If you’re like most small business owners, you were seduced by the business community to use Twitter. You gave it a try, because you wanted more leads for your business. You noticed some successes such as watching your Twitter followers grow, and maybe you’ve noticed that it’s increasing traffic to your website, but you haven’t had any direct business leads from Twitter. Let’s look at how you can get targeted leads on Twitter that convert.

Don’t be seduced by your follower count

I believe in the power of random connections, but you have to cultivate a large network that you actively engage with to benefit. A lot of the people who are evangelical about how wonderful Social Media is for business know all the latest tools, trends and have planned processes in place. You probably don’t have time to learn all of that, so let’s move your Twitter strategy away from getting large numbers of followers to a more useful Social Media Marketing goal.

Step 1 – Decide a specific group of people you want to target

Failing to define a target market is to blame for most Social Media Marketing efforts not working. This is absolutely the most crucial step to get right. (If you don’t have a target market for your business, use Twitter or a Linkedin group to ask your ideal market for their opinion on your product / service. Ideally, you’ll need to do more research than that, but it’s a simple place to start.)
Example of a Target ‘Niche’ Market –  Chartered Accountants in Manchester or women who read Vogue magazine.

Step 2 – Test the best way to search for your target market

Some target markets are easier to identify on Twitter than others. Using Chartered Accountants in Manchester as an example, there are approximately 15 Twitter profiles that come up in a search. You will want to start by connecting with those 15. You could adjust your niche market to include Chartered Accountants in another nearby area or look to target Accountants in Manchester to get more results to work with. Finding women who read Vogue is simple. Visit the Vogue twitter account and click on their Followers link.

Step 3 – Add targeted followers to a list

Create a list. Follow each person in your search and add them to your list. Do not add more than 100 followers in one day.

Step 4 – Monitor and start building relationships with your targeted list

Spend a little time each day monitoring your targeted Twitter list. Look for opportunities to communicate with them. Be both reactive and proactive with your communications. Respond to their questions, show sympathy for their gripes, respond to their comments. You can also ask them questions about their business or target market, ask them to participate in a Twitter poll or send them a link to a relevant survey, ask their opinion.

Step 5 – Get them into your sales process

I know that not all businesses have a formal sales process. If you don’t have a sales process in place, decide a way to more directly tell your Twitter leads about your products/ services. You could look up their phone number on their website and call them for an informal chat. You can send them a personal email. You could even send them a personal letter with a company brochure in the post. Asking what type of leads they are looking for helps reassure leads that you are looking to build relationships, not just bombard them with sales messages. Even if they don’t use your services, they now have a better understanding of your products / services and may refer business to you.