Twitter is a portal to the real-time universe of potential customers. Whether you’re looking for business-to-business (B2B) leads or seeking to expand your retail customer base, Twitter offers powerful tools for lead generation. Here are the steps you can take to make the best business use of Twitter:
Create Appealing Content or A Special Offer
The first step is to create something valuable that you can direct your Twitter followers to. This can be a special offer for your products, or it can be useful content such as a video or report. Of course you already have your website, but in order to generate new traffic via social media, you have to go farther and make sure you’re offering something attractive enough that people in your network will want to share it with their friends.
Take...well, take you, for example. It's very possible that you're reading this post because you were looking for information on how to generate leads with Twitter. Maybe you follow us or our tweet about this blog entry was retweeted by somebody you follow. Perhaps we even hashtagged #leadgeneration and you found it that way.
Whatever the case, you're here because we have something to say. If we didn't - if we weren't proactive about providing you with something useful that you wanted to read and share - you might not have found us. And hopefully, whether it's this blog or one of our resources, we've created something valuable enough that you want to share it.
Make a Landing Page for Your Content
A landing page is a clean page on your website specifically targeted to people who click on the Twitter invitation you’ll be sending out. Your landing page will give users a place to enter their name and email address, and (after they do that) it allows them to watch the video, download the report, or take advantage of your special offer. You can also create an email marketing campaign in order to stay in contact with each person whose information you have collected.
A blog post is only one of the pieces of information we offer. We also have whitepapers, a newsletter which you can sign up to receive, and monthly webinars that are free to attend. Each of these pieces of content has its own specific landing pages that highlight the relevant points you'll need to decide whether it's something that can help you. Using specific landing pages is much more effective than simply directing people to your general homepage after narrowing their focus to a specific offering.
Tweet Your Invitation
Now it’s time to invite your Twitter followers to take advantage of the offer you've created. Publish an intriguing tweet that refers to their situation or problem, and includes the (shortened) link to your landing page. Ask a question with the word "you" or "your" in it, to catch the user's attention: "Do you need a better way to ______?" "What's your biggest obstacle to ______?" "Did you know that 90% of ______?" Engage your users by encouraging (and retweeting) their responses.
Use Twitter Cards and Other Tools
Twitter Cards help you share your content on all types of devices across the web. They allow you to attach media content to your tweets, and Twitter is still in the very early phases of offering this new tool to the public. Twitter's blog describes the way in which these cards can be used for generating leads. Using Twitter cards will show that your business is fresh and current, positioned to take advantage of the leading edge of social media marketing.
You can also use third party tools like Followerwonk, Social Crawlytics and Buffer to research and develop a more effective presence while you ease into social media.
Engage in Conversations
Remember that successful social media marketing (just like successful in-person networking) relies on how well you pay attention to the person you’re talking with. Don’t simply generate a string of bulletins about what your business is up to; instead, engage your customers in conversation just as you would do in real life. Ask them questions about themselves, and listen to their answers. Show an interest in them.
When your customers feel that you’re interested in them, and that you have something valuable to offer, they’ll want to tell their friends about you.