Twitter provides an excellent opportunity for your brand to get a message out to a very specific target audience in a proactive way. Manually Tweeting to people at all hours of the day is not the most effective use of time. Instead, you can be spending your time building relationships with the prospective customers who are most interested in your product or service. Using automation in the correct way can help get your brand in front of the right people at the right time with minimal effort.
Twitter Automation Rules and Best Practices
First off, Twitter has a pretty clear policy around automation. It’s good to become familiar with these rules so you can plan your campaigns and social strategy accordingly. In general, you should comply with the following best practices.
- Don’t send Tweets, follow users or take actions based on machine driven searches.
- Do schedule actions to specific people that have shown interest in your topic area.
Many people are regularly Tweeting clues about the problems and needs that they have. Building a social media target persona is the first step to finding the individuals who may have a need for your product or service. After this, you can use tools like HootSuite or Socedo to setup ongoing searches to find these prospects. Once you have identified these potential customers the next step is to reach out to them. In our article on How to Connect with a Lead Found on Social Media we described the different approaches to reach out to these folks. Now we will talk about how to automate and schedule some of these steps in order to use your time more efficiently and increase conversion rates. Essentially, we are bringing the concepts of drip marketing to Twitter.
Actions that can be Automated
The first step is to get on the radar of the prospective customer that you have identified. All of the following actions will send a notification to your prospect and will encourage them to learn more about you or your company.
- Favorite their Tweet – Do this on a Tweet that they sent which is related to the topic you can help with. That way the prospect has some context when looking into your profile.
- ReTweet their Tweet – Similar to a favorite, you can associate your profile with something the prospect was already talking about. In this case, be sure your followers will find value in the Tweet that you share.
- Follow Them – This is great because it gives the prospect more credibility on Twitter and that encourages them to check out who you are and follow you back.
The next step is to start a conversation with the prospective customer. There are two actions that can be automated to do this:
- Send a Public Reply – Respond to their Tweet with a public Tweet and ask a follow on question to start the conversation. These will be public on your profile but the lead does not need to be following you in order to send this.
- Send a Direct Message – If the follows you then you can send a direct message with a follow up question in order to start the conversation and build the relationship.
Using Twitter Automation to Connect with Potential Leads
Doing all of these actions manually can be quite time consuming. This is where the automation piece comes in. Once a lead has been identified, you should schedule at least two of the initial actions spaced apart so the lead gets notifications of your brand over time. This strategy gives you a better chance of getting seen and increases the likelihood that the prospective customer will follow you back.
You’ll also want to have a conversation starter scheduled so you can begin to build a relationship with the lead. This needs to feel personal in order to get the prospect to respond. To do this, the template that you use should include their first name and should be related to one of the Tweets the lead sent.
There are many tools to help you with scheduling Tweets and actions including Buffer and SocialOomph. Socedo makes it really easy to handle this process end-to-end as it discovers the lead and then automatically schedule all of your actions using the lead’s name and a template associate with the initial Tweet from the prospect you are pursing.
This strategy will help supercharge your social media lead generation efforts while saving your time. It will also help you identify the leads who are really interested in your product or service based on their actions back to you.