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8 Ways To Engage With Social Leads On Twitter

8 Ways To Engage With Social Leads On Twitter


Suppose you encounter a tweet from someone asking a question which your product directly addresses. Yay! This is always exciting (“my product solves a Real Problem!”) But how do you engage and start an authentic conversation with that person … without looking like a hard-selling Spammer?


Here are some actions you can take. I’ve ordered them as I perceive their level of riskiness. They start with the safest strategy at No. 1, to the most ‘assertive’ at No. 8. This post is written under the assumption that you have a real, solid online product which directly solves a pressing pain-point out there in the world.

These strategies are designed to grab the attention of potential users of that product in an authentic way. Always bear in mind that you need to demonstrate the real value of your product to prospective users as clearly and as early as possible.

1. Retweet their tweet.

People always appreciate some exposure for their message or question. Retweeting their tweet exposes it to your audience. This means that someone following you might read the tweet and decide to answer it directly themselves. Bingo. The person asking the question gets additional (third-party) answers to their query – all thanks to your Retweet.

This means they’re doubly likely to have an open ear to subsequent mentions by you – because you’ve already provided them value … without any direct path to recompense for yourself. This makes it clear you’re there to help.

2. Follow the tweeter.

When you follow someone, they’ll often get a little email telling them about your “follow” in their Inbox. This might lead them to check out your profile blurb. Because of that possibility, you should ensure that your profile text is super-relevant to their pain-point.  Of course, you’ll want to make any such edits to your profile prior to following Social Leads like this.

In order to do so, it helps to have a very clear idea of who your prospective customers are. What is their background? What daily activities do they find most problematic in their work? How does your product or service directly address those pain-points? When you have clear answers to these questions, writing a relevant, engaging Twitter bio should be a bit of a no-brainer.

3. Favorite their tweet.

Again, the followee will typically be told about your Favorite-action via a Twitter notification email, which could lead them to check out your profile. This is yet another reason to ensure that your profile blurb is clear, relevant … and super-compelling that prospective customer’s pain-points.

A better strategy (because it is deeper), is as follows. Once you’ve identified a Social Lead tweet, carefully scan that user’s timeline over the last few weeks. See if you can find one or two other tweets they’ve tweeted, which are also relevant to your their pain-points (and which your product directly addresses).

Favorite 2 or 3 of these relevant tweets (including the original tweet which led you to them in the first place) to indicate that you’ve engaged with their timeline in a bit more depth. This is another good indicator of your positive intent.

4. Respond to the tweet.

As the tweeter to elaborate on his/her needs and/or pain-point. Follow up again if they do engage. Each time, seek to gain more insight on Why this is a problem for them, and How they would best like to see it solved. This will often be deeply satisfying for the tweeter: people love to talk about their problems.

But additionally, this is excellent market research for you! You are gaining insight about real-world users who could potentially get value from your product. Perhaps you’ll learn some new insights which can guide your product’s direction and your marketing efforts. Perhaps these conversations will validate your product even further.

Or perhaps, you’ll learn that the pain-point you thought you were addressing isn’t such a pain-point after all. Or that there’s an even bigger (but still related) pain-point which you could also address with a pivot of your product’s main focus. Don’t you want to build something that people really WANT?

Honestly, I’ve spent a great deal of blood and sweat developing an online product. And I’ve concluded that doing any work without a direct link to a clearly expressed need from one of my customers (or prospective customers) is one of the most risky ways to allocate your precious time and brain cycles. Engaged conversations like this, with prospective users on Twitter, are some of the most authentic ways to gain insight about what you should really be building.

(As an aside, I’m deeply skeptical of the Lean methodology of throwing up a landing page for a product that doesn’t exist to see who signs up. But I’ll cover that in a future post).

5. Empathize with their frustration.

When people take to the social networks to ask for help or insight into a problem, it usually means they’ve reached a pretty drastic level of frustration or discomfort in terms of how this problem is affecting their productivity. Respond with an agreement that what they’re struggling with is clear, present & annoying. People just can’t help but feel a bit better when they read empathetic responses like that.

Thereafter, you’re in an excellent position to begin delving a bit deeper into what that person is struggling with (see point 4 above).

6. Address their request by linking to a highly relevant article on someone else’s blog.

Ensure that your tweet states clearly how the article will help the tweeter. And don’t forget the actual link, ofcourse. Maybe even add a hashtag or two, if they are super-relevant. This demonstrates your understanding of the user’s problem, as well as an ability to connect people with helpful resources online.

It’s a good idea to mention the person or organization who produced the article you’re linking to in your tweet. This gives a double-sided benefit to you: here, you’re acting as an information broker: connecting quality content with people who can benefit from it.

Everybody wins. Your user gets more background about how to solve their problem. Your social network grows. The content producer recognizes you as someone who can bring their content to the eyes of relevant users (the type of user they want more than anything). What’s not to like?

7. Answer their tweet by linking to a highly relevant article on your own blog.

Again, your tweet and the blog article it links to need to address the tweeter’s pain-point directly. It definitely shouldn’t be a hard-sell of your product. That said, you might want to include a brief Call-To-Action to your product’s landing page at the end of the article. Again, only do this is your product really is offering a solution to the tweeter’s problem.

Naturally, having quality content on your blog which can be sent to users with a pain-point like this should come about as a result of your ongoing Content Marketing strategy. You do have a Content Marketing strategy in place, right?

8. Invite the tweeter to try out your product/solution directly.

Link to your landing page. Track each link you publish in this way, so you can assess which types of tweets generate the best response rate!

This is the most risky strategy in the above list. I know it seems crazy. You’ve toiled for months (if not years) to create a valuable product which will make peoples’ lives easier. You find one such person on Twitter who seems to be asking directly for your product. They should jump at the chance to visit your landing page!!! Shouldn’t they?

Alas, it doesn’t really work like that. The internet in general – and social media platforms in particular – are awash with Spam. You’ve probably experienced this directly yourself. These spammers are out there trying to mislead people by preying on their insecurities and vulnerabilities … all in the hope of making a quick buck.

The unfortunate side-effect of such spammers is that real people online are suspicious and wary of being contacted by complete strangers. With good reason! This doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with prospective users on Twitter. It just means you have to be patient and subtle about it. Build a bit of a relationship with them first. Show them you’re interested in an ongoing bi-directional relationship. And really, don’t you want this kind of rapport with each and every one of your users?

I recommend you start with a circumspect combination of tactics 1-7 in the list above. Do so gently and slowly over time. Get a feel for which techniques and messages work best for prospective users in your product area. Once you start to find the sweet spot with your engagement strategies, the path to tactic No. 8 will happen organically. Ideally, the tweeter will discover your solution on their own, as a result of your helpful contributions via tactics 1-7 above.

Then, their visit to your landing page will happen organically. And you can be sure that visitors of this type are much more likely to convert than the generally drip-drip-drip of visitors your website receives. This can only be good news for both you and your users.

Connecting authentically with Social Leads on Twitter is a delicate art. Do you have experience with any of these techniques? Do you disagree with them, or feel that the ordering is wrong? I’d be happy to hear your views in the comments below.

Struggling to find a good source of Social Leads for your product? Take a look at Qureet’s Lead-Generation service.


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One Response to “8 Ways To Engage With Social Leads On Twitter”

  1. Paul Read says:

    I also find it useful to favourite one or two of their earlier tweets which are relevant to my product, as a further way of starting the engagement process

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