There are many easy things to do in life: eating a sandwich, walking in the park or ascertaining bear’s toilet preferences – explaining Twitter for sales people and about how they should use it, over a conference call is not one of them.
Having attempted this today, I can liken it to unicycling upside down on a tightrope – and remembering mid cycle that you have vertigo, in terms of difficulty, so I have taken it upon myself to attempt to recreate / elaborate on what I was talking about – I also realised that this might be of interest to others, either sales people or businesses, or even the humble social media manager looking for some easy tips to pass on.
There is no great mystery and no shortcut to doing Twitter properly. The modern sales force must adapt: saying I don’t get Twitter really doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. Heads up – it won’t do the sales job for you, but is one of the most exciting ways to network imaginable.
First of all, lets try and understand the functions of Twitter – this helps us work out what to use it for
- 140 characters – You have to express yourself succinctly – this is a good thing!
- Everything is searchable – The search function on Twitter is powerful. You can search for anything, all tweets are indexed. If you search for ‘Honduras’ all the most recent tweets featuring Honduras will appear. Used correctly this can be powerful.
- Hashtags – This is a way of organising information (and search) It’s easier to read a tweet with a hashtag and allows people to start conversations around hashtags. These days most TV shows and events have a hashtag. If you want to get involved in the conversation use the hashtag (which handily becomes a link to a search for that word)
- Followers and feeds – This is more of a concept: Twitter is largely a public medium. You can follow anyone and anyone can follow you. You see every one’s tweets that you follow in your home feed. Under Connect you can see everyone that has mentioned you or retweeted you.
If this is all feeling a little advanced for you – head over here: http://mashable.com/2012/06/05/twitter-for-beginners/.
Everyone else still with me. Splendid – let’s take it up a gear.
What can a Salesperson use Twitter for?
Twitter can be a really powerful tool to help you with your job, studies have shown that 78% of Sales people who use Twitter out sell their peers. The important thing is that you use it in the right way – Twitter won’t sell for you – you still have to do all the things you would normally do in the sales process. Twitter just makes it easier to connect with the right people!
My hashtag rundown of what you can use Twitter for
#Research – You can find businesses and the right people using search. You could use it to get around gatekeepers and chat to decision makers.
#LeadSourcing – Use it to find leads – but the approach is crucial. Imagine you’re at a party or networking event – don’t interrupt. Introduce yourself and be interesting. Then you can steer the conversation as you normally would.
#StayingInTouch – Maybe rather than send an email every couple of months why not tweet people? Also when people move jobs, they are still in your digital rolodex.
#IndustryNews – follow the kinds of people you want to talk to, and people that do the same thing as you. Speak to them. Network and interact. Be aware of what kind of conversations are happening on Twitter – use keyword searches to help you.
#PromoteProducts – It’s not a sales channel per say but you can talk about the amazing things you’re working on and regular tweets are fine – just don’t let it be the only thing you talk about – it’s boring!
#AddValue – How interesting are you? Why should people follow you?
Some useful links:
How to tweet like a boss: Top Tips to getting into Twitter
Even having said this, it can be quite intimidating to actually get off the ground and start being delightful and interesting on Twitter. Here are my top tips for getting started:
- Dedicate 15 mins a day – get the Twitter app on your phone. (iPhone / Android ) Put the time aside. After a few days you will start to see positive changes but you have to set the time aside. The LivingSocial UK Marketing team have been using over the past few months and it has made a huge difference. Everyday at 9:30AM we tweet for 15 mins using our personal accounts – about what we’re up to, interesting articles and anything else we can think of. We use it for all team communication that isn’t directly business related.
- Follow 10 people you love everyday – as part of the 15 mins find people you’re interested in. It might be Cheryl Cole, Stephen Fry or Stan Collymore – it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it’s people that interest you. This will help you get into the swing of things.
- Engage – always mention people when you tweet using ‘@’. This makes them more likely to reply! – use hashtags as well.
- Mention who you work for – Further than this when you tweet about products and services reference your company. When people tweet LivingSocial we always RT them. (Our Marketing Consultants are very Social Media savvy. They tweet about the amazing things happening in their local areas – and we help them spread the word!)
- Klout – Klout is a measure of Social Media influence. It’s not the be all and end all but it can useful in tracking your progress on Social. (Add all your channels for an accurate score) http://klout.com
So that’s it! Is this of any use to you at all? Let me know in the comments – particularly if you where on the aforementioned conference call! Please ask questions here, or on Twitter!