Use Twitter to Generate Leads

  Find out how any business can use Twitter to develop relationships with potential customers and turn followers into sales leads.

What type of business should be getting leads from Twitter, and how do you actually go about that? My name is Rebecca Xiong, I’m the founder of GrowEpic, and I’m here to tell you all about Twitter lead gen.

What Type of Business Can Benefit from Twitter?

I would say all kinds of business can benefit from getting leads from Twitter. For a B2B business, selling to businesses, whether you’re selling to the HR department, to the IT department, the marketing department, many of those folks are already on Twitter – so it’s great to go after them on that platform. And for consumer products, if it’s a high-value product, for example thousand-dollar courses for programming, or $10,000 worth of luxury bedding, those businesses can potentially get actual leads from Twitter.

If you have more of a free or low cost item, then it’s more effective to go through influencers who can help you spread the message to a lot more people. One thing to keep in mind is the person on the other end.

How to Tailor your Twitter Strategy to Your Business Area

So we want to grow our business, but we don’t want to be overly promotional or overly sales-y. I would say the first step is to grow a targeted following. For that film site, it’s about people who are interested in film; for that business consultant, it’s folks who are local businesses. First, build connections.

The next step is actually building a relationship. So when they tweet out content, you echo that. You celebrate when a small business in your area has a success, you share news about small business, and also tell people about your expertise on various subjects through your content and posts. People can get to know you and you will start building a relationship.

Next is to actually do the engagement and building relationships. For example you can start by asking folks questions or replying to their questions. Or when they make posts like ‘I don’t know how to do X”, reply and offer some of your ideas.

Over time, by doing that, you start creating trust. And next time, it could be to actually reach out to talk about your service and offering. You can do so by messaging people on twitter via private direct messages. Then you can take the next step of asking people for their email to send them more information, or continue the conversation and relationship building on LinkedIn.

Using Multi-Channel Social Media Marketing

So you could really use multiple channels to start building on that conversation back and forth. A couple other things to keep in mind: if you want to do a broader outreach to more people, it’s important to do your research first. Look at their Twitter account, look at their website, learn about their business, and make sure that the match makes sense before you do the outreach.

In your outreach message, you should be clear about why you think there’s a fit. “I see on your site that you’re interested in growing in this area and I have some expertise, I’d love to tell you more about it”. The more specific you can be about users they’ve mentioned for example, the more you can make that connection.

A couple tools that might be helpful in doing that: there’s Societo, which helps you to auto direct message people, as well as our tool GrowEpic, where you can have finer control.

So the thing to avoid is to mass spam a lot of people. Nobody likes spam. With proper research clearly showing you why your product and service will be of interest to someone, you can get a response rate as high as 20-25%, which is pretty awesome.

About Rebecca Xiong

A serial entrepreneur, Rebecca is co-founder of SocMetrics and GrowEpic, which help businesses with social and online marketing. Previously she co-founded, an events social network that grew to 1M members and was acquired by  She also held product and marketing roles at Akamai and DataPower (acquired by IBM). She holds a PhD in Computer Science from MIT, where she focused on social media and data.