How Twitter Lists Shorten the Sales Cycle
As a social media guy, I get asked all the time about the social media tools I use and which ones are the best. One of my favorites is Twitter. As a public network, it drives real time conversations, and it is much easier to move relationships from cold to warm quickly. For a new, social-savvy generation of salespeople looking for ways to shorten the sales cycle, this can mean big business.
Much like offline conversations, Twitter isn't a one-way communication channel. In order to make it work, you have to engage. This poses a real challenge of sifting through the one billion tweets generated every two days to find the areas and people that matter to you.
Although the first step to building your Twitter foundation is gaining followers, if you think people in your own stream are the only ones that matter, you're missing the boat. It’s too time consuming to reach out to every person in my own stream. For this reason, I believe followers aren't the only thing you should focus on, because the people who share your same interests - your prospects - across all of Twitter as a whole, are more valuable to you than followers. The only way to manage these key prospects is through building quality Twitter lists that enable to you to socially listen and take part in the conversations that matter the most to you.
Here are four steps to create and use Twitter lists to maximize engagement, nurture your relationships and grow your sales initiatives.
1. Create Lists
Go to your profile page and click "lists" to set up as many new lists as you want (however don't overcomplicate this with too many lists to start. I suggest starting with four to five lists, and taking them for a spin.) For example, I have one list of people called, "Get to Know." It's a wish list that allows me to really see and engage with people on their tweets, not expecting them to come to me.
Lists allow you to see a stream of tweets from just the people on each list, seriously editing down the information you want to see. It'll take some time adjusting it until you have the people you want and the information that is interesting to you, but you'll be delighted to find tweets you'd never see before that would normally get lost in the Tweet river.
2. Choose Public or Private
Choosing to make a list private vs public is a very important feature, because it allows you to literally keep your lists to yourself or not. I recommend going private at first. Remember, once you set up a public list, people are able to see the list you have built. Often times public lists are important when you want to let others know they are important to you, because they will be notified in their feed when they're added to any public list.
3. Actively Listen
Lists help you sharpen your active, social-listening ability. They edit out the noise, giving you the benefit of better understanding and learning of how each person prefers to engage. Active listening by definition happens when you engage with someone after really hearing what they are saying. Lists help you see, hear and listen to your potential audience and take part in their conversations.
4. Engage and Edit More
As you engage with your audience, your Twitter lists should start to define themselves further, helping you sort them into more specific categories. For instance, one person may start to engage with different interests that you hadn't originally intended. If people are working hard at engaging with you in a two-way conversation, categorize them somewhere that helps you keep the dialogue going with others of similar interests. Engaging helps to amplify your content much faster with more reach, and others tend to be happy to help - but only if the conversation is relevant.
Twitter lists are the social equivalent of an intimate dinner party with your close friends. Narrow down the guest list and forge relationships with prospects and influencers in an authentic way, and shorten your sales cycle by sharing conversation instead of pushing product to an uninterested audience.
Bryan Kramer is a Social Business Strategist and CEO of PureMatter where he’s led his agency to consistent growth over the last 10 years earning a spot as one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing private companies by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Bryan was recently listed globally as the 43rd most talked about marketer by senior marketers via LeadTail. Bryan was also listed as #26 by Kred as a Global Top CEO Influencer on Social Media and as one of The Top 50 Social CEOs on Twitter in the world by the Huffington Post. Follow Bryan on Twitter at @bryankramer.
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