Today's blog article is another guest post from Lois Raats who I have met at various networking events over the past few months. She provides growth coaching and training for business owners in southern Ontario. Below is her article which discusses twitter leads....how to get them and how to use them to get new customers.
Social media and specifically twitter seems to be getting a lot of talk recently in small business circles. The question I think many small business owners has is, is it worth the time and is there an ROI. Can it really be used to increases sales?
One person who seems to have been successful with Twitter is Mark Elliott of Venture Accelerator Partners Inc. At a Communitech seminar he shared that by using twitter he was recently able to complete the following:
- close 3 B2B deals
- attract $150,000 worth of potential opportunities into his sales funnel
- book 50+ meetings
Below is a combination of the tips Mark included in his presentation in addition to a variety of my own best practices.
1. Go in with the right mindset
- Use twitter to build connections, conversations, and relationships. Expect sales to happen later in the process. Mark describes how it's a whole different sales conversation when you already know you both love hockey before you even sit down to talk business! Online conversations and tweets let new people get to become familiar with you long before you actually meet them. Your goal should be to get to know the person first, then to get a meeting, not a sale
- Always look to add value and give before you get. This goes without saying. Seriously avoid using social media to pitch your products or services or you will become the person everyone wants to avoid.
2. Have a great profile
- Make sure you have a great photo, accurate information and a compelling description of you and your company
- Ensure you are constantly tweeting, have other social media sites like youtube and slide share send tweets automatically to your profile. Have your blog post if you are a blogger also sent to your twitter account
3. Expand your network.
- follow people whenever you come across them
- send emails to people you meet at networking events requesting that they follow you on twitter
- put your twitter link on your website, linkedin page and facebook page
- include your twitter URL on your business card
- retweet other people's posts as then your tweet with show up on feed for all people that are connected to the person you retweeted or replied to
- search out twitter profiles of competitors, suppliers, customers and prospects, with an extra focus on prospects and and follow them all
- listen to the online conversations of prospects and your competitors
- try and find the pain points of your prospects by what they are tweeting about, then use this information when you approach them via a tweet reply
- use anything they comment about to start a conversation or start a discussion
5. Heavy participation
- retweet and reply to tweets actively with those people which you are most interested in meeting
6. Use the twitter # hashtags
- hashtags identify your tweets to a particular topic, trend or industry, which will make them more searchable and visible
- using hashtags will expand the number of people your tweets will be noticed by
7. Utilize the Twitter @ symbol
- using the @ symbol lets someone know you are tweeting at them, this will increase the chance that the person takes notice
- using the @ symbol will also mean your tweets with that persons and an at symbol will come up when someone searches for tweets at that person
8. Use lists to further expand your reach
- lists are just another way to expand your networks, if you create a list there will be people that will find your list and then follow you
- be sure to also follow any lists that are relevant to your business, this again is a way for more people to find you
9. Measure your results
- track how many yours you spend on twitter and the corresponding meetings and sales you close. Compare this versus your other sales methods to see if Twitter is more effective or not
- track the traffic to your website to see if your twitter activity is driving more traffic. Ask prospects who found you via your website if they first found your website via twitter.
If you follow the above steps I think you will find that twitter can be an effective tool to get the sometimes more difficult but larger and more valuable customers. At a minimum by tracking you will be able to see if it is effective or not. Give it time to develop though, as with any form of networking, it will take time to form relationships and close deals.
Lois Raats is the founder and Principal of Ready2Grow Associates, which is located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She provides individual coaching, group coaching, teleseminars for small business owners in addition to corporate training and public speaking for businesses in southern Ontario. To learn more visit her website at www.ready2grow.com. Thanks again to Lois for writing this article.
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I hope this article on twitter leads by Lois Raats will help you grow your business. Thanks for reading.