Nowadays, social media is one of the most popular places for salespeople to find prospects. But lately, the competition for the number one site has been on the ropes between Twitter and LinkedIn. Conventional wisdom says that LinkedIn is obviously the most important social network for salespeople. But is that really true?
LinkedIn, with it’s 364 million users, and Twitter, with it’s 302 million users, are both in a rush to get the most people on their platforms. But even though LinkedIn has more users and most presume it to be the top platform for salespeople, a survey conducted by Forbes found that Twitter ranked slightly higher when it came to sales prospecting.
So should you look for prospects for your small business on Twitter? It could be worth a try. The nature of Twitter, its users, and how the platform works all come together into a tool ideal for prospecting. Consider a few of Twitter’s features:
- Twitter allows people to retweet, favorite, follow and reply freely. LinkedIn requires users to add someone to their network before they can interact, making it harder for salespeople to get through.
- Users on Twitter are much more casual with their profiles and messages. If you’re prospecting, you’ll be able to find out much more about a potential lead than on LinkedIn, where information is formally worded and carefully given out.
- The fast pace of Twitter makes it ideal for answering a question or solving a problem a user tweets out by replying with a page on your website that informs or a piece of content that educates. Relationships can grow at a much more accelerated rate this way.
These points don’t mean that LinkedIn is an ineffective tool for prospecting. It’s still helpful for networking your way to an introduction, gathering information on possible leads, and deepening a relationship that you started elsewhere (like Twitter). But adding Twitter to your regular prospecting activities can take your social selling to a whole new level.
How to Take Advantage of It?
Try out these steps to start selling while you’re tweeting:
- Determine keywords that people use to search for a solution like yours.
- Plug these into the Twitter search function. Try them with and without the hashtag (a.k.a. the # symbol). This will help you find people talking about what you offer.
- Look at who people follow, who follows them, what lists they’re on, their profile, and what they tweet about to determine if they’re a fit for your business.
- Engage with them by favoriting, retweeting, replying, and following. Build a relationship and continue to gather information.
- Eventually you can direct message them for a phone call or coffee meeting after you’ve spent a fair amount of time interacting. Don’t do this too soon!
- You can then add them on LinkedIn since now they’re a real life connection. Congratulations on being well on your way to a sale!
Getting started with prospecting on Twitter sounds mysterious at first, but with clear cut steps it’s as easy as any other type of marketing you might do for your business. As long as you’re consistent in responding to interactions promptly and stay on the lookout for new prospects regularly, you’ll be able to turn the time you spend tapping out messages into leads to fill your pipeline.
About the Author: Jeff Reinstein is the Chief Executive Office of Premier Business Centers. He has helped the company grow from 9 center locations to more than 70 since he first joined the team in 2002.