Part two of a two-part guest post by Abby Hammer, Product Manager for the new Vocus Marketing Suite.
Here are four best practices for responding to buying signals:
1. Is this Twitterer still in need? Check before you respond. There can be a lot of variation in the lifespan of a buying signal, largely depending on the keywords used and the signal type selected. For example, a buying signal from someone who sat on their glasses and broke them could have a very short lifespan. If that person cannot see without their glasses, this they will fix the problem immediately. In that situation, the unique window of opportunity to connect with this person is short and you need to act fast.
So if you miss the signal for two days, it’s a good idea to scan their Twitter feed before reaching out to them—this quick review might inform you that they have already tweeted about the resolution to their problem. It is important to avoid spamming or annoying Twitterers unnecessarily. You want them to have positive opinions towards your company when the right time to interact comes along.
2. Get to know the Twitterer you’re talking to…before you start the conversation. On every buying signal tweet brought into the Vocus Marketing Suite, the handle (@soandso) of the Twitterer is a link to their Twitter profile. Even better, if you click on a Twitterer’s avatar in the Buying Signals module at the top of the stream, you can quickly see more information on that individual without leaving the Suite.
Why do we do those things? Because we want you to take the opportunity to learn a little something about your prospect before you interact with them. It’s possible to learn a great deal from someone’s Twitter profile – their bio alone could tell you some critical information. But it’s also interesting to look at where they are from, how many people they follow, who follows them, how often they Tweet, what types of topics they Tweet about. And what are you trying to learn? Anything and everything that will help you authentically interact with the Twitterer and build their affinity towards you and your business.
3. To promote or advise? That is the question. Sure, we all want leads to know about our business, otherwise how are we going to convert them into loyal, loving customers? But in some scenarios, offering advice, recommendations, or suggestions will do more to build affinity towards you and your business than a straight out promotion of your products or services. For example, if you run a health food store and a Twitterer is interested in what vitamins they should take if they are trying to get pregnant, reaching out to that individual with some advice, such as an article to read, is going to make them trust you more than immediately hitting them with a plug for buying vitamins at your store.
Remember that with buying signals, as with any social media marketing, it’s about first building a relationship, then converting that relationship into a customer. When that Twitterer reaches out to thank you for your advice, then it’s good time to offer information about your products or services because now this person knows and trusts you and therefore is much more likely to buy from you. So it’s a win-win: you’ve built up authority and credibility for yourself in your industry space AND you’ve gained a trusting customer who is more likely to spread the word about you. Not sure whether to promote or advise? It’s usually better to err on the softer side with advice, which still gives you exposure but avoids making you look like a desperate spammer.
4. Incentivize! If a Twitterer is actively engaged in the buying cycle, offering them a little something extra to choose your business can’t hurt. A coupon or a special offer can go a long way to convincing someone to choose your business—we all love a deal, right? This is a particular good idea when trying to attract first-time customers. After they buy from you once and have a satisfying experience, the likelihood that they will return as a customer increase exponentially.
Intrigued, excited? We hope so, we certainly are! Vocus customers are already starting to experience the value of Buying Signals as they watch these newfound leads increase their credibility in their industry, connect them with prospective customers, drive traffic to their website, and convert those prospects into loyal customers! If you want to join in, request a demo today!