Guest blog from Jawad Khan
5 Essential Components of a Successful Twitter Sales Strategy
When it comes to selling products on social media, most brands and entrepreneurs prefer Facebook as their primary sales channel. In my experience, however, Twitter is an equally effective medium for social commerce. In fact, in many ways, Twitter is a more addictive and engaging platform as compared to Facebook. It has millions of vibrant and engaged users who regularly follow the updated global and regional trends and Tweet about their interests.
However, in order to create an effective Twitter sales strategy, brands need to have certain key components in place – starting with how they perceive social selling. Social commerce or social selling thrives on the community effect. You cannot find success on Twitter or any other social network by simply broadcasting your content.
Here are a few things that you need to ensure while creating your Twitter sales strategy.
1. Identifying the Right Audience
Twitter has millions of users who’re continuously Tweeting about different global and regional trends. There’s a lot of noise on this platform. Your challenge as a seller, is to identify the right audience for your product and engage with it.
The best way to do that is by studying the strategy of your competitors. Have a good look at their profiles and see who’s following them. The followers of your competitors will give you a good starting point in identifying your relevant audience.
But don’t just start following people in the hope of getting follow backs. That is an old strategy that is now mostly used by spammers.
Instead, engage with these people. Go through the Tweets of your competitors and see if there are any unanswered client queries. See if anyone’s asking for help. Respond to any such queries and offer help from your side.
Similarly, search for your competitors on Twitter and see if anyone’s complaining about them. Respond to their Tweets and offer help.
To simplify this step, you can use Twitter Lists.
2. Managing Relevant Lists
Twitter lists are one of the most underutilized features on Twitter. In fact, most users don’t understand how lists work. The objective of Twitter lists is to help you cut the noise on Twitter and keep an eye on the users that you care about.
When you create a Twitter list and add people to it, you’ll be able to monitor their activities on Twitter. For example, if you create a list of potential customers from Los Angeles, you’ll be able to see their Tweets in isolation without any irrelevant noise from other Twitter users.
Twitonomy will also show you all the lists that are following your competitors. You can engage with the creators of the relevant lists and ask them if they’re interested in your products or services as well.
3. Tweeting At The Right Times
In any marketing strategy, timing is critical. But on Twitter, it is probably the most important thing. As I said earlier, there’s a lot of noise on Twitter and there’s very little time to get your Tweets noticed. For this reason, you need to time your Tweets properly.
Use automated scheduling, and Tweet in all time zones. Similarly, if you’re Tweeting about a particular blog post or link, use a different message in every Tweet. Studies suggest that Saturday and Sunday (yes, weekends!) attract the highest user engagement on Twitter. The peak engagement hours are 9AM, 12 PM, 3PM and 6PM.
4. Maximizing Engagement
Engagement is the key to any sales and marketing strategy. In fact, it is the primary reason why social selling works so well. The difference between a successful and an average social commerce strategy is often the level of engagement that it manages to attract.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can use Twitter to engage users. For example, Tweets with images attract almost 300% more engagement as compared to simple text Tweets. Similarly, Tweets that use Vines or animated GIFs also attract much higher engagement.
The reason why many brands fail at engaging their Twitter followers is because they’re not proactive. They wait for their followers to start conversations. The right way, however, is to initiate conversations yourself. Ask questions, hold contests, seek opinions and respond to users queries.
Most Twitter users love to engage in conversations with brands. It’s up to you to make use of this opportunity.
5. Simplifying the Buying Process
If you want to have any chance of making regular sales through Twitter, you need to develop a seamless buying experience that involves a simplified payment process and minimum redirections. Recently, Twitter experimented with a “Buy Now” button of their own. But that feature was quickly reversed. But there are indications that Twitter is soon going to integrate ecommerce features in its Tweets.
However, you can still use Twitter as a direct selling platform using a combination of different tools and a smart feature in Twitter, called Twitter cards. By enabling Twitter cards you can display additional information about your products and display their pictures within the standard Tweet content.
Selz, a digital selling tool, does a great job when it comes to integrating a seamless payment process with Twitter. Selz makes use of Twitter cards and allows you to sell products directly from your Tweets. It does the same job that Twitter intends to achieve with its own Buy Now button.
With Selz you can accept payments from Master Card, Visa and PayPal, and also integrate services like AWeber and Mailchimp to build your email list directly from Twitter. In short, it’s a very useful social commerce tool.
Twitter offers businesses a great opportunity to expand their customer pool and add new revenue channels. However, in order to make full use of it, you need to continuously invest time in developing an engaged Twitter following that cares about your product and regularly responds to your Tweets. Once you have a vibrant and engaged following. You only need to link them up with a convenient payment process to close the sale.
Author Bio: Jawad Khan is a digital marketing consultant, a certified inbound marketer and a professional freelance blogger. Follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny, Google+ and Twitter.