Slowly but surely, many business owners are realizing that Twitter is a terrific (and free) tool for a variety of business purposes, including marketing, customer service, branding and PR and generating leads. Those who use it effectively are generating traffic for their websites, building networks and getting closer to their customers.
Using Twitter specifically to generate leads is something that works differently for different types of businesses. You should try out different approaches and see what works best for you. Then go with that.
Here are 10 things you can do on Twitter to attract prospects to your business:
1) Tweet about special offers you have available at your business. But follow this tactic judiciously. Tweeting too often about business offers can get you labeled as a spammer. One nice way around this is to weave offers into a blog post or article on your website. Then simply Tweet a link to your article, with some “teaser” text to spark interest.
2) Create your own business-branded page on Twitter. This makes it easier to generate leads. An enhanced business profile page increases your Twitter presence by prominently featuring your most important content and visually branding your page. Your enhanced profile page is completely public — users can view it without joining or logging into Twitter. Twitter is still in the process of rolling out this feature to all businesses. See details at business.twitter.com.
3) Use “featured tweets.” This is available from your business brand page and lets you display select tweets at the top of your page for an extended time. Normally tweets move down the page as you add more, but these stay put and are a great way to feature special promotions or offers.
4) Target key products, services and industry terms via Twitter Search. It’s a simple yet powerful tool you can use from inside Twitter to help you identify the people and companies that care about the things that your business does. This will open up a rich vein of potential people to follow who may follow you back.
5) Look professional and attract more attention by installing your own custom Twitter page background. This can include colors, images, logos and other graphics related to your business. The better your page looks, the more customers you’ll attract.
6) Make sure your Twitter profile shows up in search. Your Twitter profile can contain a maximum 160 characters so make the most of it by including the top keywords associated with your business or profession. You can’t use all of your keywords, so be sure and pick the best. Be brief and grab attention.
7) Answer questions. Two out of three Twitter users say they are more likely to buy something from a local business that answers their questions on Twitter. So while that begs the question of how many of your customers and prospects are actually on Twitter, it’s a safe bet that whatever that number is, it will only get bigger.
8) Leverage the power of #Hashtags to locate your leads. On Twitter, hashtags are used to organize tweets around specific topics. They’re the words with the pound sign (#) in front of them. By pargeting your tweets to specific hashtags – or topic streams – you will reach people specifically interested in that topic.
9) Chime into Twitter “Chat.” On Twitter, “chats” are similar to hashtags except more granular. There’s a publicly available document posted on Google Docs call “Twitter Chat Schedule” that lists over 600 chats on specific topics. Just search “Twitter chat Schedule” on Google to find it.
10) Create a customized Twitter visitor welcome page for your business website. Once you have this, you can include the link in your Twitter profile and in your tweets. Anyone who clicks on it will arrive at your special welcome page for people who’ve found you via Twitter. This customizes your message and makes them feel especially welcome. It also opens up the possibility of special offers to Twitter users.
About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.