3 Customer Acquisition Methods For Twitter

by Kristy Bolsinger on Sep 29, 2010

Customer HuntingAloha!

I’m writing to you this week from a rather lovely little patio in Lihue on Kauai. So you’ll have to pardon me if any sand gets into this post. It was a rough day on the beach. ☺

This week’s post centers on customer acquisition. A lot of people I know dedicate all of their energy on Twitter to customer service, engagement and conversation.

Those are all highly noble pursuits.

But I present to you the idea that if you leave out customer acquisition you’re doing yourself an injustice. Consider the following tactics to get you started in using Twitter (and other social sites as well) as a tool for customer acquisition. Get creative with this people. You are your only limit on this one.

1. Contests

Typically used for getting increased exposure to your brand, growing an email list or further engaging current customers contests can also be a great tool for acquiring new customers. When designing your contests and mapping out the flow, consider the fact that some and possibly many of the participants may not be familiar with your brand or offering if the contest itself has a social foundation.

With this in mind you’ll want to approach the contest itself as if it were a sales funnel. Yes, you want them to enter the contest and engage in that way, but what about pushing them further down the funnel. If you design your contests in such a way that converts these users from simply passive participants into engaged customers – well that’s a double whammy yes? Yes.

2. Poaching

So there are a couple of ways to go about this. You may or not feel comfortable with either one. You also have to be careful how you go about this. Your competitors can see what you’re doing too ya know ☺.

But. If you so chose consider a couple of options for poaching customers. – Search @ replies to a set of your main competitors. Look for opportunities to – Search “I hate @competitor” – or “@Competitor sucks” and reach out to these individuals.

Turn their negative experience with your competitor into a positive one with you. – Engage with their followers BETTER than they do. You may have to pick and choose which competitors you do this with – but I guarantee you’ll find at least a couple that aren’t doing a very good job. You may be able to win their customers over by simply doing a better job engaging with them (assuming of course you have an intriguing offer in addition that can lure them to the dark side your site).

3. Creative Queries

People use social sites for a lot of reasons. One of these is often to search for and get referrals to products and companies that are providing something they’re looking for. How many times have you perhaps tweeted that you’re going for a happy hour, or thinking of remodeling your kitchen or any one of a million things like that.

If you were a contractor or a restaurant with a great happy hour these tweets would be prime to swoop in on. Get creative with your queries to find people that are looking for something you offer.

Use the advanced Twitter search to narrow by geography or other parameters to make your life easier. Also remember that many common search operators work in Twitter search as well. These will help you find those individuals ripe for the plucking.

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The main goal of your business is to sell either products or service(s). Social media can in fact align with this and should. Don’t leave acquisition out of your social media plans and goal development. What are some of the ways you have acquired customers through social channels?

Post Author

Kristy Bolsinger is currently employed as a Social Business Consultant with Ant's Eye View in Seattle, WA. Previously she was with RealNetworks. Prior to her time at RealNetworks Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing...