Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
Can Channel Partners really benefit from Twitter?
Twitter is often seen as a social media channel that is focused on personal accounts and small businesses. It can be seen as somewhere where Channel Partners would be wasting their time.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I have won some very profitable business from being active on Twitter. Some companies prefer to be active on Twitter than on other social media channels. You won’t engage with them on social media if you restrict yourself to LinkedIn.
What sort of prospects can you find on Twitter?
Twitter is most effective if you are targeting smaller printing companies. These are likely to be organizations with up to twenty or so staff. It is these companies where you are more likely to be seen by decision makers. Larger companies are more likely to use a marketing resource to manage their social media channels. This resource may be internal or external but, either way, they won’t be interested in Channel Partners. They will only be focused on potential customers.
Smaller companies can often be highly engaged on Twitter. You have surprisingly good opportunities to create a one-to-one dialogue. However, Twitter can be a very busy place. Your first task is to find some potential clients to engage with.
How do you find the right prospects on Twitter?
There are three ways to look for the right connections on Twitter:
- Use advanced search.
The Twitter search function can create a highly targeted search. You can restrict your search to keywords and certain geographical areas, amongst other options. Find out more about the advanced search function here.
- Follow hashtags.
One of the features of Twitter is the use of hashtags so that people can follow relevant content. Bear in mind that some hashtags are more useful than others. For instance, using #print will find you a LOT of content! But search using #grandformat or #print+#marketing will find you a much more targeted selection. You can use a hashtag search to see who is active on these hashtags. Many of them may be useful connections and/or prospects for you.
- Get searches done for you.
Twitter is surprisingly good at finding similar accounts for you to follow to those that you have followed recently. You can see suggestions on your Twitter homepage. These are also e-mailed to you unless you have changed your Twitter default settings. You can also use an app such as https://warble.co/ to generate suggestions for you based on hashtags.
Finding potential connections is only part of the process.
Here are two golden rules to follow when you have a potential prospect
The first is to review their profile. Like many social media platforms, Twitter is littered with inactive accounts. So check if your prospect is actively posting. It is also worth reviewing what they are posting, just to make sure the account is print focused.
Once you have decided to connect with someone, make sure you reach out personally. Just following someone does not create engagement. There are plenty of tools that create an automatic direct message of welcome. My direct message box is full of these and they all get ignored! However, I always notice if someone tweets me (rather than direct messages me) with a personal message. The most noticeable connection I made was when someone sent me a video saying hello. It is easy to create something similar for people who might become clients.
Remember, Twitter Is Not Just for Sales
Twitter can also be a very useful place to network. I have created some very useful connections because I am active on Twitter. If you want to network on Twitter, a very useful place to start is the #printchat Twitter chat every Wednesday at 4pm ET.
Whether you are networking or selling, Channel Partners should be actively engaged on Twitter.
LinkedIn is also a great place to find marketing tips and insights that can boost your business. Join our private Xerox Channel Partners LinkedIn Group to connect and discuss topics like these with your peers.
Become a Xerox Channel Partner
Contact your Xerox account manager, or review the Xerox Global Partner Program and apply to become a Xerox channel partner today, to find out how we will help grow your business.
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