When it comes to social selling and social media prospecting, LinkedIn seems to be most people’s go-to platform. LinkedIn is obviously a powerful professional network full of business contacts. But what many don’t realize is that Twitter can be equally valuable, if not more, than LinkedIn when it comes to Social Selling. Both bring something unique to the mix.
So why is Twitter so often overlooked? In this post we make a case and explain why social sellers should seriously think about using Twitter in addition to LinkedIn as part of their social media prospecting efforts.
What does LinkedIn bring to the table?
For social sellers, LinkedIn is a gold mine of information, if you know what you’re looking for. Say you have a list of specific companies you want to target. Simply searching those company names will take you directly where you need to go. It provides tons of structured data such as company size, location, and job titles of employees. This makes it easy to find exactly whom you want to reach out to, as well as others they are connected with, and begin conversations that lead them into your funnel.
Where LinkedIn starts to fall short is in terms of trigger-based prospecting. Potential prospects can often be identified by which professional events they attend or the specific content they like, post, or repost. Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t provide a way to search for these identifiers when prospecting for potential leads; so many prospects with a real time need are left untouched, floating in the wind.
Another obstacle for social sellers on LinkedIn is the difficulty of accessing these leads before they become connections. There are very few ways to engage with users before sending a connection request. You can’t like their posts or comment on interesting topics with them, which makes it hard to warm up relationships right off the bat. This can put LinkedIn sellers at a major disadvantage.
Where Twitter excels...
If you’re looking for an all-access pass to engage with the leads you’re prospecting, Twitter is where you should be. You can be as general as you want when looking for leads.
For instance, almost every professional event these days tries to leverage at least one hashtag. If your goal is to engage with people at the event, then using the hashtag enables you to do so. It's the equivalent of going to the offline version of the event and handing out your business cards. You can also search relevant topics of interest, specific companies, or any mention of content related to what you’re selling. The possibilities for triggers are basically endless.
And on Twitter when you find an interesting potential prospect you can immediately start engaging with them. Follow them, mention them in a Tweet, or Retweet their content, all to let them know that you share common interests. By the time they follow you back, you’ve already developed a warm connection and are able to Direct Message them to make an offer.
Speaking of DM, there’s some pretty compelling data on just how effective a Twitter DM can be for your prospecting campaigns. With click-through rates in the neighbourhood of 30%, compared to average email click-through rates around 3%, the DM could provide a powerful boost to your Social Selling efforts. To read more about this check out this post on the Heinz Marketing blog.
Most social sellers will focus the bulk of their time on LinkedIn but Twitter is still an awesome tool for approaching qualified contacts. It may be a little more difficult to use, and the data you’re getting will not be as neat or structured as on LinkedIn. But through Twitter you can build a following for your product and a presence that allows you to engage with quality potential leads.
About the author
Aseem Badshah is the Founder and CEO of Socedo, a web platform that helps to automate prospecting on Twitter and LinkedIn. He has been a leader in the social media marketing space for more than 8 years. Before Socedo, Aseem founded Uptown Treehouse, a marketing agency for Fortune 500 brands focused on social media. You can learn more from Aseem on the Socedo Blog.