Twitter marketing tricks: get more leads with direct messages

I know what you’re thinking. I used to think the same. Direct messages on Twitter are spammy and annoying and nobody reads them. Right? Wrong.

Direct messages can really get you the stuff that counts: traffic to your website and conversions that add potential customers to your email lists.

So how do you do it? It really is very easy to get more leads. Here are just a few twitter marketing tricks that you can take advantage of:

  1. Sign up for service like Crowdfire that lets you automate sending direct messages on Twitter. We use the Earth package because it removes the annoying “sent via Crowdfire” message that the free and Pluto basic plans have. (It also allows you to get your stats emailed to you rather than tweeted publicly to your account.) But this isn’t a requirement. Everyone knows Direct Messages are automated. You’re not trying to trick people into pretending you’re speaking to them personally. Instead, you’re simply offering them link to something they want via an efficient method.
  2. It must link to a landing page with an offer. You can link to your homepage, but the main goal is not just for traffic, but for leads too. So convert it to and track it properly. If know exactly where it came from and you’ll see that it works.
  3. The message is crucial. Try to make it stand out. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t bother with “Thanks for following” that’s a waste of 3 words. Nobody cares. You need to convey what’s in it for them in a single a glance. Our message reads “Welcome to Pluto! Here's a small gift as thanks. Get your free download here:” Yes it’s a bit click-baity, but only if the offer on the other end is a disappointment to the visitor. If you’ve been following the right people, the offer on your landing page will delight them rather than annoy them. Our link leads to a 48 page free website tips and tricks book, and has a 32% conversion rate so I can tell you with confidence: this method works.
  4. Other messages I’ve enjoyed include messages that ask for my opinion on topics I’m interested in. ie. What book are you reading? Or What accounts are good to follow? Even though I know it’s automated, if I feel passionate about the question, I respond. Then the real owner of the account messages back, we start talking and then I might go and check out their site to learn more about who I’m talking to. If I like it, I’ll sign up.
  5. One final thing you could try is making the message look like it’s personal by writing “Hi” before a massive carriage return. That way it looks like a personal conversation and you’re more likely to get initial clicks, though what you follow up with had better be relevant and impressive, because it’s an easy way to piss off your reader and get them to click away. The internet is a fickle place full of shiny things. If you don’t keep their attention, someone else will grab it from you.
  6. So you’ve got your engaging message ready, it links to a page with an appropriate offer, now comes the bit that’s going to make your finger ache. Twitter allows you to follow 1000 people a day. But you don’t want to follow just anyone. Keep it relevant. Look for your target market. Who’s your ideal customer? That’s who we’re trying to find. Follow the followers of direct competitors, industry leaders, and topic influencers. Follow the followers of any account you think people you’re trying to reach will be interested in. Are you on any relevant lists? Lists are a great way of finding people as someone else has already done all the hard work of sorting the tweeps from the chaff. Then do keyword searches on Twitter. Experiment with the search options. Searching for “people” “near your location” will produce more relevant results than the general search that will give you results of people who may just have used your keyword once in a tweet. ‘People’ with the keyword will have used it in the Twitter Bio. That means it’s important to them, so they should be important to you.
    twitter stats
    An example: If you’re looking to target newspaper journalists near London Bridge you wouldn’t just copy followers from The Times twitter account, anyone could be following that. You would search keywords like “journalist” or “@thetimes”, restrict the search to ‘people’ near your location, (we’re in London so this works) and you’ll get people who write for The Times in your bio. Chances are they work in the London Bridge offices of News Corp. If you have a local business that’s targeting them specifically, you’ve found your audience.
  7. “But I’m following more people than are following me back. It looks bad!” What are you, five years old and worrying about how cool your pencil case is? This is a vanity metric if ever I heard one. Yes, people with more followers than following have greater social influence, but if you aren’t a celebrity, this isn’t likely to be you. Traffic and leads that produce sales is all that matters. So follow your 1000 a day and stop worrying about how it looks. Wait a few days – not everyone checks Twitter daily, give them a chance to follow you back.
  8. Now unfollow the people who don’t follow you back. Unless, you like their feed and its useful to retweet their interesting posts with content you’re pushing out. If you’re using Crowdfire this is where you ‘whitelist’ them. It’s very important not to be the drunk at the party who just talks about themselves. You should aim for at least an even split of your own content, vs other people’s content though. It’s not promoting the competitor, it’s engaging with the industry to position yourself as an authoritative account.
  9. Is your finger sore yet? Crowdfire lets you follow and unfollow incredibly quickly, so you can encounter a message that says you’ve hit a Twitter limit. This happens when you follow over 120 people in under a minute Just go a little slower and this shouldn’t happen.
  10. Now sit back, put that finger on ice and watch the leads pour in. No really. In about 24 hours you should see some results. We’ve worked out that roughly 10% of everyone you follow will follow you back. Though this percentage is higher if you’re using a Twitter account with the name of a real person. My twitter account Paula Stan-Fair has a much higher follow back rate than Pluto Agency and some of our client accounts who tweet under the company name rather than a real face. So if you have someone who’s willing to be the face of the business, great, that’ll work better.

Of these 100 people a day who follow the Pluto account, about 1-4 of them convert to leads. Considering you should be following people anyway to grow your reach, having direct message automated has allowed you to catch more people doing something you’d do anyway. I perform the merry follow/unfollow dance on the Tube on the way to the office. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes a day and a Crowdfire account costs $19.99, about £15, a month and you can have up to 5 accounts on the same plan. Not a bad expenditure and time outlay. A conservative estimate would be 1x30=30 leads a month. That’s about 50p each. I know I’ve worked harder for fewer leads at greater cost, even if this blister is stinging a little as I type.

After more social media tips and tricks? Check out our posts on how to win at Instagram.

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 20 May '16

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