In Part One, we talked about some mainstream uses of Twitter. And, that’s all swell, but what everyone really wants to know is how do you MAKE MONEY with Twitter?
If you are using Twitter in the ways mentioned earlier, you are probably using it like a traditional form of research. You are using it to gather information you’ll use at some point in the sales process, to warm up a cold call, to identify trends or information you'll use to ask questions geared at uncovering customer needs, or you are using it to out-maneuver the competition.
To get beyond that, we need to get a bit creative:
1. Twitter can be used in many of the same ways you’d use a texting campaign. If the promotion would have asked people to text to a short code, have the consumer Tweet using a hash tag. (Not sure what those words mean? Hang on...that’s coming). The benefit of using Twitter—all of your other followers are in the loop, even if they didn’t hear or see the original “text to win” or invitation to text announcement.
2. Twitter can be used like a huge chat room. Assign a hashtag to tie the conversation together. Decide if the chat will take place over the course of a day, a week or an hour or two. And, start talking. The benefit is that anyone can join or listen in on the conversation, expanding your original audience.
3. Twitter can be the life of the party. Twitter can make any occasion interactive. Assign an event “host,” an account you want everyone to follow. Then notify participants of the official hashtag. This works for a Q&A session, trivia, requests, live events, virtual parties. Make people feel in on the action by encouraging games, interaction and giveaways.
4. Twitter can be sponsored. Twitter has its own “Sponsored Tweets” program, but there’s nothing stopping you from inserting a message from your advertisers or vendors into your Twitter stream. Be transparent and let your audience know a message is sponsored. (Perhaps by using #advertiser or #sponsored at the end of the message).
Still not seeing how this makes you and your clients money? Remember you are selling an Integrated Campaign--a virtual event, a party, an experience that provides engagement, lead generation and depth of information--combined with traditional media, which provides reach and the glue that ties the campaign together.
Oh...and here's the scoop on the hashtags:
Hashtag refers to the # and the label you've given the conversation--as in #SalesStrategy.
The hashtag has a different use from the at sign--@. The @ is part of a user name. Use @ when you are talking about someone or to that person (either to identify them or to get their attention in a post) as in: @CSScenter.
I'd like to hear how you are using Twitter in your sales organization. Please share in the comments below!
Kimberly Peek is a social-media-obsessed Digital Sales Coach at the Center for Sales Strategy