How to use Twitter to Find New Clients

Records Social StreamsExperts always say that the best way to grow your business is through referrals. That’s fine if you are an established business, but if you are just starting out, you need an attention strategy to get you noticed. After all clients can’t come to you if they have no idea you exist.

You could try cold calling but everything about cold calls is cold and hard. With social media, there may be a better way: Find warm leads through Twitter. Here’s how you can do that.

Step 1

Think about the words and phrases people might use if they were looking for the product or service you provide. Write them down. Next think of what people might say if they were dissatisfied with a competitors’ service. Note those phrases down too.

Step 2

Log on to CubeSocial, click through to the Record Twitter page and create a new Twitter recording using the phrases you came up with. CubeSocial will now start recording all the conversations that match.

Step 3

Once or twice a day check-in on your recording and scan through the results looking for people who are searching for the product/service you offer.

Consider what people are saying. Are they asking for a recommendation? Are they complaining about a competitor? Are they researching ideas?

Step 4

Engage, engage, engage; but remember to be social. Don’t go for the hard sell. People are on the lookout for businesses that listen and care. The more you speak with people, not broadcast to people, the more successful you will be.

For example, if people are asking for a recommendation, you could reply with a link to the testimonials page on your website, or a link to an independent review. If people are researching ideas, you could respond with a link to a helpful blog you wrote on the topic.

Step 5

You won’t close a sale in one Tweet, so following up with your prospects is what makes the difference. A good social CRM will help you keep track of your social media conversations, your leads and the tasks needed to maintain or advance the relationships you are developing. Dip back into your growing pool of warm leads at regular intervals to nurture them to the close.

Why this works so well

What makes this strategy so successful is that you are engaging with people at the point they are ready to buy. It’s no longer a cold call – it’s a warm lead. You get to see the person’s picture, their bio, their website, their personality-revealing tweets and their friends. What’s more, you see their intent.

One thing to remember

A word of caution: all your tweets will show up on your Twitter public timeline, so be sure to mix things up a little. If a prospect checks out your timeline and all they see are blunt pitches, that’s bound to be off-putting. However, if they see you being helpful and providing solid advice, that will add to your credibility.

How to Grow Your Network Using Social Media

When my business partner and I quit our jobs to start our own business, one of the unexpected challenges we faced was the lack of a network with which to share ideas. Even those casual chats at the coffee machine were missed.

We turned to social media, and in particular Twitter to fill that gap. We found that Twitter is perfect because just like a networking event or drinks party, the etiquette is that anyone is welcome to join an existing conversation.

We have successfully used Twitter to grow our network of peers, suppliers and customers and discovered that just like real-world networking the know, like, trust process still applies… it’s just that social media accelerates that process.

Know: Find People to Follow

One of the best places to start is with journalists in your sector. Most have a Twitter account these days. Follow them, then look who they are having conversations with. Those people are also likely to be good people to follow – either important people in your sector or people who have the ear of journalists – in either case, good people to know.

Next, look for key local people, local business leaders, large local companies and trade associations. Follow them too.

Like: Old Rules, New Tools

It’s 60 years old now, but Dale Carnegie’s classic principles from How To Win Friends and Influence People apply just as well in the new world of social media as they did in 1950s America.

Introduce yourself to people you follow. Tell them why you followed them, and ideally, pay them a sincere compliment. Say hello to new people who follow you and take a quick look at their bio and timeline. What are they talking about? If it’s their cats, ask how they are; if it’s a business trip, recommend your favourite restaurant. Tweet things of interest to people you want to engage.

Look for conversations in your timeline where you can add value. Share your own insights and Retweet insights of others. Make others look good.

Find excuses to get back in touch. Keep an eye on your contacts’ status updates. Even small status changes can give you something to start a conversation.

Proactively link people together. Don’t wait for others to ask for an introduction. Review your contact list and look for ways to add value to them.

Trust: Take it Offline

When you are ready, start to take your new network into the real world. Most people will be flattered that you want to take the time to meet them face-to-face. Keep it informal. Suggest a catch-up over coffee for instance, the next time you are in the area.

Try to position yourself at the centre of your new online network. Use industry events to arrange group meet ups when many of your contacts are likely to be around. One of our biggest successes came from organising a real-world meet up (a Tweetup) that grew to the point where conference organisers began asking us how they could get involved in our event.

One final thing: Don’t let social media become a drain on your time. Time box it in a way that works for you. Check it for 5 minutes every hour for example; while waiting for a train, bus or taxi; or schedule some time around lunch time or at the end of the day.

Can You Help us Take a Snapshot of the Economy?

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I know… not a normal question for us to pose on this blog, but we have a reason for asking.

Linda has been invited to take part in a BBC TV debate on Monday and being a social media company, we thought that rather than just present our opinion, we ought to crowdsource ideas from our community.

Do you have a comment / idea / opinion on any of the following?

  • Tax rates
  • Red tape
  • Youth/graduate unemployment
  • Hiring
  • Bank lending
  • What’s holding the economy back?
  • Exporting
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology infrastructure
  • What should be done get things moving?
  • Are things actually better than the media make out… are they at risk of talking us into another recession?

People on the panel will include politicians from all the main parties, business leaders (that’ll be us!), working families and unemployed.

Please let us know your thoughts below. We’ll try to include any relevant points if they come up in the debate.

And one last thing. The show will be recorded on Sunday evening, and broadcast on Monday 19th at 23:05 on BBC1. Follow Linda’s Twitter stream if you’d like live updates over the weekend!

CubeSocial at Digital London

imageThere’s another chance to catch the CubeSocial team face to face this week as we’ll be presenting a session at Digital London and attending for most of the event.

Linda is presenting a session on the Social Business track focussing on what the future holds for social media and business.

If you’re attending and you’d like to say ‘Hi’ – just tweet us: @cubesocial.

CubeSocial has a Shiny New Look

You don’t need to be eagle-eyed to spot that our latest deployment has brought a bright new look to CubeSocial.

CubeSocial as a product has grown organically over time and of late, it had started to look like it was ready for a makeover.  So, we got our decorators overalls out and set about remodelling the site. Here’s what you’ll see next time you log in…

Navigation

The first thing you’ll notice is the new navigation bar is tucked away neatly at the top of the page.

CubeSocial Navigation Bar

We’ve reduced the height substantially to provide far more room for you to work with your data and reduce the amount of scrolling you need to do. We’d noticed that over 50% of our users now access CubeSocial using widescreen displays, and this layout is particularly suited for them.

Secondly the navigation bar stays right there at the top no matter how much you scroll. This makes it much easier to get to the most important commands in CubeSocial wherever you are in the site.

Page Layout

The next thing you’ll see is that we’ve applied a consistent design across right across the whole site.

CubeSocial Page Layout

Each page is clearly framed with a distinct title bar and the main content area offset against the background to help you focus on what really matters. We’ve also made it easier to spot the key actions you can take on each page. You’ll find them consistently placed on the top-right of each page and called out in green.

With the addition of the consistent styling applied to the sub-navigation on the left of each page, the result is a site that is much to find your way around.

Getting the Most out of Social Media

Finally, we have noticed that our most popular blog posts are consistently the ones where we explain social media in a business context, i.e. we explain not only what to do, but why it’s important for business.

We decided that we should bake that information right into CubeSocial. Many pages now display hints like these at the top of each page. Once you are happy (or if you are a power user) you can dismiss the hints and you won’t see them again.

CubeSocial Hints

We’re really excited about these changes, and we’d love to hear your feedback.  Tweet us or leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.