We’ve all heard that we need to be on Twitter, but it seems like a huge waste of time. And sometimes it is – if you’re just messing around on the social network and pitching folks to get on a demo, it probably won’t be that helpful to you.
Why? Because the goal of using Twitter isn't to sell something at the very second you tweet. It's to set the relationship groundwork with prospects. It's to establish trust with them, so they feel comfortable returning your phone calls or chatting through emails.
So if you have 20 minutes a day to devote to closing more deals, keep on reading. We'll show you how to set yourself up for success on Twitter and give you tips for taking the conversation to the next step in your sales process.
The First Day: Setting Yourself Up for Success
Half the Twitter battle is being prepared. A little organization at the get-go can help you establish better connections and save time down the road. Here are a few things you can do in 20 minutes on your very first day on Twitter:
1) Treat your profile like your business card.
Your profile is like your business card on Twitter. If it doesn't look professional, you might not make the best impression. To appear credible, try the following:
Grab a memorable handle: This is usually a version of your name, which'll make it easier for prospects to remember when tweeting with you.
Add a professional headshot: Avoid a cropped picture of you from a party, use a proper headshot.
Add a descriptive bio: Include your professional and personal interests. For example, you could say your title, the name of the place you work (bonus points if you include your company's Twitter handle), your alma mater, and a few of your hobbies.
Make your account public: Prospects will wonder what you're hiding otherwise. A public profile helps establish trust immediately.
These are the most crucial elements we've found for customizing your Twitter profile. If you've found any additional optimization techniques for salespeople, share them in the comments!
2) Create prospect and customer lists.
Next, create a private list of prospects that you're trying to engage in the next sales cycle. (Here's instructions if you need them.) This way, you can keep an eye on folks you're trying to sell to without having their tweets dominate your Twitter feed. After all, you'll still need to monitor and interact with folks that'll never buy from you -- that's the spirit of social media.
3) Monitor and/or setting up alerts.
After your profile is in tact and you've got a private list of prospects set up, you're ready to listen. Just like you wouldn't jump into a conversation at a cocktail party and immediately begin talking, you shouldn't start tweeting immediately.
Spend a few minutes each day scanning your lists to discover opportunities to connect with prospects. To expedite this process, you can use the free Sidekick and Zapier integration to get real-time alerts when someone tweets or mentions your company name, competitor name, or any keyword of your choice.
Every Day After That: Engaging With Prospects on Twitter
With day one down, here are a few ways you can engage prospects on Twitter that should take no more than 20 minutes a day:
1) Schedule tweets they'd be interested in -- and make sure they notice.
It doesn't matter what content someone's interested in -- notice what they tweet about, and share similar content with them about it. Maybe the person you're connecting with has a company blog. You should try tweeting some of their articles. Or maybe you could share a link from a certain publication about a topic you know they tweet about often. Regardless, just find content that they'll enjoy and could help you better sell to them down the road.
The key to this whole process is to make sure the prospect knows you tweeted at them. Add their Twitter handle to the end, like this:
If you notice that one of your prospects tweets something you're also interested in, retweet their content. They'll get a notification that you did, which is a nice way to get you on a prospect's radar.
That being said, don't retweet every single tweet a prospect sends -- that becomes creepy after a bit.
3) Engage in real conversations.
Besides sharing a link with a prospect, feel free to strike up a conversation with a prospect just like you would on the phone. For example, you can ask for their opinion on an article they tweeted. To be honest, there's no formula for striking up a conversation -- you'll just need to tap into the same skills that make you a great sales rep and apply them to Twitter.
Remember, the ultimate goal of being on Twitter isn't to sit and chat -- it's to better connect with prospects to move along the sales process. You'll want to use these tactics to get your prospect to the next step: chatting with you through email or phone.
Are you using Twitter for sales prospecting? Share what's working for you below.
Originally published Mar 5, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016