Subscribe to M&A Friday

Using Twitter For Lead Generation #TwitterMarketing

This blog will walk you through the steps of how you can use Twitter marketing for lead generation.

There are four primary reasons why Twitter needs to be a part of your marketing:

  1. Make more people aware of you and/or your product/company
  2. Connect and communicate with influencers, prospects and customers
  3. Keep current on industry news and competitive activity
  4. Drive traffic to your “content”

If you’re still on the fence about the value of Twitter, consider the recent USA presidential election and what the winning candidate said:

“Twitter is a great form of communication….I think it helped me win…. I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out.”

True, Twitter is one of the most cost effective ways to distribute news and communicate with your audience. But the following is equally true: without “conversions” it can be difficult to convince your CEO to invest in twitter marketing.

What is a conversion? Loosely, it’s when someone performs a desired action: opening an email, clicking on a link, etc. For purposes of this post, I define a Twitter conversion as directing someone to a landing page and having them fill out a registration form: newsletter sign-up, demo request, content download — anything that results in someone giving you information that allows you to continue connecting with them (at a minimum, an email).

In fact, a major reason most social marketing investments fail is because the activities are not integrated into the sales process (conversions). This was highlighted in a presentation at #INBOUND16 when the presenter discussed the four reasons social marketing fails:

  • Lack of integration with website and CRM
  • Lack of focussed strategy
  • We’ve been told social media is “free”
  • Lack of investment (in real dollars)

Takeaway: Twitter marketing must be incorporated into your sales processes and DRIVE CONVERSIONS.

There are several ways to use Twitter to drive conversions and generate leads.

  • Your daily tweets will drive some traffic to your website, and a portion of this traffic will subscribe to your newsletter, register for a webinar, download your white papers, etc. These are leads and, if you have configured your Google Analytics properly, you’ll know that Twitter was responsible for them.
  • You can also advertise on Twitter, another great way to generate sales leads.
  • Direct Twitter marketing. This involves highly targeted tweets and direct messages, and is the focus of the remainder of this post.

Before I get into the details of how to direct Twitter market, remember these four critical rules about Twitter:

  1. Don’t jump on Twitter and immediately start soliciting for leads without first building a FOLLOWING and COMMUNICATING with your network in non-promotional ways.
  2. Even if you have a large following, don’t use Twitter EXCLUSIVELY for promotional purposes.
  3. Using Twitter to solicit leads can be quite effective, but you must continue to perform these fundamentals EACH DAY: follow relevant people, share your excellent (non-promotional) content, curate the content of others in your network, engage in conversations and thank and recognize those that engage with you. Every day.
  4. NEVER AUTOMATE these Twitter activities.

OK, let’s take a look at one example of direct Twitter marketing. Six steps are involved.

Step One: The Offer. Come up with a free giveaway. A book, research report, voucher, etc. I recommend you pick something that can be instantly delivered (no shipping) and has some sort of a monetary value (not some crappy white paper). And use caution in giving away things with cash value like a gift card because there is some risk of abuse.

In one of our recent direct Twitter marketing campaigns, we offered two “gifts”: (1) a listing of the top 50 HR influencers and HR media outlets; (2) A list of the top 50 HR hashtags being used by influencers over the last six months.

Using Twitter for lead generation in #HR marketing. #TwitterTips #HRmarketing Click To Tweet

Step Two: The Audience. Our two giveaways aren’t valuable to everyone. But they are valuable to our “targeted audience,” which were primarily HR technology start-ups that were just getting familiar with the marketplace. Make sure there is a clear connection to your offer and your audience. Be selective. And make sure the targeted Twitter accounts are active on Twitter.

In the human resource marketplace, HRmarketer can help you create targeted Twitter direct marketing lists, i.e. identify your audience. How? HRmarketer tracks over 1,000 conference and Twitter chat hashtags, and allows you to build lists of Twitter IDs engaging with any HR topic. This allows you to quickly generate highly targeted audiences for your direct Twitter marketing.

Step Three: Campaign Landing Page. This is the page on your website that your tweets and/or direct messages will send people to. It’s the registration form that, when completed, will deliver the “gift” to those whom you are targeting. Keep it simple. I recommend requiring only email. Here is an example of the landing page we used for our campaign:

Keep in mind that your landing page can easily be changed for future campaigns — just change the header. We can easily use the above page for a different campaign by editing the header from “Congratulations on Being Named an HR Technology Company Worth Watching in Q4 2016” to “Congratulations on Your Recent Funding” or whatever message will resonate with your targeted audience.

Step Four: Sales Integration: Integrate the landing page with your CRM and/or email marketing software. In our example above, because we only required an email address, we chose not to put the information into our CRM. Instead, the emails were auto-added into a custom Mailchimp “list” that would allow us to stay in touch them by enrolling them into our weekly What’s Hot in HR newsletter. It’s OK to enroll your registrants to a newsletter list so long as you are OPEN and TRANSPARENT about it. As you can see on our landing page we clearly explain that they will be subscribed to our popular weekly eNewsletter that provides a summary of the weeks M&A, funding and partnership announcements in the HR, recruiting and benefits space as well as other trending information. This too is a relevant and valuable offer to this audience.


Step Five: Tweet and/or Direct Message? Should you tweet or direct message? My research uncovered a huge variance of reported click-though rates on Twitter direct messages versus tweets. One article I read reported click-through rates of 30 percent for their direct messages. I think this blogger sums up the question of CTRs nicely:

“What would you say the average click rate for links on Twitter is? Under 50%? Under 10%? Under 5%? The answer, in a sense, is “all of the above.” 

Seriously, there are so many factors impacting your CTRs that it’s impossible to provide averages. What I can say from experience is that if you have the right offer, message and audience, you can achieve 30% or higher click through rates on BOTH your Twitter direct messages and tweets. My experience is that targeted @mention tweets deliver higher CTRs than direct messages. Your results may vary. Experiment.

Here are some of the differences between tweets and direct messages:

Message Length (characters)
Tweets: 140
Direct Messages: 10,000

Attach Images
Tweets: Yes
Direct Messages: Yes

Messages Visible on Twitter Timeline
Tweets: Yes
Direct Messages: No (messages are only visible to the recipient of the message)




Recipient Must Follow You
Tweets: No
Direct Messages: Generally, yes. There is a setting on Twitter that allows users to opt-in to “receive Direct Messages from anyone,” but nobody checks this.

Limits Per Day
Tweets: You can send 2,400 tweets per day. For our Twitter direct marketing campaigns, we send about 5-10 tweets per day.
Direct Messages: You can send 1,000 direct messages per day. But be careful!  Sending the same message to numerous accounts at once may be flagged as spam and will trip an automatic rate limit that requires you to pause for at least 30 minutes before sending another message. We rarely send more than 20 DMs per day and our messages are rarely identical for each user — we try and make them personal. Remember the purpose of your Twitter direct marketing: it’s to get people to take an action (e.g., subscribe to a newsletter) so that you can continue to nurture them.

Trackable Click-Though Rates
Tweets: Yes, but because the tweets are visible to others, it does not necessarily mean the intended recipient was the one that clicked the link.
Direct Messages: Yes. You can be quite sure that the intended recipient was the one that clicked through.

* Measuring clicks on your trackable URL is nice, but the ultimate test of engagement is whether or not the person registers for the offer (giveaway) on the landing page. For our campaign, we monitored the new subscribers on our custom Mailchimp list that we associated with the campaign landing page.

Step 6: The Message Copy

Tweets: If you tweet, be sure to start the tweet with the @mention and keep the message brief and relevant to the offer. For our campaign we tweeted:

@ACCOUNT Congrats being an HR Tech Company Worth Watching! Here’s a gift to help w/ your HR social marketing×04

Direct Message: People are so used to getting spammed with automated direct messages (“Hey, thanks for the follow bla bla bla”) that to stand out, you have to PERSONALIZE your direct messages. I’m much more likely to respond to “Hi Mark, enjoyed your tweets on this week’s #NextChat. Since you are new to the HR space I thought you’d enjoy this information: link”).

You can also use HRmarketer’s built-in Twitter direct marketing features to manage your campaigns, including mass direct messaging and sending individual tweets. Trackable short URLs are automatically inserted into each message so that you can track click-throughs, and you can monitor what accounts you’ve sent tweets or direct messages to so that you don’t over do it.

If you are a customer of HRmarketer check out our new Custom Lists functionality and start experimenting. If you need assistance contact your account representative for training.  If you don’t have access to HRmarketer, follow the steps in this post and use whatever Twitter marketing software you’re comfortable with and start experimenting.  Good luck!



About the Author:

Mark is the founder and ceo of HRmarketer.

Subscribe to #HotInHR Weekly