Jun 25, 2009
csalomonlee

Sourcing Leads from Twitter: Good, bad and ugly

tweetlead

This morning, I sent out a tweet asking for feedback about press release newswires. A few hours later, I received an email from a company regarding news monitoring service. To protect the innocent, the email started:

Cece, thank you for your interest in [company]. Here’s some basic information

I was a bit confused as I 1) didn’t recognize the name of the company or person and 2) didn’t remember downloading/submitting anything related to news monitoring. Curious, and partially to keep a mental note for future reference, I asked how I demonstrated interest in the company. The response?:

“Forgive me Cece, I meant to send this to you referring to your posting on Twitter but failed to.  We monitor mentions of the newswire services and your posting was sent to me as a lead.”

Interesting and scary at the same time. While I do see Twitter becoming a real-time source for sales leads, especially when directly related to your product and services, I think there are some best practices to follow:

1. Reference Source: As the sales person acknowledged, he/she forgot to highlight that this was based on my Twitter posting.

2. Relevancy: My initial request was feedback on newswires – not media monitoring. It seems like any post with certain keywords are being forwarded as prospective leads which leads me to

3. Context: Be sure to understand the context of a person’s original tweet

4. Tweet Me, Don’t Email Me: This is where the big brother part freaked me out. Yes, my email address is on my blog but I used Twitter for a reason. I wanted to get feedback from Twitter. Unless you’re a friend of mine, I don’t expect a response via email from a stranger – Side note – I don’t anticipate a sales person to go through the effort of gonig to my blog for email and since I don’t have it on my Twitter profile…how did he/she get my email?!

5. Add Value: To me, Twitter is about engaging in a conversation or seeing what my friends/contacts are doing. If you want to respond to me, add value to the conversation.

In the end, just because you track down a possible lead on Twitter, Linkedin, or some other way, there are certain best practices that sales folks need to practice. What do you think? Any other tips for marketing folks mining social media for sales prospects?

Tweet This on Twitter

Cut and paste this: Twitter used for sales lead prospects – 5 tips for doing this well by @csalomonlee: http://bit.ly/ilL0X

2 Comments

  • Good point Gwen. I would be interested in knowing if a report exists about the use of social media, not just Twitter, for lead generation and how this compares against other types of lead generation activities.

  • I had almost the exact same experience a few weeks ago. Tweeted about a PR software solution and received a phone call literally within minutes from a competitive sales rep. It was a bit creepy to be *called* by a sales rep so quickly after my Tweet, but after I got over the initial shock and awe that they were able to track down my phone number so easily, I was actually really impressed — especially since it took several days for the company I Tweeted about to answer my initial question.

    The way I look at it is that Twitter has become one of the most influential and important sources of information for all sides of the sales and marketing equation. I certainly counsel my clients to carefully monitor their brands as well as that of their competitors and to react quickly whenever a market opportunity arises. Seems only fair that the same would hold true of the companies which are mentioned in my Tweets.

    While I agree in principal with the best practices you’ve listed above, I still have to applaud the tenacity of the sales rep that called me directly. And when their company’s fiscal results are announced next year, I won’t be surprised if they’ve leapfrogged the competition.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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