Saturday, May 3, 2014

How to Use Twitter for Lead Nurturing



How do you turn your Twitter followers into valuable prospects, customers and brand advocates?
As the quarterly campaign approach is replaced by a continuous dialogue, Twitter can help you listen in on what your target market is talking about. Part of a nurturing strategy should find you joining in the conversations in a timely and appropriate way.
Conversations can quickly and effectively boost your business both in stature, leadership and expertise. Effective listening, quality content and conversation are key to cultivating a long-term relationship with prospects. Repeat sales, brand building and trust should be all part of your nurturing.
Here are six important areas to consider as you embed Twitter into your lead nurturing process.
Creating Leads — Relationships can make Twitter work to create leads. Primarily you need to spend time cultivating conversation with the group of people who are interested in your knowledge and expertise. These people will share your knowledge outside of your immediate network. Build your follower base and actively engage with people that are likely to be interested in your brand. Keep your ratio of followers to following, at 1:1, this can provide a better impression, one which shows you are listening and also being listened to.
Nurturing Leads — Conversation and content is what Twitter is all about. Think of the buying process from the customers point of view. Provide useful and interesting items that are relevant throughout the key stages of awareness, consideration, shortlisting and buying. Ask for feedback from your prospects, discover their needs and interests, which in turn will help you recognize when they are ready to move to a sales-led conversation.
The Role of Content — Include links in your tweets to engage people and provide them with information about your specialization. Tweet about your new products or services in moderation and aim for the number of conversational tweets to be more than marketing messages. Remember to include a call-to-action – ask people to respond, if your tweet is useful or valuable ask them to re-tweet. This will spread the word beyond your network of followers.
Sales Messaging — When engaging with a brand on Twitter, people expect a certain amount of marketing but it’s not the same as subscribing to a newsletter. Followers can quickly punish companies whose content is heavily loaded towards sales pitches.
Building brand and trust should always be uppermost in your tweets. The use of offers and sales messages will depend on your company position. Similarly, whichever industry your business is in, will determine what your offers are. Service-led businesses will be more interested in case studies and benchmarking stats, whereas price-led businesses will respond to special offers.
Tracking with Technology — There are numerous tools available that monitor and manage your Twitter feed. Which one to use will depend on your objectives, complexity of Twitter management and whether you intend to align other social channels. Track all outbound links and monitor your site for visitors referred by Twitter. Identify your key conversion goals and track where your Twitter activity is leading prospects along your nurture path.
Tweeting Responsibility — B2B marketing strategy doesn’t stop at the sales department door. With a nurture approach to lead generation, managing the overlap between functions gives a better result. To be of value, contacts need to be qualified and profiled before being passed on to the sales team. How and when leads are handed over will depend on your product, organization and how you have structured your Twitter account.

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