Twitter 101: Social Selling In 140 Characters

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Social Selling keeps on expanding in importance and proving to be essential for increasing revenue in 2015. And Twitter has become an effective but often overlooked part of this equation.

In writing about Twitter as a sales tool, HubSpot’s Emma Snider notes that “73% of U.S online customers trust information and advice from Twitter.” Here are 5 simple tips to jumpstart Social Selling efforts on Twitter:

1. Write The Perfect Bio

It’s a bit tricky to convey your professionalism and integrity in 160 characters, but this trick can be mastered. HubSpot recommends that you avoid flat job-title labels and instead focus on communicating “who do you help and how do you help them?” It’s also important to include your organization’s Twitter handle in your bio, so that your profile will appear when people search for your company. Insert a valuable nugget of content in your bio as well, perhaps by adding a statistic that your potential prospects will find especially interesting. Don’t forget to add a couple hashtags related to your personal interests, and your LinkedIn profile link.

The ultimate goal is to communicate how you can help prospects.

2. Choose A Compelling Photo

Put some thought into picking the right photo of yourself for Twitter; it has to look professional, but you shouldn’t necessarily just grab the image right off your company’s website. Research by Photofeeler based on 60,000 ratings of 800 photos demonstrates that some very specific image characteristics influence people’s reactions to profile photos.

You probably know that smiles are good and sunglasses are bad, but did you know that a visible jawline is important? Not only that, but slightly “squinched” eyes convey greater confidence and comfort, and face-only shots without shoulders decrease your likability.

3. Create Twitter “Lists”

Twitter’s list-making tool isn’t used nearly often enough, and it has the capacity to make life much simpler for sales reps who nurture leads by way of Twitter networking. Pointburst recommends three lists that are acutely relevant to anyone seeking to increase their sales by using Twitter: Customers, Prospects and Influencers. Social Selling is all about communicating with prospects depending on their buying stage. Twitter facilitates this process. Using Lists allows you to craft tweets directly aimed at different groups, to move them along the sales funnel from exactly where they are. Here are step-by-step instructions for using this crucial little tool.


4. Craft A Relevant Message

Social Selling is based on credibility and trust. Your potential customers are looking for what you can offer to each of them. Emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman tweets “In sales, cognitive empathy means you know how to listen to the client and ask the right questions.” Your customers do a lot of self-educating throughout the sales cycle, and you want to be the one delivering the answers they want to see at every step of the buyer funnel.

5. Engage In Conversations

As a sales rep, you should be focused on building relationships. Twitter gives you the chance to connect within mere seconds, and provides a quick way to personally touch base with multiple leads in the midst of a busy day. In a slide share presentation titled “How to Prospect with Twitter,” sales coach and professor Gerry Moran describes how easy it is to “get on your prospect’s radar.” Three basic ways include Retweeting, Mentioning and Favoriting. You should also use one of the many software products built to consolidate and monitor your social media contacts, so you can easily jump in at the right moment (e.g. Hootsuite, TweetDeck).

HubSpot’s senior sales manager Danielle Herzberg speaks straightforwardly about her conversion to using Twitter: “I never believed in Twitter as a sales tool,” she writes. “But as soon as I did, I started seeing how it made my relationships that much stronger.” Even if it takes a little while to sharpen your tweeting voice, this is a skill that will abundantly reward the investment of time you put into developing it. Social Selling is all about sharing content that enables conversations and ultimately drive revenue. Twitter is a perfect space for this.

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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling