimmicky auto follow scripts, RT’ing in mindless RSS feeds, or Tweeting some canned ad for your services over and over again. Remember your Twitter behavior is a reflection of you to your prospects. Be professional and polite. People like to buy from those sort of folks.
Bring Them to the Sale
Finally, and please don’t forget this, you need to ask for the sale. From the first time a follower encounters you there should be no question what you do to make money, and how it might be right for them.
That doesn’t mean the every Tweet is, “Buy my …” However, you’re profile should have a link to your product or service and every now and then it’s okay to say, “Working with a client on [insert solution]” or “Anyone need help with [skill].” Not only will someone in your audience (assuming it is well targeted) possibly see it, but Twitter really works on search–folks looking for that help will find you.
Questions? Ideas? More thoughts? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.
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