How to Use Twitter to Find Sales Leads

Nowadays, you can find prospective customers by searching for them through Twitter’s search feature (both the one that you have access to within Twitter itself and the advanced search Twitter offers, Nearby Tweets, and Twitterment.

Although Twitter’s search, Nearby Tweets, and Twitterment are excellent options to help you unearth prospects, new and improved Twitter search tools keep appearing all the time. Keep your eyes open for references to new resources you can use to expand your list of prospects.

To start your hunt for prospective customers, do a search to find people who are talking about your industry, field, or company. For example, you can type in marble collection using the native search box on Twitter, or Twitterment’s search box.

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This search yields results that may be useful to a certain extent: After all, these are Twitter users who are talking about marble collection. But you may be interested in folks who are talking about this topic within your own geographical area. In this case, Nearby Tweets comes in handy, letting you enter a location, keyword, and search radius.

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If you need to get more specific with your search query, use the Twitter advanced search and click the Advanced Search link beneath the search box. This takes you to a very detailed page that lets you find tweets based on the following parameters:

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  • Words: You can construct a query that contains all or any of the words you enter. You can also find tweets that contain an exact phrase or a particular hashtag and tweets written in a specific language.

  • People: You can find tweets posted by someone, directed at someone, or referring to someone. Are there no secrets anymore?

  • Places: In a similar way to Nearby Tweets, you can finds tweets posted a certain distance from a specific location.

  • Dates: You can specify what dates you want to search for tweets. This search parameter can come in handy if you want to find out the response on Twitter to a campaign you are running.

  • Attitudes: You can spot tweets with a positive or negative attitude as well as tweets asking a question. Can you imagine the power of learning how happy (or upset) your customers may be about your product?

  • Other: You can filter your results to show only those that contain links or include retweets, or to limit the number of results per page.

After you’ve identified potential customers, follow these people so that hopefully they’ll follow you back. Engage them in conversation about anything and everything. Provide relevant content that they may be likely to find useful. As people get to know you, they’ll become interested in what you do. And when that happens, they’ll begin contacting you for information about what you do.

After you develop these relationships with people, they move from prospects — people you’re following and who are following you to warm leads. As leads, they’ve visited your Web site, signed up for your e-mail newsletter or blog, and even requested a catalog or downloaded your sales literature. What you do with them after that is up to you.

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