Get Virtual Access to ProBlogger Training Event 2016

Buy Now

ProBlogger Event Virtual Ticket

Buy

Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog… Guaranteed

Check out 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog

Check it out

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…

FREE Problogging tips delivered to your inbox  

7 Powerful Tips for a Winning Twitter Sales Strategy

Posted By Guest Blogger 28th of September 2014 General 26

This is a guest contribution from freelance writer Jawad Khan.

More than 73% US companies use Twitter to connect with their target audience, get direct feedback from their customers and keep an eye on their competitors.

You might be one of them.

But are you getting any real value from the time you spend on Twitter? Have you been able to engage your potential or existing customers? Have you ever created enough momentum with your Tweets to impact your sales numbers?

A large number of businesses on Twitter fail to do any of those things.

Why?

Because they don’t see Twitter as a sales channel. They don’t have a sales strategy for Twitter and never design their Tweets to impact sales.

But you can change that with a few smart modifications to the way you approach Twitter.

Twitter can be a powerful sales channel. It might not always give you direct sales, but it can always impact purchase decisions.

Here’s how.

1. Understand the Objective

Before you get started, understand that Twitter, like all other social networks, is primarily designed to encourage social connections, conversations and engagement. Their primary purpose is not sales. You can’t keep posting links to your product pages or sales landing pages and expect people to buy from you.

That’s not how things work on Twitter.

Your objective should be sales, but it can only be triggered through engagement. More than 65% of Twitter users are likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter.

Why?

Because they trust them and engage with them regularly. So in effect, the only way you can convert Twitter users into customers is by building trust and engagement.

2. Attract Relevant Followers

As I said in the first point, your followers are much more likely to buy from you as compared to normal Twitter users.

But not just any followers. You need to have relevant and active Twitter followers. 100 relevant followers who engage with you regularly are better than 1000 followers who never speak up.

So how do you find such followers on Twitter?

By mass following your competitor’s followers? No!

Never use mass follow in the hope of getting followers. That will destroy your brand image and credibility.

Instead, list down your closest competitors and have a good look at their Twitter timeline.

Do you see any responses to their Tweets? Any unanswered questions from their followers? Any unacknowledged suggestions? Any complaints that went unheard?

There’s your opportunity. Jump in and join the conversation. Offer help and respond to their queries.

This natural engagement will increase your brand awareness and goodwill, and will also earn you natural followers.

3. Structure Your Tweets Carefully

I’m sure you must have seen countless Twitter accounts with thousands of tweets but no engagement. Incorrect Tweet structure is one of the main reasons for that.

Yes, even these 140 characters need proper structuring. Here’s how

  • Tweet Length – You’re allowed 140 characters per Tweet, but Tweets that attract the highest engagement are between 110 and 115 characters according to social media scientist Dan Zarella

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.19.44 am

  • Link Placement – Link placement also impacts click through rates and Retweets. Instead of placing links at the end of a Tweet, put them in the middle and near the start.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.21.59 am

  • Images – Tweets that contain images attract 200% more engagement. So make sure most of your Tweets, especially the ones that contain links, have images.
  • Vines and GIFs – After Google Plus, Twitter has also allowed animated GIFs. GIFs and Vine videos attract a lot more engagement as compared to simple text or static image based Tweets. Using these multimedia Tweets in combination with image and text Tweets can give you great results.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.46.11 am

  • Hashtags – Hashtags expand the reach of your Tweets and give you exposure on the trending topics. Tweets with appropriate hashtags have a 55% higher probability of getting Retweets. Most experts recommend using up to three hashtags per Tweet.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.48.25 am

 

  • Tagging – When responding to a Tweet or tagging someone, make sure your Tweet doesn’t start with a Twitter handle. If it does, it will only appear to the tagged person.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.49.26 am

The Wrong Way to Tweet

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.50.50 am

  • Tweet Timing – Tweet at the wrong time and even your best content will go to waste. Timing is crucial on Twitter. Tweets between 9AM to 6PM everyday attract the highest engagement while Saturday and Sunday are the most engaging days of the week. I personally recommend using the BufferApp for scheduling Tweets

4. Become a Knowledge Source

Twitter allows only 140 characters per Tweet but, even here, content is the king. If you want to convert your Twitter account into a sales lead generator and a major source of referral traffic for your blog or website, you need to establish it as the knowledge hub for everything associated with your niche.

Users should be able to rely on your account alone to learn about the hottest news in your niche, solutions to the most common problems of your target market, innovations and industry hacks, and top quality content.

You can do that by dividing your Tweets into categories like news updates, blog posts, occasional product updates, quotes, tips etc. Schedule your daily Tweets in all these categories. You don’t always have to produce original content. You can curate the best content in your niche and still attract a lot of followers and engagement

5. Use Twitter for SMS Marketing

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.59.19 am

Twitter SMS is a highly underutilized feature. If you own a retail store or a small business that involves personally meeting customers, then this feature is for you.

Many people in the real world do not use Twitter. But you can still approach them with this feature. Whenever you meet a new customer, ask them to follow you through SMS to get updates on the latest products, discounts, competitions etc.

Your customers can subscribe to free SMS updates by sending ‘Follow @YourUsername’ in SMS to 40404 (this code is different for every country, here’s the list).

Whenever you Tweet, your subscribers will get it as an SMS. Make sure you create a separate Twitter account for SMS subscribers so that they don’t get all of your Tweets. Send occasional SMS Tweets for maximum impact.

6. Get Unfair Advantage With Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are a powerful way to monitor your target audience, divide them into segments and create targeted content for your followers. If you use Twitter lists intelligently, you can get an unfair advantage over your competitors because this is a largely underutilized feature.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.00.17 am

You can create your own lists and add users of a particular type to monitor them separately. You can also join public lists of other users that are already populated. Tools like Twitonomy can help you find the lists that are following your competitors.

7. Simplify the Buying Process

Things move at a much faster speed on Twitter as compared to Facebook and Google Plus. In order to give yourself any chance of attracting customers on Twitter, you need to simplify the buying process of your products.

Instead of Tweeting links of your product landing page, use Twitter’s built in feature of Twitter cards. Twitter cards display additional information within the Tweet content and increase the functionality of your Tweets. Twitter is also planning to add “Buy Now” buttons to its Twitter cards feature.

You can also use social selling tools like Selz. When you create a product on Selz and Tweet it to your followers, they’ll be able to see your product image, stock details and price along with a direct link to the checkout page. Selz also allows users to accept product payments from Master Card, Visa and PayPal so you won’t need to integrate any additional payment gateway.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.01.48 am

This approach makes your products much more sellable on Twitter and makes the buying process much more convenient. I personally recommend using Twitter cards in combination with Selz since it massively increases your Tweet CTR.

Conclusion

Selling products or services on Twitter requires a careful strategy that revolves around user engagement and a simplified buying process. You also need a balance between sales oriented Tweets and general Tweets aimed at user engagement. If you follow this strategy consistently, you can convert Twitter into a high value sales channel and your paid customers into loyal word of mouth marketers.

Jawad Khan is a Content Marketing Specialist at Quality Trade, a leading marketing and trading platform for B2B companies. Follow Jawad on Twitter and Google+

 

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.
Comments
  1. Great info and suggestions. But sometimes it seems like the learning curve for social media takes so much time and effort as to override the need. And about the time we figure a good strategy, it all changes.

    • Hey Dan,

      You’re right – things do change pretty quickly on Social Media, and it can easily suck a lot of time up as well.

      I think the best way is to use it as a supporting act, and allocate a certain time limit to it.

      Thanks for reading

  2. Thanks for providing all such relevant info! about Twitter Optimization,

    Following this, I believe, anyone can improve Twitter engagement.

    Regards,
    Dheeraj

  3. I’m discovering that using Pinterest, Squidoo, and Twitter for organic marketing purposes is doing justice for finding and retaining those hidden pockets of web traffic.

  4. The points and researched guide mentioned by the Jawad is really amazing and trust me,

    I’m gonna follow most of the things I learned today.

    Thanks Problogger for this wonderful info and great work Jawad buddy :)

  5. Hi Jawad,

    I always believe social media are more important than search engines as per traffic reliability for any blog.Twitter is one among them.So thanks for this tips.Really awesome article.Great job.

    Regards

    Debarpan

  6. Hi Jawad.

    That’s why I love and use Selz. Smart roundup here.

    Engaging and working off of lists helps me make the impact I need to drive sales through Twitter. My tweets became more RTable and more trustworthy too by engaging tweeters. Be a person not a profile. Send out text only tweets, respond to questions, thank tweeters and use the platform to build bonds, not to send out endless link after link.

    I’ve noted followers develop link blindness after a while. Folks ignore a user who sends out only links because they don’t want to give anything they just want to get. @replies, question and answer tweets make your stream, and you, more attractive.

    Pictures are eye candy on twitter. I tweet my travel images here and there to draw in more followers. Folks love bright shiny things and being here in Fiji I’ve gained a few followers – and some attention from Fiji tourism companies – by tweeting some sweet images.

    Keep giving and you’ll get on twitter.

    Detach from making sales. Make friends. I pop in a few times daily to engage and to schedule tweets. Another biggie; send out new blog posts 2 or 3 times daily to take advantage of your global audience. I tweet my newly published posts at about 2 PM, when I wake, then at 8 AM the follow day….of course, I’m 16 hours ahead of EST to 2 PM there is 6 AM the next day, here in Savusavu.

    I also use a plugin to drive traffic to old posts.

    Just keep engaging while you post links too, and you’ll find a nice mix between driving traffic and building trust.

    Tweeting soon Jawad.

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      You’re a Twitter pro so if you liked the post, I know I’ve got it right :)

      And yea, I love Selz too!

      Cheers

  7. Hello Jawad,

    Wow, I did not know most of this at all! I did not know about ideal tweet length, link placement, BufferApp, Tw lists or Twitter cards.

    Thanks so much for these amazing tips and strategies.

    One Question: I understand that it’s important to engage and interact with people on Tw and to respond to potential customers and comments. But if nobody is commenting, how do you START getting comments and engaging? And how much time is required? IN order to be effective and successful, do you need to be online w TW 24/7 and continuously monitor what’s going on there?

    Thanks again for this super useful post.

    cheers, Lash

    • Hey Lash,

      Good question.

      At the start, you need to reach out yourself. Instead of waiting for responses, start responding to the Tweets of other users. Join Twitter chats, answer question of other influential bloggers. It’s a two way process.

      You dont need to allocate too much time for it, automate all your Tweets using tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Twitterfeed.

      Then allocate 20 min daily to manually respond to Tweets and reaching out to influencers.

      This post by Jeff Bullas, a Twitter influencer, is super useful http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/06/10/12-keys-to-success-on-twitter/

      Cheers

  8. Hi,am a regular twitter user.so thanks for these tips..will apply them definitely and hope to got a good result as well.

  9. Great information and suggestions. Really a great big help to those twitter users. Thanks for posting.

  10. NO doubt I have useful learnings from this peice of content around twitter marketing. In the past I tries getting sales from Twitter and other social networks without any success. Now I can understand the real problem. Twitter and other social networks should be used for more engament purposes. No doubt these networks can help people in their decision making process. And I also like the idea of checking the timeline of popular bloggers in your niche and finding the oppurtuity to gain some natural and targeted followers from this process.

  11. I think the best way to sell on Twitter is to interact. I love Twitter, cause it’s fun! I am able to interact with hundreds of people and build relationships with them. I love when someone tweets me and tells me how their site is doing, or how a post I wrote helps them. I have found those people who I am most active with are the ones who are most likely to buy things as well.

    For me it is about being social. I have not changed the quality of Twitter content much, but when I started being more social, Twitter just started working for me! Even if I did not get sales from it, it is fun!

    One day I know I will have thousands of followers instead of hundreds and I will be addicted to Twitter!

  12. I found your tips very useful and relevant to Twitter today. I also liked that you backed up your tips with data, examples and tools. Great read!
    I wonder, do you recommend anything else or different for a brand new business using Twitter. I work with a lot of early stage startups and am always looking for new ways to help them.

    • Hey Monica,

      Glad you found the post useful.

      For any new Twitter user, building an engaged following should always be the number 1 priority.

      You need to pro-actively engage with people. Specially at the start.

      If someone Tweets your posts, send them a short “thanks you” tweet. Just be social.

      Making sales and generating traffic from Twitter comes at a later stage.

      Cheers

  13. Hello Jawad,
    I was searching for twitter promotion and found this post! This is really a helpful post and informative for me. I will definitely apply this and let’s see what the result. Hope it will be good!

    Thank you so much for sharing such a nice post. Keep sharing!

  14. Hi, i am a regular twitter user. and the keypoint is, i’m living in China,~~~you will never know how difficult to tweet on twitter here~~~lol

  15. Hi
    Jawad,

    Good information nice to see this thanks for sharing.

    Regards,
    Stephen

  16. I want to increase my sells of Business Card Template online but can’t find a right way…!!!

  17. I am thinking about utilising twitter more since a couple of months now. Your post really gave me some insight in where to start. Thanks!

    This method of “Engage first, then post your own” seems to be a reoccurring way of using social media that I come across over and over again. For me its strongly related to any successful modern business model that I know of. “Provide value first, then offer products to sell”.

    I am so keen on talking about my products that it is sometimes hard to do that. I believe in them and know they provide value but the engagement ist more important at first.

    Thanks Jawad for reassuring this. :-)

  18. Hi, Your post was very instructive, as iam building the trio pack website/blog/twitter for my company

    Thanks Jawad,

Comments are closed for this post.