In the past couple of years, Twitter has made several changes to make its platform a more brand friendly place. Earlier this year, Twitter launched a new feature to make it easy for brands to transition from a public tweet to a private Direct Message. In the fall of 2015, Twitter removed the 140-character limit from its direct messages, and then increased their direct messages limit from 250 per day to 1000 per day.
Twitter has announced that these changes are intended to help brands provide better customer service on Twitter. Customer service on Twitter has grown 2.5X over the past two years. In the Customer Service Playbook Twitter released last year, Twitter talks about its platform as “the
place for companies to deliver scalable customer experiences with unparalleled reach and amplification through one-to-one-to-many interactions”.
While Twitter’s direct messages provide an efficient vehicle for B2C customer service, what’s not as obvious is the value of Twitter DMs for B2B demand generation marketers.
Direct Messages have proven to be a highly effective channel for lead generation. If you write DMs the right way, you can get very high response rates and bring qualified leads into your buying cycle. In addition, the DM responses themselves often provide a wealth of insights about your leads.
What makes for good direct messages in a lead generation context? If your direct messages are “working”, what kinds of responses can you expect?
Below, we’ll share some tips on writing DMs and provide some real DM examples from our customers and our marketing team.
The elements of an effective direct message
Although direct messages are increasingly used by brands, there is still some stigma towards them. The way to break through that barrier is to personalize your direct message with the intent of establishing a real relationship with your lead.
Here are the essential elements of an effective direct message:
- Use their name: people are much more likely to read messages where their name is used
- Personalize your message based on what the person tweets about.
- Be conversational, not promotional. Use this message to learn more about your prospect to assess whether this is a viable lead. Ask a simple qualifying question to learn more about your prospect’s business. Once someone responds, asks more qualifying questions to steer the conversation down a path towards turning them into a customer (we’ll show you some examples of this later).
Depends on your goal, there are a few directions you can take your DMs. Typically, we see three types of messages:
- Promote a piece of content: a majority of Socedo customers use DMs to link to a landing page or downloadable resource on their website.
- Ask a qualifying question: some customers use a DM to ask a question and start a one-on-one conversation (particularly those in Business Development or Sales)
- Encourage engagement: If you aren’t ready to promote anything, you can use a DM to encourage people to engage with you on Twitter. For example, let your followers know what kind of content you’ll be sharing through your Twitter channel.
One customer, a leader in business software in the real estate space, has chosen to use Socedo DMs to introduce their accounting software to realtors. These are the DMs they’ve sent:
“Hi, love that you’re in real estate! Check out our one-stop accounting and back office management program. It helps remove the guesswork and allows you to make educated decisions for your business. [link to their product page]”
“Great to meet you, [first name]! When you have a moment, I believe you will appreciate more information on our back office solution that speaks the real estate language and gives you complete insight into your business. [link to their product page]”
With these DMs, this customer has found some leads who could be very good opportunities. Here are some of the Twitter responses they’ve gotten from Socedo leads:
“Thanks for connecting! I do portfolio lending in all areas of the U.S. great for real estate investors and business owners.”
“Thanks! just what I was looking for”
“Thanks for following! I am interested in alternatives to AccountTEch for my 80+ offices. Who can I talk to?”
“Our company, ERA Real Estate Professionals use Lucero as our back office management systems”
At Socedo, our marketing department uses our own product to engage with our target audience – B2B marketers. We invite people to check out relevant resources with DMs like these:
Hey [First_Name], always great to meet another marketing enthusiast! If you’re doing any lead nurturing at your business (or ready to start!) check out this on-demand webinar from Socedo: 10 Lead Nurturing Hacks for Faster Conversions http://go.socedo.com/On-Demand-10-Lead-Nurturing-Hacks/?c=adam
Hey [First_Name], I’d like to invite you to watch an on-demand webinar I recorded with the Socedo team, focused on 10 hacks for moving leads faster to conversion: http://go.socedo.com/On-Demand-10-Lead-Nurturing-Hacks/?c=Adam
Here’s a couple DM replies that stood out:
“Very clever and nice! I am building a new landing page right now so I’ll think about using this when I am ready for traffic.”
“Hi Aseem, I will try the trial version. Do you think that using the using the automated messaging tool can lead to spam since we alter only the name?”
In the second case, our CEO Aseem replied directly with some suggestions on how to avoid coming across “spammy”. This conversation through DMs helped this person better understand our product and converted him to a brand advocate.
How to respond to DMs
To take full advantage of using Twitter DMs, be sure to have a process in place for responding to DMs. The worst thing that can happen is to go silent on the people who are interested enough in your brand to engage in a conversation.
We recommend that you designate someone to be charge of responding to all DMs you receive. Make sure to establish guidelines for how you want to respond to different messages. Define things like who should respond, the tone of the response, what content to respond with and the timeline in which you will respond to each message.
Also, don’t forget to A/B test your direct messages. Treat them the same way that you would treat creating emails. Test the specific wording, the content offer and the call to action to see which version receives the best response.
Do you have a story for using Twitter DMs to connect with your prospects or customers? We’d love to hear it. And if you’re curious about Socedo, we have a 7 day free trial here.