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Sales - 7 min READ

How to Succeed with Social Selling on Twitter

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Author photo: Darryl Villacorta

Darryl Villacorta

Content & Community Marketing Manager

Let’s talk about Twitter.

Recently celebrating its thirteenth birthday, Twitter has certainly managed to stand the test of time and is arguably one of the most established networks for social selling.

Closing deals in 280 characters or less might seem like a stretch, right?

But despite Twitter’s simplicity on the surface, the platform is incredibly valuable for salespeople for both prospecting and nurturing customers.

This guide to social selling on Twitter breaks down everything sales reps need to know to successfully navigate the Twitterverse.

Why Twitter works so well for social selling

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: why bother with Twitter?

Hey, it’s a fair question.

Twitter isn’t experiencing the same boom as LinkedIn or Instagram right now. That said, however, it’s shown true staying power as a proven place for people to go directly engage with businesses.

The numbers don’t lie, either. Approximately 75% of B2B companies currently have an active Twitter presence as of 2019. Meanwhile, 85% of small businesses cite Twitter as their go-to channel for handling customer service concerns on social media.

The takeaway here is that not only are your target customers on Twitter but also your competition. This also signals the fact that consumers are totally used to interacting with businesses and salespeople on Twitter.

With Twitter’s 280-character limit, brevity is key – there’s no need to agonize too much over your pitches considering you have to keep it short.

Yet what truly separates social selling on Twitter versus any other network is accessibility. Twitter’s learning curve is relatively low, making the platform a good introduction to social media for reps who might not already be social-savvy.

How to master social selling on Twitter in 7 steps

Twitter has its own sets of quirks and best practices that sales reps need to be aware of before diving head-first. Below are seven steps to follow if you want to make the most of Twitter as a sales channel.

1. Monitor your company’s mentions

Looking at what people are saying about your company is a good starting point for reps on Twitter.

For example, consider some of the reasons why someone might tag your company with an @mention, including:

  • Questions about your company or product
  • Complaints about a product
  • Success stories with your company
  • Concerns about pricing or product features

Twitter is a goldmine for spotting customer marketing opportunities and sales objections alike.

The beauty of social media is that conversations are authentic and off-the-cuff. If you’re looking for unfiltered feedback regarding your company and its products, look no further than Twitter.

As noted in our guide to social selling on Facebook, just make sure that you aren’t overstepping your community managers when communicating with customers.

You can monitor your company’s @mentions manually by simply searching your company’s Twitter account in the regular search bar. If your company is receiving a high volume of mentions, it might make more sense to use a third-party social media monitoring tool such as Sprout Social to stay in the loop:

Search for your company's name in Twitter to see what people are saying about you.

2. Learn how to listen for and respond to sales opportunities

So much of social selling on Twitter involves understanding how to spot sales opportunities “in the wild.”

This includes capitalizing on your @mentions and listening for conversations that uncover prospects and leads.

How do you find these opportunities, though?

Listening for specific keywords and @mentions that are relevant to your business, for starters. In addition to your own @mentions, here are some terms and phrases to watch out for:

Competitor mentions. When searching for recommendations or asking questions, many Twitter users will pit multiple companies against each other (ex: “Trying to decide between @MailChimp and @GetResponse. Thoughts?).

Industry-specific phrases. Many potential customers are in the “just browsing” phase and might not have any particular businesses or brand in mind when looking for products. As a result, you need to tap into conversations where you can be a helping hand (ex: email marketing, email automation, autoresponder, small business email, etc).

Sales and help-related terms. Simply put, these terms will help you hone in those conversations where people need help or signal that they’re ready to buy (ex: help, recommendation, price, question, etc).

Let’s look at some examples of what social selling on Twitter might look like in conversation.

Example 1: “Help! I’m trying to choose between @BrandX, @BrandY or @BrandZ! I’ve heard good things about all three but I’m stuck…”

Response 1: “Hey there! We at @BrandX actually just published a detailed breakdown of how they stack up against the competition. If you have any other questions feel free to DM me! [link]

Example 2: “Small business owner here. Can anyone recommend an email marketing solution? Don’t even know where to start.”

Response 2: “Here’s an awesome introduction to email marketing that @ourcompany just published. Hopefully, this is able to get you started :-) [link]”

Example 3: “Totally fed up with @Brand Z. Constant outages and a price increase to boot? Thank u, next.”

Response 3: “Bummer to hear about your experience. Have you heard about @BrandX? They’re actually running a special for new customers right now that you might want to check out.”

See how that works?

Just like any other platform, social selling on Twitter means presenting yourself as a helping hand and avoiding the hard sell. By knowing what terms to keep an eye on, you can uncover opportunities to nurture customers and win deals.

3. Personalize your pitches

As noted in our examples, salespeople can’t just drop links with no context and walk away.

Unfortunately, we see this from reps all the time.

When publishing content or responding to a prospect, make sure that you address their specific problems and concerns. This does double duty of showing your diligence while also proving that you’re not some sort of robot. Having a distinct, friendly voice certainly helps, too.

This back-and-forth exchange is an awesome example of how personalization and persistence can help you win over prospects.

Shooting your shot...
... has its rewards.

In short, focus on answering questions and concerns on Twitter first and foremost. People will appreciate your assistance and your honesty.

4. Respond to prospects, leads, and customers in a timely manner

Simply put, timeliness is a big deal on Twitter.

The majority of consumers on Twitter expect a response within an hour from businesses when it comes to customer service concerns.

Just as you wouldn’t sleep on an email or query from a lead, be speedy when responding to @mentions and questions. Failing to do so could result in lost interest or a competitor beating you to the punch. This again highlights for reps to be active on Twitter in addition to monitoring their @mentions.

5. Make an effort to move your conversation beyond Twitter

Although Twitter is indeed a great place to go back-and-forth to nurture customers, its 280-character limit can cut more detailed conversations short.

Twitter DMs are an option, but your end-game should be to move your conversations from social media to your site or email. That’s why sharing links is such a smart move, encouraging people to opt-in to your email list or engage with your content.

That’s not to say your social conversations aren’t valuable, though. Either before or after you start nurturing a lead via Twitter, you can start logging their specific details with the help of a CRM such as Copper. This ultimately gives you a more “complete” profile of your leads without having to dig into your Twitter feed to remember your last conversation.

6. Use Twitter to make touchpoints with potential and current customers

Piggybacking on the last tip, Twitter is definitely one of the easiest platforms for making touchpoints with customers and leads alike. This is why Twitter is such a popular place for account-based marketing.

Think about it. Actions such as comments, retweets, and “likes” only take a few seconds of your time but could represent valuable engagement that helps you stick out in someone’s mind over time. This also highlights how easy it is to engage on Twitter, which leads us to our last point...

7. Maintain an active presence yourself

“Looking the part” is one of the most important aspects of social selling on Twitter.

For example, you’d rightfully be suspicious of someone with no profile picture and followers versus someone with a smiling face and an active presence, right?

Given that Twitter is crawling with bots, proof that you’re an actual person goes a long way. A clean profile picture and personalized bio can do the trick.

In terms of activity, it doesn’t take much to maintain a Twitter presence. Even if you’re not constantly coming up with tweets yourself, some low-hanging ways to stay active include:

  • Sharing company content and milestones
  • Following and commenting on the accounts of relevant industry publishers and players
  • Following competitors to keep an eye on their social strategy
  • Sharing snapshots from your personal life (try to keep it professional versus political)

Is Twitter part of your sales strategy?

With a low learning curve and direct access to your target audience, it’s no secret why so many sales reps are so active on Twitter.

As customers continue to sound off on businesses and ask questions about products, social selling on Twitter is here to stay. It’s perhaps the easiest place for salespeople to get started with social selling if they’re total newbies.

Hopefully, this guide provided some much-needed inspiration to do exactly that! With the help of social media and tools like Copper, you can empower your reps to have meaningful conversations with customers to close more deals.

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