If you have a well-built, optimized profile, Twitter can be a valuable tool for poaching leads and conversing with potential new clients. But with over 317 million daily active users, keeping track of everyone you interact with can be tricky.
That’s where Twitter Lists can help. Here’s what you need to know to increase your selling skills and profit from your Twitter following.
What Are Twitter Lists?
Twitter Lists let you sort and save groups of Twitter users into smaller categories to make following them easier. Usually, you’ll sort users based on what they tweet about or what their interests are.
When you click on a Twitter List, you can see the tweets from only the accounts on that list, even if you’re not actually following them. It’s essentially a separate Twitter feed that you’ve customized with specific people.
Creating and Subscribing to Lists
Within Twitter Lists, you can either create your own or subscribe to someone else’s existing list. There are perks to doing both for social selling.
Subscribing to an existing list is not only convenient, but it lets you follow a pre-organized list of potential customers. You might even want to consider following a competitor’s list. That way, you can watch for any unhappy consumers and strike up a conversation with them.
(But remember - no hard selling right away. A tweet might ask for help, but users are rarely asking to be sold on something.)
You can find other users’ lists on their profiles. Once you find a list that interests you, click on it and choose “subscribe” in the upper left-hand corner of the page. This will add the list to your profile, and you’ll be able to visit it at any time to see only the tweets from the people on that list.
Creating your own lists takes a bit more work, but it can really help you keep your prospects organized. To create a list on desktop, just click on your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of any page on Twitter.
You’ll see a drop down for Lists. When you click on that, it’ll take you to a page with all the lists that you’ve created and subscribed to, as well as all of the lists other users have added you to. On the right side of the page, you’ll see a button to create a list.
You should create lists based on your prospective customers’ pain points, as well as sorting them based on their stage in the buying process. Consider sorting your lists based on cold prospects, warm prospects, and hot prospects who are ready to make a purchase from you.
To add a Twitter user to one of your lists, simply click on the gear icon next to the follow button on their profile. Then, you can choose a list you’ve created to add them to, or you can just create a new list.
Twitter Tip: Add yourself to your lists. That way, if someone subscribes to one of your lists, your tweets will show up for them, even if they didn’t follow you.
When you create a list, you have the option to name it, add a description, and then select whether your list is public or private. Both have perks for social selling, but you need to know the difference first.
Public vs Private Lists
When you add a user to a Twitter list, you’re not technically following them, but they’ll get a notification when you add them to a public list (which anyone can find). This can actually help you earn followers, especially if users see you’re adding them to a list called “Advertising Industry Thought-Leaders” or even just “Awesome People.”
Private Twitter Lists can help you scope out prospects and keep them organized, without anyone else knowing you’re doing so. This is your best bet for sorting out users you actively want to target and sell to.
After all, social media is all about building relationships with others. It’ll be a huge turn off for customers if they’re added to a list of “Cold Prospects” before you even have a conversation with them.
So, when you want to flatter your consumers and catch their eye, add them to a public list with a name that makes them feel important. But for keeping prospects organized for selling purposes, make those lists private.
Finding and Sorting Prospects
Ideally, you want to follow anyone who matches one of your buyer personas. But, you also want to follow your competitors and any of their current customers who might not be super happy with their service.
You can use Twitter’s Advanced Search feature to find people talking about extremely specific topics and certain buying signals, such as “anyone recommend” or “any advice.”
Source: Twitter Advanced Search
You can also set up a profile on Hootsuite to help make social listening easier. With Hootsuite, you can create different tabs and columns to show you all the tweets that contain a certain word, phrase, hashtag, or mention.
You can also set up tabs that display your lists, so you could essentially have every list displayed on one dashboard within Hootsuite. Social listening doesn’t get much easier than that.
How to Take Users From Followers to Customers
Setting up a Twitter List is only the first step in social selling. You’ll need to actually engage with the users on your lists in order to start conversations with them.
Connect with prospects, and start a conversation with a retweet, favorite, mention, or reply. Ask them questions to show that you’re interested in their opinions. Then, nurture those leads by continuing the conversation over private Direct Messages.