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Why Twitter Is LinkedIn’s Secret Weapon For Prospecting

prospectingIf you are using Twitter for business and you’re already on LinkedIn, there is no reason you shouldn’t be using them to serve the goals you want to achieve on either network. Finding prospects on social media is a lot easier when you already know which people are the most socially active online.

If we are talking about business people, those who are on Twitter are almost guaranteed to be on LinkedIn as well. Although that conclusion is based on experience and not real data, I’m very confident you are going to find similar results if your company is primarily B2B (business to business).

There are a few reasons why Twitter can serve your LinkedIn goals. Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter allows you to:

  • Connect with any Twitter user (except the few that have set their profiles to private)
  • See beyond 2nd and 3rd level connections – you can see everyone on Twitter
  • Interact with any Twitter user

As you can see, Twitter offers a lot more flexibility than LinkedIn for meeting new potential prospects but how exactly can one serve the other? Let’s dig in.

Use FollowerWonk To Find New Prospects In Your Target Market

One of the best tools you should make use of is FollowerWonk. It’s easily one of my favorite Twitter tools for its ease of use and detailed feature settings. Specifically, its ability to search Twitter bios with more advanced parameters is the extremely useful.

Here are four ways I use FollowerWonk:

1. Search for specific types of people. For example, searching for naturopaths in San Francisco.1

2. Search for bios that use a specific URL

For example, searching for all Twitter users that have “Hubspot.com” in their profile. This is particularly effective for finding employees or key players in large companies.23. Search for titles by location

If you are targeting business owners in a specific city, use words like owner, founder or CEO in addition to the city name.3

4. Organize results by number of tweets, followers, friends, account age and Klout score.

I’m constantly shocked that a free tool would offer the ability to geographically search for such targeted people and then organize them by all available variables. If you have a clear idea of who your target market is, this function is worth its weight in gold to you.

This gives you instant access to finding the most socially active people based on your specified criteria…a HUGE advantage considering that you want to connect with them over social media.4

Put Prospects Into A Twitter List

Twitter lists are a sales professional’s or business owner’s best friend. As soon as you find anyone with relevance to your immediate or extended business goals, you need to put them into a list.5

You’ll quickly figure out the type of lists that will be most relevant to you and your goals but here are a few list types you’ll want to get started with in the meantime:

  • Prospects
  • Competitors
  • People who share your content
  • Potential strategic partners
  • Clients
  • Industry news sources
  • Industry leaders

twitter checklistBuild A Relationship Over Twitter First

Connecting over Twitter first gives you the opportunity to observe the content they post and get a feel for what matters to them and their business. After you’ve added someone to a list, it’s important that you regularly scan those lists and engage with posts whenever possible. The nature of your engagement is not as important at this stage except that it must not be promotional.

This part can take days or weeks. It really depends on how active you are and how active they are – aka the people you are targeting. This requires you to regularly use Twitter.

If you aren’t sure about what sort of things you should be doing on Twitter for business, check out my previous post on 25+ Social Media Tasks The Pros Never Forget. There is a checklist specifically created for Twitter that will remove the guesswork, in case you aren’t an active Twitter use just yet!

Suggest Connecting Via LinkedIn After Building Rapport

Once you’ve built some rapport with a new connection, it’s time to ask them if they are on LinkedIn. This part is so simple…as long as you built some sort of foundation to support the request.

Ask yourself the following questions before you attempt to bridge a Twitter connection to LinkedIn:

  • Am I authentic in my approach? If you are clearly asking everyone you connect with if they want to connect via LinkedIn, that is not an authentic approach. Be thoughtful and unique with each new connection as much as 140 characters allows.
  • Does my connecting with them appear relevant to them? It should be obvious to both of you that connecting makes sense on some level. For example, a financial planner that works with local clients (and clearly advertises that) should not aimlessly try to connect with people that are going to be unserviceable.
  • Is it obvious that I am credible? Far too many people think they are ready to connect with others online without realizing that their own presence is not very convincing. Take the test here if you aren’t sure your personal brand will impress a discerning prospect.
  • Will they perceive value from my potential connection? This is the ultimate question to ask yourself. Is it obvious how they will benefit from being connected to a person like yourself? If you answered YES to the last question, you are likely good in this department unless you are targeting the wrong people.

Using LinkedIn & Twitter For Business Can Work

If you’ve ever hit a brick wall trying to connect with new targeted prospects on LinkedIn, finding and interacting with them on Twitter first could potentially be all the push you need to get them in your network.

Once you’ve got them in your LinkedIn network, here are a few resources to help you take your sales process a giant leap forward:

If you are using LinkedIn and Twitter for business, how are you combining them to make better use of both platforms? Let us know in the comments below.