Socedo leverages social media data, specifically Twitter, to identify potential prospects for your business. The main way our clients connect with these prospective customers is through an automated engagement sequence that leads to direct and private messaging. However, a question we hear over and over again from our clients is, “what do we say in our direct messages?”
Socedo works by using a direct message as the first point of contact between your sales representative and the prospect. The goal here is to start a conversation, but also qualify the prospect and learn more about him/her so that you can engage in the sales process. Hubspot just released a post by Tony Alessandra that outlined 10 Tip For Asking More Effective Sales Questions. These same 10 tips can also be applied when thinking about the direct message you use to connect with prospects on Twitter.
The main difference when it comes to Twitter is that you can only send messages of 140 characters or less. As a result, your aim should be to get someone interested enough on Twitter to move to a different communication channel like email, phone or an in-person meeting. That being said, here are our tweaked 10 tips that will help you engage with prospects using Twitter DM.
1. Ask permission
Asking permission to ask questions through Twitter DM is a great way to quickly lead into a phone call. One of our clients Tallwave, is using this strategy with great success. When a prospect follows them back, Tallwave says a bit about themselves and then asks if they can learn more about the prospect’s business. This is a question prospects are willing to answer (64% respond to their direct message), and has a high conversion rate to phone call.
Example question: “I would love to learn more about your business, do you have time?”
A simple question like this can lead to a very high response rate and can easily be the subject of your phone call.
2. Start broad, and then get specific
Broad questions are a good way to incite conversation and allows you to begin gathering information. Just like the question above, it alleviates the impression that this is solely a sales pitch and allows the prospect to respond in a myriad of ways. Remember, with Twitter prospecting you are still just meeting people virtually and the actual sales process has not started yet.
Example question: “What are you working on for content marketing this year?”
Prospects will get back to you with something broad and you can slowly delve deeper and begin asking about the real questions like “What tools are you using to help accomplish these goals?” And so on.
3. Build on previous responses
You should think about your direct messaging in some kind of framework. You always have a script with what the expected response is, and how you are going to work your way to the end goal (getting prospects on the phone). We recommend shortening the DM process as much as possible, around three messages sent before a phone call is made.
First example question: “Are you doing content marketing?”
If they answer yes, you can ask them a question like “What tools are you using to help you with this process?”
If they answer no, you can ask them “What are your goals regarding your business’s presence on social media?”
You can alter your responses to better fit your prospects key words.
4. Use the prospect’s industry jargon, if appropriate
This is an important one! The more specific you can get the more likely a prospect is to respond. If they’re talking about content marketing, be sure to mention content marketing in your direct message.
Example question: “Looks like you have an inbound marketing strategy, are you using gated landing pages?”
The reason why industry-related jargon is great for direct messages in particular, is that you’re being so specific that the DM comes across as being authentic and original, not automated. It resonates with a particular person, especially if they were already Tweeting about this topic and actively using specific terminology and buzzwords. These terms and buzzwords should make their way into your DM – extra points if you use industry hashtags!
5. Keep questions simple
This goes back to the tips at the top. When you’re restricted to 140 characters, you don’t want to ask a question that will elicit an essay-long response. Questions that can be answered with a “Yes” or “No” are great.
Tony wrote a great example question not to ask: “What do you think about the marketing plan and will the new ad campaign confuse customers and would that confusion actually be beneficial to the long-term product growth?”
Remember, you’re going to be hitting prospects at odd times on different devices, so they may be responding on their phone while they’re standing in line for a milkshake. Make it easy for them to get back to you.
6. Use a logical sequence
Just like in an interview, you like to know where the questions are going. If prospects feel like you’re asking erratic questions or they can’t tell where the conversation is headed, they’ll lose interest. By continuing to use industry jargon and asking questions in a logical order you’ll be able to keep the prospect interested and your intent clear.
7. Keep questions non-threatening
For twitter prospecting this is incredibly important because you’re reaching out to prospects for the first time. Yes they’ve followed you back, but this is the first time you’re engaging with them one-on-one. Imagine going up to someone on the street and asking him or her their birthday. That’s weird and you would probably get a confused reaction. However, asking what the time it is a totally fine and normal question.
8. Sensitive question
We’ll make it simple: don’t ask any sensitive questions when you’re using Twitter DM, save that for the phone call.
9. Focus on desired benefits
The more qualification you can do by using Twitter direct message, the better. By focusing on if your prospect has any desired benefits or if they have a need for your product in the direct message can save you a lot of time. If they’re not interested in marketing automation or have no desire to grow their Twitter following with optimized leads, we would know that this isn’t a customer we should be pursuing.
10. Maintain a consultative attitude
Star this!! This is really important. Again, you’re engaging with people on Twitter who are strangers. Sure, we’re used to sharing content with the idea of helping others gain access to important news in the industry but when you’re direct messaging a prospect it’s more personal. However, the consultative attitude of Twitter is one of its best attributes, so the whole time you’re writing that DM you should be coming at it from a consultative prospective. Think “I’m here to help you and want to point you to the right eBook,” or “I want to help you think about things you haven’t thought about before because you’ve shown interest in this space and my brand by following me.” The investment you make in taking the time to really speak to each prospect and adhere to their interests and how your product or service can help does take time, but pays off in the long run.