Inbound marketers will tell you it is absolutely imperative for your company to have a social media presence. But with all the different tools and platforms, it gets complicated and confused and sometimes you just don’t know where to start. So you don’t.
I’m writing this article for two reasons: 1) to convince you that it’s worth your while and 2) to show you how one of these platforms (Twitter) can help you on your lead generation quests.
According to Eloqua's study conducted in May 2012, socially referred traffic has more than doubled since Q1 2011. Which means that more and more people are finding companies through social media and this number is increasing on a daily basis. Your prospects are hanging out in different platforms and it would be great if you can go hang out with them. One of the most popular social “hangouts” is Twitter.
In a nutshell, Twitter is a social media platform that enables its users to broadcast and follow messages (tweets) that are up to 140 characters long. Because of this, it’s been described as “Internet SMS”. While this seems like a simple enough proposition, Twitter has gained an incredible following and is still growing today.
Twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited website worldwide by Alexa’s web traffic analysis. According to the English Daily Mail, since its launch in July 2006, Twitter has over 500 million registered users, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day. The users range from teenagers to adults, small companies to big companies, individuals to groups. With these stats, you will definitely find your audience there.
So the question is, how can Twitter help you generate and nurture leads? Here are 4 ways.
1. Increases Your Chance of Being Found
Think about it this way: your company has a product. If you sell it in one store exclusively, then there is only one way for your prospects to find it. Selling it in 20 stores, on the other hand, will make your product a lot easier to find (do I need to tell you how amazing that is for your sales?).
While the numbers still favor Google as the people’s favorite go-to platform to search, Twitter users are relying on Twitter to a) ask their networks about whatever they are looking for, and b) to ask opinions about whatever they are looking for.
If you are already producing content of high value for your buyers, Twitter is a great way to promote that content. Because its context is causal, if the content is valuable, it will be shared through networks of friends and influencers.
Having a Twitter account also means that search engines will have more pages in their index for your company. Then your company has better chances of ending up in the first search engine page results.
That being said, I have to warn you that having an inactive Twitter account is worse that not having one. Your prospects will either think that you’re not very concerned with them or they will assume that the company itself isn’t very active. It is very similar to the pitfall of having an inactive blog.
2. Amasses a Consistent Following
When a prospect follows your company’s Twitter account, they will be receiving everything you post from that point. Which means that they will not forget your company’s name as long as you keep posting. Your tweets will appear on their feed until they choose to unfollow you.
This presents you with the opportunity to impress your prospects with all the valuable insight you have to offer. Share your thoughts in quick, clever, 140-character tweets. Once you’ve grabbed their attention, they can start digging into more lengthy blog articles. If you are posting valuable insights, this will ensure a consistent socially-referred traffic flow.
3. Builds a Bridge Between Your Company and Your Prospects
Companies such as Nike and HubSpot have Twitter accounts specially for customer service. People can tweet them about a problem and they will respond with the solution. Since this interaction occurs on a social media platform, it is more casual and turns your company into a friend (like hanging out with your boss outside of the office).
If you are vigilant about responding to people’s tweets, you can build trust and garner your prospect’s loyalty. You can mention them directly with the @mention feature to personalize tweets and show them that they matter to your company.
4. Helps You Keep an Eye on Trends and Problems
Thanks to the #hashtag feature, you can easily find what topics are trending on the tweet-osphere. You can use this information to tailor your content creation to the relevant trends. This way, you can grab people’s attention and appear up-to-date on all the latest events.
When the Gangnam Style video was all anybody could talk about, the HubSpot employees made their own Gangnam parody and tweeted it. It was tweeted 565 times. Factoring in the number of tweets and re-tweets, at least a thousand people tweeted about it on their personal accounts, spreading the HubSpot name throughout the tweet-osphere. The video was watched 196,717 times. Just by making a 3 minute parody of a trending sensation, HubSpot was able to reach a lot of people.
You can also check out what problems your prospects are having by regularly checking their tweets. If you can pick out a recurring problem, you can offer a solution to fix it. You can make sure you’re always addressing your prospects’ pains.
Key Stats to Keep in Mind
1. Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site in January 2009 from its previous rank of twenty-second. (Source: http://www.compete.com)
2. On September 7, 2011, Twitter announced that it has 100 million active users logging in at least once a month and 50 million active users every day.
3. As of 2012, there are 500 million registered users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day. (Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
4. Twitter as the third most used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits. (Source: http://www.compete.com)