Guest Blog: 4 Overlooked Ways to Use Twitter for Inbound Marketing

7 min read
Aug 21, 2014 10:47:00 AM

In the majestic lands of Inbound Marketing, content is king, right? I’d say so...I’d also say that content, however, cannot run the kingdom alone.

I frequently preach the idea of content marketing to my clients, which excites them. Yet, anytime I try to communicate the power of social marketing, especially on Twitter, their first inclination is to tell me "we've tried doesn't work."

The majority of business owners are able to comprehend the importance of content marketing and truly understand that if they want to get ahead and stay ahead of competition in the long run, they need a solid content marketing strategy full of relevant information. Still, few of them understand how to take that content, drive it out to the masses, and generate tons of targeted leads. Fortunately, we have massive social vehicles that allow us to take our rich content and use it effectively within our inbound marketing strategies.

Amongst the ever-growing number of social media platforms, there is one that stands above the rest in its mind blowing ability to ramp up your targeted traffic, allowing you to generate lucrative leads for your business.

That platform is Twitter.

I’ve used Twitter to:

  1. Generate almost 40K targeted followers

  2. Drive over 3,000K visitors to my site a month

  3. Generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue

All of this while positioning myself as a thought leader in my industry and establishing credibility with my potential clients -- I am here to show you, in great detail, how to do the same for your small business.

So, break out your notepad and take a look at these 4 Overlooked Ways to Use Twitter for Inbound Marketing

1. Headhunting

When your end goal is to generate leads/revenue from social media (specifically Twitter in this instance,) your first agenda is to find and gather targeted followers. Now, before you accomplish this, you should be very aware of your PTA, STA and TTA, so you can properly target the type of followers you are seeking out. (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Target Audiences.) 

While having a large number of followers looks great, you want the right Twitter followers that will help grow your business in the long run.

One of the best ways to grow your following on Twitter is by using the vast variety of third-party tools available on the market. Specifically, I like to use a tool called Tweepi (recently featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the fastest ways to grow your Twitter.)

Tweepi has a free version and an upgraded version. One of the features of the free version allows you to follow other Twitter users followers. This feature is effective for connecting with like-minded people who may follow thought leaders in your industry. Now, here is where the knowledge of your target audiences comes into play, as many people will accidentally target the wrong people.

I made that mistake.

In the beginning stages of trying to use this feature, I would follow the followers of people I admired in the entrepreneurial world, such as Seth Godin,Patt Flynn,Jeff Bullas,Eric Thomas, etc. The problem was that I failed to do my research.

I was looking for small businesses to follow me (so I could give them great content and begin the sales funnel process,) but I was attracting tons of marketers, just like me. These followers offered no monetary value to my company because my services don’t cater to other marketers.

What I quickly discovered was that in order to find my customers, I needed to be where they were. So, I started following the followers of the Chamber of Commerce across the United States (starting with the states surrounding me.)

All of a sudden, I had thousands upon thousands of small businesses following me and immediately had people contacting me on a daily basis interested in my services. What a concept, right?! You need to do the same for your business. Don’t chase after followers who do what you do, chase after your target audiences, because the content you share is only relevant to them.

What I love about the head hunting technique on Twitter is that it will almost immediately do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Increase the number of relevant followers

  2. Increase your social awareness and credibility

Neil Patel calculates that approximately 1 out of every 3 people that you follow, will follow you back. That calculation gets better the more targeted the user.  

The key here is to do this strategically and consistently, while still following Twitters guidelines. This so called ‘head hunting’ needs to be followed up with a conscious effort, on your part, to spark social engagement and interaction, which brings me to my next step.

2. Sparking a Conversation

Beyond the immediate increase in followers that you will experience from head hunting, you need to take steps to consistently spark conversations.

It is crucial to be very aware of people who are engaging with you via retweets, mentions, favorites and direct messages. Furthermore, you need to be the one to take initiative in engaging others. I follow an 80/20 policy, where 20% of my Twitter’ing is strict promotion, while 80% is interaction and engagement.

Why do I do this?

Currently, I have 37.7K followers. At the peak of my Tweepi efforts, I was receiving over 75 direct messages a day and averaging about 60-120 interactions (between favorites, retweets and mentions.) I literally had to stop using this technique for a while because I was generating TOO many leads to handle by myself!

What a great problem to have.

From these interactions and engagements, I started to partake in conversations, which allowed me to subtly introduce my products and services while having normal conversations with other passionate entrepreneurs and business owners.

Many individuals in the marketing world use automation tools (like Social Oomph) for direct messaging and/or mentioning new followers. This is something I highly recommend, however, I would be careful of what content you put in those interactions. It is extremely easy to become spammy and either:

  1. Get ignored, blocked and unfollowed

  2. Get suspended from Twitter (which has happened to me in my early days of Twitter.)

Important: It is vital that you do not start your Twitter relationships off by asking people to visit your site, like you on Facebook (or other social networks,) or to contact you if they ‘need’ your services. And, for God’s sake, don’t automate mentions that thank all of your new followers.

If you do this, you will be wasting your time and effort.

I take a different approach. When I use Social Oomph as an automation tool to send direct messages to all of my new Twitter followers, I like to say things like, “Hey, thanks for connecting! Do you have a blog or site I can check out? I love interacting with like minded people and seeing what they are into! 

Of course, this message needs to be relevant to your followers. (i.e. if you own a coffee shop, you may say something like, “Whoa there! Thanks for connecting - if you could only drink 1 flavor of coffee the rest of your life, what would it be?” Or something like, “Awesome! Thanks for connecting - what is your favorite brand of coffee?”

Engaging potential customers in this non-threatening manner really peaks their curiosity and works WONDERS in leveraging them off of social media platforms and turning them into leads and eventually customers.

By taking this approach, you are starting the relationship by showing interest in others, which immediately breaks the ice with trust.

3. Re-Post and Re-Purpose Your Content for Twitter

Seth Godin makes it clear that if you are creating content that isn’t being seen, it is like it doesn’t exist. Twitter is the perfect fast paced platform to make your content seen, and if done right, your content can really do some heavy lifting.

Any time I create new pieces of content, I put them in a rotation within my Twitter strategy to be posted 2-3 times a week for the first month or two, and then once a week for the next 6 months. After that initial 6-month time period, I evaluate which articles I am going to repurpose in order to keep the content that I am sharing on Twitter fresh and relevant.

You might be doing the math in your head, thinking, “Sugar Honey Ice Tea!!! Isn’t that too much posting!?”

Absolutely not. In fact, Entrepreneur Magazine says in their ‘Twitter for Business’ book that if you aren’t posting at least 10 times a day on twitter, then it serves little purpose for your business. And Twitter even states that approximately 20% or less of your following will see the content you post at any given time. 

By re-posting and re-purposing, you are greatly increasing your chances of your content being seen, which equals more leveraging power. And the wonderful thing is that because Twitter is so fast-paced, it is the only platform that you can densely use without losing your followers.

Side-note: Remember when I said that I was getting over 200 total interactions per day, earlier in the article? I was posting 25-30 times a day at that point in time.)

4. Ask for the Sale

Once you have developed relationships with potential clients, you quickly become known by your followers as a reliable source for inspiration and information on Twitter. It is okay to ask for the sale; this is something I practiced quite often when I used to work in business banking for JP Morgan Chase. 

By the time you’ve reached step 4, you have followers that trust you and many who have engaged with you.

Asking for the sale doesn’t have to sound like, “hey, so…do you want to purchase something or hire me?” No, you need to be strategic. View each conversation/relationship as a different opportunity. If you have a client that has openly expressed a pain point with you, offer them a solution. However, if the conversation never reached that point, leave the lines of communication open by saying something like, “It is great to connect! Keep me up to date with your business endeavors — I’d like to work with you sometime :-)” 

It seems cheesy, but you will be surprised at the volume of people who come back because you said that, and then become paying customers.


To this day, I haven’t been able to use a social network to grow my business quite like Twitter. I encourage you to explore the above points because they come at no cost to you, other than your time - yet, your time will yield great ROI.

It’s mind blowing to think of how much Twitter can enhance your inbound marketing efforts and make your content marketing efforts 10x more effective.

Derek Palizay from Derek Palizay & Associates, is a man of purpose and thrives off of helping others succeed. It is his intention, throughout his entrepreneurial career, to leave a legacy of empowering others to reach their full potential through digital marketing, online advertising, brand development and small business consulting.

Inbound Marketing 101


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