Social media has undoubtedly changed the way businesses identify potential sales leads and interact with customers. If businesses have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that social media cannot be ignored. Twitter, specifically, is an effective tool for lead discovery, relationship nurturing and driving sales. In fact, last year 82 per cent of social media driven leads came from Twitter alone.
Twitter is unique because it allows new customers to learn about your company from a distance and engage with your brand with little commitment on their part. By “following” your brand on Twitter, customers have the ability to absorb the content you share and use it to form opinions and to make purchasing decisions about your product or service.
People use Twitter to share information, opinions, recommendations and experiences. It’s highly likely that people are tweeting right now about your company, brand, product or industry. These tweets provide valuable insights that could lead to big bucks if you know how to successfully engage with potential leads through this platform.
Engaging with sales leads on Twitter is certainly a shift in the way many businesses are used to communicating. Using Twitter as a sales tool, forces companies to participate in a dialogue with their customers instead of presenting a bold and aggressive sales pitch. This can be challenging and requires commitment and investment from companies who want to see their numbers grow…and grow quickly.
While there are many benefits to incorporating Twitter and social media into your sales mix, or toolbox, there are a few things you need to avoid. Just as there are rules of engagement in offline social settings, so there are when engaging on Twitter.
Here are three Twitter mistakes that could cost you sales:
Going in for the Hard Sell
Tweeters don’t want be pitched. That’s the truth. So don’t pitch them.
When you’re approaching customers, whether for the first time or fifteenth time, don’t go in for the kill and try to close a sale in 140 characters (or less). Twitter is a tool that is used to share information, so start by learning about your customer. What they are talking about? Who they are interacting with? Use this information to offer them content that’s relevant and will help you build a relationship with them. Engage with them by asking questions or perhaps assist them with a problem like offering tips to help resolve an issue with a product or respond to a question they might have posed in a tweet.
Leads derived from Twitter are not all sales-ready. Before you go in for the sale, you need to identify if this is a sales-ready lead or a non sales-ready lead. To do this, to look for information within the context of a tweet and the information related to the user who sends the tweet. Look for indications that inform you about the status of the user and whether this is a lead to nurture or a lead to act upon.
You might need to do a little courting to help move them to a place where they are ready to make a purchase. If you act to quickly, you will kill the sale and potentially push them in the direction of your competitor.
It’s important to build a relationship with your leads before you try to make a sale. Too often marketers see a potential lead on social media and immediately pitch the sale. It’s the easiest way to turn off a customer and could damage your brands reputation.
While both cold and hot leads have a place in your marketing mix, it’s clear that hot leads are the easiest to close. Each of these types of leads, sales ready and not, need to be approached differently. Both need to be approached personally and authentically. For a sales-ready lead you can be a bit more aggressive with the sale. With a non-sales-ready lead you need to approach with caution and focus on building a relationship.
No Existing Relationship
The mistake that will surely send a potential customer in the opposite direction is attempting to make a sale without first establishing a relationship. It’s like a bad pick-up line; it simply won’t get you where you want to go.
Social media is all about building relationships and developing strong networks around shared interests. In order to succeed in making a sale using Twitter you need to switch up your approach and invest the time in getting to know your customers and letting them get to know you.
It truly is a two-way street, and if you don’t approach it as such, you’ll kill the sale and send your customers down another road.
Creating a relationship with your customers through Twitter requires you to be personable and approachable. Leave the corporate jargon, sales pitches and one-liners in the presentation deck. When you enter the Twittersphere, bring some personality with you.
People do business with people they like and trust. For that reason, you need to develop your own sense of personality and align that with the audience with which you’re trying to connect.
Essentially, you need to humanize your brand and keep in mind that the person on the other side of the computer is a human too. Your customers, followers, and the leads you’re pursuing need to be approached as if you were connecting face-to-face. Putting the time and effort into developing a human connection in a digital space will go a long way in developing strong relationships and building brand loyalty.
When courting your leads, don’t forget to be sincere and steer away from trying to sell them. This will help build trust and relationships that can be leveraged into sales.
Not Putting Their Wants First
Not putting the customer’s wants first is one mistake a company should never make. When you only have 140 characters to communicate, it’s pretty easy to make your point clearly. Your customers’ needs and wants are probably quite obvious and it’s up to you to recognize them and address them.
Again, start by listening; is there a problem or concern that you can solve? Is there confusion you can clarify? Is there a need that you can satisfy? From there, create content that satisfies this need.
Once you have an understanding of the situation, deliver content that has value and is relevant to the specific lead. Don’t focus on yourself; focus on what’s important to them. Don’t be afraid to avoid talking about your product and instead discuss personal interests. Avoid corporate speak and humanize your brand by presenting a personality.
Keep in mind; what’s valuable to one potential customer may not be to another. You must ensure that your messages are specific to the need of each lead and treat each relationship uniquely.
It’s clear that Twitter is an effective space for companies to identify and nurture leads. It can lead to a deeper understanding of the needs and wants of potential customers, the development of stronger relationships with your customers and increased sales.
In the end, it’s about leaving the sales pitch behind and engaging in organic, relevant conversations that establish a relationship between your brand and your customer. Companies will gain more from using Twitter when they commit to providing value through tweets, rather than constantly trying to sell their product or service.