29 Oct Twitter Lead Generation – The definitive guide on how to generate leads through twitter
Have you ever stopped to wonder if being on twitter is worth it for your business?
It’s definitely a nice distraction – finding out what’s trending this minute, vs what was trending 1 hour ago.
I wanted to find out if twitter really could generate leads for businesses…so I spent some time researching all of the ‘advice’ out there.
And unfortunately, through the world of social media experts, I didn’t find many with case studies or evidence that being on twitter actually works.
So I dug a little deeper….
And deeper still….
Does ANYONE generate leads from Twitter?
After several hours of searching, it was a relief to find out – the answer is yes..There are some ways, backed by statistics and experiments, to increase your leads from twitter – but they’re all pretty hard to find. I’ve found the best of them – and included below are strategies you can implement yourself, no matter how big your company is, and quite a few of them won’t cost you anything.
So in this post:
- First up, some general guidance on what to tweet, when (all backed by data)
- Then we’ll go through some case studies of unique ways to generate leads – from 15 leads per week, to -how to generate the most ever leads per year for your business.
- I’ll show you some tactics which work, but which may not agree with your own ethics.
- And then we’ll round off with a few campaigns twitter shows as examples of good marketing.
Ready to tweet?
Firstly, it’s not just enough to keep tweeting until your ears bleed (although If I’m honest, there is merit in this strategy if you want 10,000 followers who are all bots that follow you every 2 weeks, then unfollow you 4 weeks later).
The obvious foundation
To increase leads, you need two things:
1. A group of potential leads
2. A way to convert these into leads for you.
Lets say you have 100 followers on twitter. You’ll soon exhaust this avenue of leads even if you are the laziest marketer on the planet – so the only way to get more leads through twitter is to engage with more people.
What should you tweet to get more ‘engagement’
First, I checked out Neil Patel, who – in my opinion is an honest, ethical, professional marketer. His claim: He generates over 50,000 website visits per month from social media over his 3 blogs:
So with a total of around 350k followers, a serious amount of tweets made – 281k (and pretty much most of them relating to high quality content) – it certainly looks like Neil’s a good person to turn to for advice on what to tweet.
Neil produced a monster post on ‘what gets shared the most’
Neil’s advice (all data driven):
- Users on Twitter tweet images 361% more than they tweet videos
- If you keep a tweet under 100 characters, you’ll get 17% more engagement
- Quotes get 847% retweets than questions… ….But Questions will generate more replies than quotes
Which are good general rules to follow to work the odds in you favour, but they wont’ necessarily drive you leads straight away, so let’s get down to some tactics – (that’s what you’re reading for, right?)
How to sponsor the worlds biggest conferences with a tiny budget
Casey Armstrong ran through one of his most successful twitter tactics on the excellent Nick O’neill podcast) Casey talked about the results of some advertising he implemented for Mavenlink with some impressive results:
So what is this magic tool?
Well, leading up to a conference or event, the organisers will be doing everything under the sun they can to get more people to tweet about the event. All you have to do is to take advantage of the amount of buzz that will be created by the hashtags setup for the event.
So: Lets say you’re going to the ‘2014 mega hot leads conference’ (hashtag: MHLC) and your company has software that generates leads for companies automatically.
If you bid on #MHLC, your ad can appear every time someone searches for #MHLC in twitter – meaning you get instant exposure in the lead up to the conference – and some potential leads, even before the conference starts.
For bonus points – on the day of the conference, if you’re still buying the hashtag, you can even appear on the large screens that conferences normally use to display latest tweets.
And the real beauty of this approach? You don’t even have to spend 3 days walking around the conference and handing out business cards to take advantage of this.
How to convert up to 80% of those who interact with your tweets, to subscribers
Ryan Hoover is CEO of Product Hunt – a company which recently received $6.1m in funding to continue it’s growth of curating the best new products – and distributing on the web and by email.
Ryan used a very cool strategy to generate more email subscribers for his blog:
If anyone retweeted or interacted with Ryan’s content, he’d follow up with a twitter lead generation card (more on this later), offering the friendly follower the opportunity to sign up to his email list by just clicking a button:
Ryan adds lots of value in his posts, which gives him the great conversion rate on follow up – he’s simply offering his followers something more of what they have already indicated they liked.
Doing it this way takes a LONG time to do (perhaps you could outsource this), but it’s a great way to increase your email lead generation through twitter.
Repeat your tweets
The half-life for a tweet is only 25 minutes – which means if you craft your most remarkable tweet – then you have the most chance of any engagement in the first 25 minutes. So you’d better hope your most engaged followers are online in that 25 minutes!
Even with this depressing statistic, is there anything you can do to maximise the results from your tweets?
Guy Kawasaki (former Chief Evangelist at Apple) makes a compelling argument for repeating your tweets:
‘If you turn on CNN at 3 a.m., CNN repeats stories all day long — because they know people watch them at different times of the day. People in different time zones and people in the same time zone visit Twitter at different times, so you need to keep posting your content to accommodate all these people’
Which makes sense: So repeating SHOULD work.. shouldn’t it?
But does it?
Holy Kaw tested the theory and repeated tweets
They posted the same tweet three times, spaced apart to allow for time differences…The results:
First post: 739 clicks
Second post: 718 clicks
Third post: 565 clicks
If they had only kept to the one tweet, they’d have stayed at 739 clicks, missing out on the 1,283 more clicks they achieved (which probably only took them 30 seconds to setup). They achieved 74% more engagement, simply by repeating the tweet.
In another example:
The Next Web detailed this case study of repeating a tweet twice after the first post:
Just 2 more tweets led to 417 extra clicks to their website.
Repeating tweets should be done – Just don’t spam and don’t repeat too many times.
Use this simple trick to triple your twitter followers
Hashtags are the secret to optimising you twitter followers, with only minimal extra effort.
Craig Ferguson detailed in a post how he tripled his followers with only 10 minutes extra work – and the chart below shows the remarkable progress with no additional extra tweets.
How to do this?
1. Find highly shareable content
If you aren’t sure what’s shareable, use Buffer to autosuggest for you, Buzzsumo or Streamscience to find content that other people like to share.
2. Find the most popular hashtag for your tweet (this is the magic ingredient)
In the example – Craig runs through how he would optimise for a tweet about ‘chefs knives’. Rather than just guessing the best hashtags to use, he heads over to hashtagify.me – and finds popular hashtags to use, per the diagram below
#Food flies high in the hashtag popularity rating (74.3 out of 100), so it’s selected.
3. Combine the highly shareable content, with the hashtag from 2 – and post.
Do this for every tweet – and you’ll see your following (and hopefully leads, soar).
How to use twitter to generate leads every week through intelligent searching
Would you like 15 new leads per week?
This might sound like a small number, but I think a lot of businesses would be happy with adding 780 qualified leads to their business per year through a fairly easy to implement strategy:
The team at Front leveraged twitter and mention, to generate 15 new qualified subscribers per week – at the cost of around 45 minutes per day of work.
Steps they took:
1. They used software called Mention , to search for tweets relevant to their product.
2. An alert would then highlight users who had mentioned the keywords
3. They would analyse the tweets – to understand if the tweeter was someone they could help, who could become a user of their software.
4. They would then work out the tone of the tweet, to decide upon the best response:
So, for example, Iggy, was probably not in the mood for help:
But if the tweeter seemed like someone who would be open to a conversation…they would jump right in with an offer to help:
Which, as you can see – works rather well.
Other advice from this case study:
Constantly refine your keywords
Don’t necessarily go for the hard sell, straight away.
Two case studies that come with health warnings:
Here are two techniques that some of you may think are a bit too ‘automated’ to be a strategy you want to use for yourself, but I wanted to include examples of increasing leads with positive results, and let you decide what works for you. If you think these are a bit too ‘black hat’, then you could always manually implement some of the actions for yourself and see how they work for you?
Increase website traffic from twitter by 102% with just 30 minutes work
Too many twitter users focus on getting more and more followers (without thinking about converting them into website visits or leads). Matthew Woodward details how he increased followers AND importantly website visitors after spending 30 minutes to setup his software.
The strategy was automated as follows:
- 1. – Follow anyone that uses the a hashtag related to your industry
- 2. – Unfollow anyone that doesn’t follow back within 7 days
- 3. – Auto tweet new articles that relate to your industry.
- 4. – Favourite tweets that contain the hashtag from 1
- 5. – Auto tweet previous content from the archives
This was achieved using some software called Tweet Attacks Pro 3 (sounds pretty aggressive, No?)
Grow your list by automating linking with Pinterest
By linking a test twitter account with their own software – the team at twibble.io managed to grow their twitter following from zero to 4,000 in just a few weeks, in the world of Street Graffiti.
1. Find boards on Pinterest that relate to your market / subject:
2. Link wtih Twibble.io – to repost the pins
3. Monitor and improve.
This is a very, very easy tactic to use – however, it comes with a similar health warning to above – it does feel quite spammy.
Naturally, you’d want to measure the quality of the followers – and see the impact on leads and website visits, but if you have a business which lends itself to lots of visuals – then you could consider this strategy (if you are comfortable using this hands-off approach).
Give something away to generate leads
Giving away something of value is always a fantastic way to create leads (and can be done with something as simple as an ebook or report).
If you’ve got something that your target market will definitely LOVE – then you can generate a large amount of leads from twitter, such as those that Diamond Candles generated using Wishpond to host a contest.
DiamondCandles generated more than 8,000 entrants in only 2 days, whilst ensuring that Their success is no doubt in part because the candles provide the opportunity to win a ring worth up to $5,000.
How to maximise leads from you blog through twitter
Sometimes the simplest route is the best. If you have great content – you can generate website visits by simply giving the content a ‘twitter boost’ through promotion.
Hubspot and Airbrake both have successfully used this strategy:
Airbrake found that after writing some excellent content and promoting for just $15, they received:
‘hundreds of organic retweets, tens of Facebook likes, two submissions to reddit and hacker news’
From traction book
The orange bloggers are masters at all forms of marketing.
They promoted educational tweets – with education being the foundation of all of their marketing, to their followers – and those similar to their followers. The result:
“Not only are we driving new business at a 46% lower cost per lead, but our lead conversion rate is also 48% higher on Twitter compared to other platforms.” – Dan Slagen Head of Paid Marketing at HubSpot –
Naturally, you’d want to make sure your content is high quality to maximise interactions, and then to ensure you have lead capture tools on your website to pick up the leads that come from the twitter link.
Lock up your content, and unlock for a tweet
Social Locker allows site owners to block content on their site, and ask users to ‘pay with a tweet, share or social mention’.
(note, on this site – it’s a dummy button)
And this seems to work for a few people:
My online community has grown fantastically (more than 5.000 followers on twitter and 4.000 fans on Facebook). says Vivi Nunez
Note the’s no date on the leads collected, but if the followers are high quality and targeted – there is defiantly merit in this approach.
It’s a good way to get exposure, if you have the right type of content – and your audience are likely to be willing to like or share, but it will only work well if you have good content, discount codes or offers in exchange for the tweet.
But should you go straight for the email rather than a twitter share to unlock content?
Unbounce compared the results of asking users to pay for access to a free report, with a tweet – versus an email:
Which shows a compelling 24% increase in conversions from those asked to give an email, versus those asked to tweet . Note, to my knowledge, this doesn’t analyse the network impact of those who saw a tweet from someone who ‘paid with a tweet’ and then visited the site – but I’d recommend you test both approaches if you try this.
How to continually market to your dream list of potential customers and partners
Narrow down your audience for advertising
You can advertise to a very select group, using twitter tailored audiences.
It will take a while to setup, but if you do it correctly, your tweets could appear to a select group, such as:
journalists, potential customers and warm leads. Whilst the post doesn’t go through specific results of the example campaign, it’s easy to see how your adverts specifically targeted at a small group of people can yield good results.
As long as you specify at least an audience of 500, you can continually advertise to that select group with tailored offers and content.
In their blog at URLprofiler, the team go through how to build that audience of 500 from:
Relevant community site users
The post explains how to find the twitter handle for the users from these sources.
Obviously there is a cost associated with this advertising, but if you build a well structured campaign and test it well- you’ll get a great idea if your campaign is generating leads for you, very quickly.
Lead Generation as reported by Twitter
Naturally, Twitter put their most successful campaigns as case studies…So here are two with impressive results – both using twitter lead generation cards
Use a Lead Magnet to increase the number of leads
@Webtrends ran a campaign for 4 weeks, targeting search results and timelines for specific keywords.
For this approach to work – they created a lead magnet, which drove traffic to a specific offer for a free guide (something I highly recommend for any marketing).
With follow up emails to Twitter users, @Webtrends saw a 50-200% higher open rate than other leads and a 3-4 times improvement on click through rates.
Research and Test your assumptions to generate leads
Mount Washington College worked with Adobe to increase leads for their courses.
Firstly, they researched what their target found important. The result was keywords, like: ‘cheap online school’, business degree and ‘business school’, which they prepared tweets related to.
After some rigorous testing, they found which tweets performed the best – which were the price of a specific course:
So they doubled down on the tweets with pricing included, and added Twitter Lead Generation Cards to the advert.
These led to some impressive results:
But these can only be achieved through some very rigorous research and understanding of what does, and doesn’t work.
Summary – implement the below to improve your leads from twitter
1. Make sure your content is right
2. Repeat your tweets
3. Follow up with Lead Generation Cards those who interact with you
4. Use search tools to find leads, then interact with them
5. If you have good content – promote it
6. Setup Custom Audiences to laser target your audience
6. If you are advertising, test your tweets to find what drives the best engagement
7. Think of smart ways to advertise (i.e. buy hashtags)
8. Always have a lead magnet or a free offer to make conversion easier
9. Link in with Pinterest to post interesting images
10. Use hashtags on every tweet to maximise your exposure
If you’d like to know more about how to generate more leads for your business – just sign up for my free guide – at the top, or bottom right of this page