How to Use Twitter for Lead Generation

How to Use Twitter for Lead Generation
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Using Twitter for lead generation starts with one thing — a targeted audience of followers.

While it may seem like attracting thousands of followers is the primary goal of Twitter, that isn’t the case.

When it comes to generating leads or creating real business momentum, a Twitter profile with thousands of untargeted or random followers is not very valuable.

On the other hand, a Twitter following with even a small group of highly targeted Twitter followers is of great value.

Build a Targeted Twitter Audience

If you want to create leads through Twitter, make sure that you are building a list of Twitter followers who actually care about what it is you do. Especially important are those who have the potential to turn into clients or partners down the road.

One way to grow a targeted list is by following quality users who are interested in your industry, products, or services. Twitter users are likely to follow back when a user aligned with their interests follows them.

A common way of doing this is by looking for followers of other accounts that are like you. This is a common strategy, but maybe not the most effective strategy.

While you know about the relevant follow, you are not aware of the context of the follow. Possibly they followed the account because a cousin works there or they are trying to sell something to them? You just have no idea. Maybe they were interested at some point, but are no longer actively interested.

What can be even better is looking for people that tweeted about the topic recently and also displays a clear indication of being involved in the niche based on their Twitter biography.

For example, someone that tweeted about content marketing yesterday and has “Chief Marketing Officer” listed within their bio is a solid marketing lead.

When you search through tweets, consider searching for related hashtags, keywords, or company mentions relevant to your industry.

A great tool for finding relevant related hashtags is example for term  #TwitterMarketing example for #TwitterMarketing

Note: You can save yourself the time and trouble and let us do this for part for you.

Monitor and Engage In Conversations

Twitter is about connecting with your audience, not just endlessly promoting yourself. So get in the mix and have conversations with others. As David Deutsch likes to say, “Content is not king, contact is king.”

  • Monitor Related Topics – Watch for mentions of your brand and keywords related to your industry. I use Sprout Social as it makes it easy to notice and respond to mentions.
  • Use Advanced Search – Use advanced search functions to find tweets/users based on location and tweet sentiment (tweets that are positive, negative, and/or include questions).
  • Respond to Comments Quickly – If someone mentions your brand, make sure that you respond to the comment quickly — especially if it is a negative statement.
  • Answer Questions/Be Helpful – Look for ways you can help your targeted audience by answering questions related to your industry.
  • Use Trending Hashtags – Join existing conversations by using trending hashtags, but don’t get involved in every single trending hashtag. Only join in conversations where it feels natural and makes sense.
  • Host a Twitter Chat – Start your own conversation and host a Twitter chat about a topic related to your industry.
  • Reach out to Twitter Influencers – Don’t be shy. Tweet at influencers in your industry, ask them questions, and share content you think they will enjoy. Remember to always be friendly, not pushy. If they don’t tweet you back, don’t push it.
monitoring mentions using Sprout Social

Using Sprout Social to monitor and respond to mentions is easy

Engaging with users humanizes your brand and also puts your name in front of a larger audience. So don’t be a Twitter ghost. Go out there and engage with your audience.

Entertain, Educate, and Engage Before You Sell

Users don’t follow brands because they want to be sold to. They follow brands because they enjoy the content they share. So give your followers what they want and share content that educates, engages or even entertains.

First, figure out how many times you want to tweet per day. There is no exact science for how many times you should tweet per day, but research shows that the more you tweet, the more engagement you will have. Buffer recommends posting to Twitter at least five times per day.

Then decide on how you want to split up that content between owned content (content you create), curated content (content created by someone else), and promotional content (content that highlights your products, services, or offerings).

There are many different opinions about ratios for sharing content, but one thing is for sure — don’t over promote. A good rule of thumb for a brand that just getting started is the 30/60/10 Golden Ratio from Rallyverse:

  • 30% Owned
  • 60% Curated
  • 10% Promotional


You may be using Twitter for lead generation, but your primary task is entertaining your audience — not selling to them.

Optimize Your Media for Twitter Cards

Stats consistently prove that people are more likely to engage with tweets that include rich media such as images, buttons, and videos. So increase clicks and retweets by using Twitter cards.

Twitter cards add rich media to your tweets and come in a variety of styles. Select a card style that best matches your goals, products, and services.

  • Summary Card: includes a title, description, and thumbnail image when a link is shared (use it for promoting blog posts and informational content)
  • Summary Card w/ Large Image: summary card with a featured image instead of a thumbnail
  • Photo Card: image (use it for promoting images with quotes or promotions)
  • Gallery Card: collection of four images
  • App Card: includes information about a mobile app with a download button
  • Player Card: includes a video clip or audio stream that plays media in feed
  • Product Card: includes information about a product that is for sale online

Twitter cards do not automatically populate and you need to add code or plugins to your site so that Twitter will recognize the data from your pages and generate the cards.

But adding the rich media to your tweets is worth it as it will increase engagement, attract more followers, and draw more traffic to your website and products.

Utilize Twitter Lead Generation Cards

There is another style of Twitter card specifically designed for lead generation.

The Twitter Lead Generation Card allows you to collect email addresses directly from Twitter. The card includes a direct call-to-action and form where users can enter their email address.

Twitter Card Example

Twitter Lead Generation Cards are a paid service as part of Twitter Ads. They are not created based on data from your website like the cards listed above. Instead, you create the card in the ad section of Twitter and set a budget based on the amount you would like to spend per day or per lead.

This is the most direct way to collect leads from Twitter, and with the right promotion can substantially grow an email list of targeted users.

To get the most out of your Twitter Lead Generation Card, make sure you create an offer that your potential customers can’t resist (such as a free eBook, exclusive membership, or a giveaway).

But only offer something that relates to your target audience. Don’t give away an iPad if you are trying to collect leads for your yoga studio. Lots of people may sign up because they want an iPad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are interested in yoga.

The idea isn’t to just grow an email list; it is to grow a targeted email list. Always keep your targeted audience in mind before you run any promotion.

Keep At It and Relax

This strategy will pay off. It always does if you stick with it.

So if you aren’t seeing results within a few days, don’t cancel your Twitter marketing strategy. Stick with your plan and keep using the platform to connect and engage with your targeted audience, and Twitter will produce quality leads from your efforts.

Personally these approaches have led to not only new clients, but also some of our best and most loyal clients, partners and employees as well.

How have you used Twitter to generate leads?

Photo courtesy of Eric Fischer
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