Targeting consumer intent on Twitter

Business owners can leverage hundreds of millions of public posts on Twitter to acquire new customers by using Twitter’s search function. Below are a few tips on how to get started.

Do your prep work: Create a free Twitter account at Twitter.com

Build an offer landing page and host it on your website. In case you don’t know what a landing page is, I think the best definition I have read is from Copyblogger:

A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. Think of a golf course . . . a landing page is the putting green that you drive the ball (prospect) to.

To create your landing page, I recommend Unbounce, Optimizely, or of course our application, SocialCentiv. For the purpose of this exercise, I recommend that your landing page be a coupon for 20 percent off any purchase of your products or services. The reason why I recommend 20 percent off is that historically, among the 1000+ businesses that use our application, 20-percent-off offers have outperformed any other offer.

Start listening: People mention products and services all the time on Twitter. By searching on http://search.twitter.com for expressions of intent in keyword phrases (e.g., “crave coffee” or “must mow lawn”) relevant to your business, you can build a prospect list of potential customers. After you enter a few of these keyword phrases into the search box, save your search by pressing the gear icon and then “Save Search.”

Reply to prospects with a link to your offer page: Now that you have your prospect list from the saved Twitter search you created earlier, start replying to them with a link to your offer landing page that you created in the prep-work phase of this section. As an example, let’s say you are the owner of a coffee shop called Cloud Café. You saved a search with the keyword phrase “need coffee,” and the following tweet came in:

You could then reply with something like this:

A couple of important notes: First, no one likes spam, so DO NOT COPY AND PASTE YOUR RESPONSE! Each reply should be tailored to the tweet you are responding to. If you fail do this, you will find that your account will be suspended for spam. Second, your feed should not always be @ replies. You should also add value to the Twitter community by posting links to your blog:

and offering valuable tidbits like this:

Just rinse and repeat, an you will be seeing new customers walk through your door in no time.