How to Sell Your Services or Products Using Twitter

Have you ever stopped to wonder if being on Twitter is worth it for your business, and how you can sell your services or products using Twitter?

I wanted to find out if Twitter really could generate leads for businesses…so I spent some time researching all of the ‘advice’ out there.

And unfortunately, through the world of social media experts, I didn’t find many with case studies or evidence that being on Twitter actually works.

So I dug a little deeper….

And deeper still….

Does ANYONE generate leads from Twitter?

After several hours of searching, it was a relief to find out – the answer is yes..There are some ways, backed by statistics and experiments, to increase your leads from Twitter – however they’re all pretty hard to find. I’ve found the best of them – and included below are strategies you can implement yourself, no matter how big your company is, and quite a few of them won’t cost you anything.

So in this post:

First up, some general guidance on what to tweet, when (all backed by data)
Then we’ll go through some case studies of unique ways to generate leads – from 15 leads per week, to -how to generate the most ever leads per year for your business.
I’ll show you some tactics which work when you sell your services or products using Twitter, however which may not agree with your own ethics.
And then we’ll round off with a few campaigns Twitter shows as examples of good marketing.

So, are you ready to tweet?

Firstly, it’s not just enough to keep tweeting until your ears bleed (although If I’m honest, there is merit in this strategy if you want 10,000 followers who are all bots that follow you every 2 weeks, then unfollow you 4 weeks later).

The obvious foundation

To increase leads, you need two things:

1. A group of potential leads
2. A way to convert these into leads for you.

Pretty obvious?

Let’s say you have 100 followers on Twitter. You’ll soon exhaust this avenue of leads even if you are the laziest marketer on the planet – so the only way to get more leads through Twitter is to engage with more people.

What should you tweet to get more ‘engagement’

First, I checked out Neil Patel, who – in my opinion is an honest, ethical, professional marketer. His claim: He generates over 50,000 website visits per month from social media over his 3 blogs:

So with a total of around 350k followers, a serious amount of tweets made – 281k (and pretty much most of them relating to high quality content) – it certainly looks like Neil’s a good person to turn to for advice on what to tweet.

Neil produced a monster post on ‘what gets shared the most’

Neil’s advice (all data driven):

  • Users on Twitter tweet images 361% more than they tweet videos
  • If you keep a tweet under 100 characters, you’ll get 17% more engagement
  • Quotes get 847% retweets than questions… but Questions will generate more replies than quotes

Which are good general rules to follow to work the odds in you favour, however they wont’ necessarily drive you leads straight away, so let’s get down to some tactics – (that’s what you’re reading for, right?)

How to sponsor the worlds biggest conferences with a tiny budget

Casey Armstrong ran through one of his most successful Twitter tactics on the excellent Nick O’neill podcast) Casey talked about the results of some advertising he implemented with some impressive results:

So what is this magic tool?

Well, leading up to a conference or event, the organisers will be doing everything under the sun they can to get more people to tweet about the event. All you have to do is to take advantage of the amount of buzz that will be created by the hashtags setup for the event.

So: Let’s say you’re going to the ‘2014 mega hot leads conference’ (hashtag: MHLC) and your company has software that generates leads for companies automatically.

If you bid on #MHLC, your ad can appear every time someone searches for #MHLC in Twitter – meaning you get instant exposure in the lead up to the conference – and some potential leads, even before the conference starts. A great way to sell your services or products using Twitter!

For bonus points – on the day of the conference, if you’re still buying the hashtag, you can even appear on the large screens that conferences normally use to display latest tweets.

And the real beauty of this approach? You don’t even have to spend 3 days walking around the conference and handing out business cards to take advantage of this.

How to convert up to 80% of those who interact with your tweets, to subscribers

Ryan Hoover is CEO of Product Hunt – a company which recently received $6.1m in funding to continue it’s growth of curating the best new products – and distributing on the web and by email.

Ryan used a very cool strategy to generate more email subscribers for his blog:

If anyone retweeted or interacted with Ryan’s content, he’d follow up with a Twitter lead generation card (more on this later), offering the friendly follower the opportunity to sign up to his email list by just clicking a button:

Ryan adds lots of value in his posts, which gives him the great conversion rate on follow up – he’s simply offering his followers something more of what they have already indicated they liked.

Doing it this way takes a LONG time to do (perhaps you could outsource this), however it’s a great way to increase your email lead generation through Twitter.

Repeat your tweets

The half-life for a tweet is only 25 minutes – which means if you craft your most remarkable tweet – then you have the most chance of any engagement in the first 25 minutes. So you’d better hope your most engaged followers are online in that 25 minutes!

Even with this depressing statistic, is there anything you can do to maximise the results from your tweets?

Guy Kawasaki (former Chief Evangelist at Apple) makes a compelling argument for repeating your tweets:

‘If you turn on CNN at 3 a.m., CNN repeats stories all day long — because they know people watch them at different times of the day. People in different time zones and people in the same time zone visit Twitter at different times, so you need to keep posting your content to accommodate all these people’

Which makes sense: So repeating SHOULD work.. shouldn’t it?

But does it?

Holy Kaw tested the theory and repeated tweets

They posted the same tweet three times, spaced apart to allow for time differences…The results:

First post: 739 clicks
Second post: 718 clicks
Third post: 565 clicks

If they had only kept to the one tweet, they’d have stayed at 739 clicks, missing out on the 1,283 more clicks they achieved (which probably only took them 30 seconds to setup). They achieved 74% more engagement, simply by repeating the tweet.

In another example:

The Next Web detailed this case study of repeating a tweet twice after the first post:

Just 2 more tweets led to 417 extra clicks to their website.

Repeating tweets should be done – Just don’t spam and don’t repeat too many times.

Use this simple trick to triple your Twitter followers

Hashtags are the secret to optimising you Twitter followers, with only minimal extra effort. You’ll find that Twitter is great for content marketing too.

Craig Ferguson detailed in a post how he tripled his followers with only 10 minutes extra work – and the chart below shows the remarkable progress with no additional extra tweets.

How to do this?

1. Find highly shareable content

If you aren’t sure what’s shareable, use Buffer to autosuggest for you, Buzzsumo or Streamscience to find content that other people like to share.

2. Find the most popular hashtag for your tweet (this is the magic ingredient)

In the example – Craig runs through how he would optimise for a tweet about ‘chefs knives’. Rather than just guessing the best hashtags to use, he heads over to – and finds popular hashtags to use, per the diagram below

#Food flies high in the hashtag popularity rating (74.3 out of 100), so it’s selected.

3. Combine the highly shareable content, with the hashtag from 2 – and post.

Do this for every tweet – and you’ll see your following (and hopefully leads, soar).

How to use Twitter to generate leads every week through intelligent searching

Would you like 15 new leads per week?

This might sound like a small number, however I think a lot of businesses would be happy with adding 780 qualified leads to their business per year through a fairly easy to implement strategy:

The team at Front leveraged Twitter and mention, to generate 15 new qualified subscribers per week – at the cost of around 45 minutes per day of work.

Steps they took:

1. They used software called Mention , to search for tweets relevant to their product.

2. An alert would then highlight users who had mentioned the keywords

3. They would analyse the tweets – to understand if the tweeter was someone they could help, who could become a user of their software.

4. They would then work out the tone of the tweet, to decide upon the best response:

So, for example, Iggy, was probably not in the mood for help:

But if the tweeter seemed like someone who would be open to a conversation…they would jump right in with an offer to help:

Which, as you can see – works rather well when you sell your services or products using Twitter.

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