How To Use Twitter For Finding New Prospects

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

There’s a lot of hype around LinkedIn & Sales Navigator, although they’re great tools, I think we all forget that there’s another equally amazing platform for social selling: Twitter! With no restrictions of access to user data, millions of users in every vertical, and a $0 price tag, Twitter is a great place to participate in conversations and connect with buyers.

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool makes social selling on their medium painless. You essentially pay for a premium license to get instant access to the buyers you are looking to engage. Twitter, on the other hand, isn’t as simple: there’s a lot of noise to cut through to find & engage your ideal buyers.

Don’t be discouraged though, here are some tips & tools to help making social selling on Twitter a breeze!

Where can you find prospects on Twitter?

1. The ‘Find Friends’ function allows you to identify which of your email contacts are also on Twitter. If you’ve been emailing a prospect with no responses yet, check to see if they’re active on Twitter. This may be your best chance of getting on their radar.

2. Subscribe to other users’ Twitter Lists. There are users on Twitter who curate lists of users sorted by industry, profession, general interest, or specific niches.  If you’re in search of Twitter users who are passionate about Social Selling, subscribe to that list.

3. With tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, you can do content searches based on a #hashtag, content query, @TwitterHandle, or geographic location to find users Tweeting about specific things. This is a great way of finding net new prospects who are in search of new solutions to their existing growth obstacles.

4. The Contacts Widget by Nimble is one of my favourite tools on the market for rapidly acquiring social insights on a prospect. It’s a browser extension that pulls up an overview of a user’s online social footprint. If you’re going after someone on LinkedIN, you simply hover over a contact, and the Contacts Widget will appear and provide you with all of their social links and a summary of their interests. I use it when I want to quickly find a LinkedIn prospect’s Twitter handle.

How do you know who’s worth engaging on Twitter?

Using Twitter web client:

  1. Lookup their Twitter handle, look at their last post date. If it was 2 years ago, move on.
  2. Click on ‘Tweets and Replies,’ if there are just shortened article post links at the same times each day, and no replies, there’s a good chance that individual just auto schedules posts from an RSS feed. Move on!

Using Riffle – Free chrome extension:

  1. Lookup their Twitter handle, and you’ll have to look at 3 aspects of their activity: % spent tweeting, % spent retweeting, % spent replying.
  2. Check out their activity breakdown, you’ll be able to see what percentage of their activity is retweeting and replying:

Looking at my activity breakdown, I post tweets 72.5% of the time, and retweet & reply 27.5% of the time. If you were looking to engage me, based on the fact that 27.5% of my twitter is reactionary activity, there’s a good chance I’d engage you back.

How do you engage prospects on Twitter?

  1. Again, as I’ve mentioned before, turn your sales instincts off!
  2. The simplest way to engage a prospect on Twitter is by following them, liking, and retweeting their posts. This will definitely get your on their radar, but try not to go overkill on this as you’ll just come off as a creeper.
  3. The goal on Twitter is to get a few two-way engagements happening before you reach out directly to book a meeting.
  4. Your best chance of creating a two-way engagement, is by sharing insight or content in a highly customized and personal Tweet or reply.

How do you keep track of your Twitter leads?

Once you have identified a prospect that you’d like to follow, start off by adding them to a private twitter list titled ‘prospects.’ You can then visit this list periodically with Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or through the Twitter Web Client. It makes monitoring your leads very easy, as they’re organized into a single place.

Nimble provides you with some amazing features that make organizing, monitoring, and nurturing your Twitter leads incredibly simple. The Contacts Widget extension allows you to locate who’s on twitter, and save them as contacts. The CRM allows you to store the Twitter prospect’s information so you can organize and stay on top of outreach. Some other notable mentions are the Signals tab and the automatic engagement reminders. The signals tab notifies you of important trigger-based events that require immediate outreach or action (ie. a birthday or other important event). The automatic engagement reminder prompts you to maintain daily, weekly, or monthly contact with certain Twitter users so you’re consistently engaging key prospects. 

The Bottom Line:

Like LinkedIn, Twitter is an ocean full of buyers looking for solutions to their problems. Regardless of which social medium you’re selling on, it’s important to have a process in place and follow best practices to ensure pipeline growth & revenue generation.

Do you have any other tricks or tips for how to create new sales opportunities on Twitter?


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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling