Now that Twitter is going public, perhaps it will kick its outdated image to the curb. We can put to rest the comedians’ routines about a tweet as a goofy way to advertise a lunch order or promote a selfie. Yes, Twitter has reached maturity — playing a significant role in several political revolutions, taking down an oppressive government, and serving as a trusted clearinghouse for information during natural disasters.
In social business, Twitter continues to gain momentum. A tweet is a quick and easy way to reach out to customers and prospects. It’s a respected and trending way to share information, build and nurture authentic relationships, and has cemented its role as an agile business tool.
Here are a few benefits of using Twitter as part of your social business workflow, along with the Nimble features you can use to leverage this social channel:
On Twitter, you can act quickly, naturally, and casually.
Twitter is a way to keep in touch naturally with the people most important to your business right now. A tweet is more informal than an email, and is expected to be more casual. With a thoughtful tweet, you can stay top of mind when it matters most – when you’re nurturing authentic relationships with business prospects and customers.
Stay in Touch reminders – Set reminders to jot off a quick tweet — something useful, interesting, or personally relevant.
Nimble is everywhere. — When you’re in your favorite worktools (e.g., HootSuite, Gmail, or Outlook) and something tweetable strikes your fancy, tweet your Nimble contact then and there – quickly and with no interruption in your workflow.
Spot telltale triggers in your Twitterstreams
When you check your social stream, it’s not uncommon to see a prospect using language that signals a need for your product or service. Are they actively looking for advice from their network? Chime in with a tweet offering to help. Are you seeing lots of job descriptions in their tweetstream? A new CEO announcement? These are all clues for you to pay attention to.
Signals (beta) Tab: Filter your social stream by channel, in this case, Twitter. See who’s talking to or about you. Or–filter on retweets, mentions, comments, and likes. Spot birthdays, job changes, and new connections. Step right in and reach out with a tweet.
Saved Searches: You can use Nimble’s powerful search function to cast a wide net and find Tweets using words, phrases, and hashtags (just like a Google alert). When you save a search, it is available to you over and over from your Signals Tab sidebar, saving you time every day. Combine similar search terms to cover more possibilities — (e.g., #socialselling OR social selling OR social sales). Use AND and OR to control search results.
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Keep on top of problems, issues, concerns
Twitter is a place where people often let off steam and express frustration — and they tend to do it in the moment. These tweets, if they concern your product or service, or that of a competitor, are good intelligence to alert you to act immediately.
Use your Notifications filter on the sidebar to look over the entire ecosystem of your network. Set the filter for Twitter alone. Just minutes a day scanning this stream can surface customer confusion, prospect concerns, or challenges your customers or prospects are facing. You can step right in and resolve issues, point them to help, and clarify.
Set a tone and voice for you and your brand.
The good news about using Twitter as a social channel is that you can communicate and move relationships along without looking like a soulless corporation. See what I mean by looking at the funny and moving 10 greatest tweets of all time. IBM has employed this model with their sales teams — encouraging each of them to create a personal brand that speaks directly to the customers and prospects they want to work with. As a small business, you have an edge over the large corporation. Twitter is a great way to set a personal communicating tone, offer help, and be there when needed.
Your Today Page. Look through your engagement opportunities — the most important opportunities of your day. Tweets to these contacts help you use your own personality and stay top of mind. You can make a quick decision to interact by curating helpful information, promoting your own content, or creating a clever tweet to get noticed.
Spot big names and make connections tailored to your business.
Research into the thought leaders, evangelists, influencers, and analysts in your field can prove invaluable. Carve out time each day to know the players in your field, people from whom you can learn, and people you want to know better. Twitter is an ideal way to approach them and find common ground to move the relationship forward.
Shared connections: Nimble shows you the connections you share in common with any contact. Check shared connections on the right sidebar and investigate their public information. Pull up the records of known experts and evangelists in your business and check who you know in common. Using this method, you can dive deeper and deeper. Click to follow them, make Twitter lists, and set Stay in Touch reminders.
Today’s Top Contacts: Every day Nimble gives you suggestions for people you might want to know better. The Nimble Rules Engine bases these suggestions on topics, keywords, and titles that you type into your Settings. If you’re looking for experts, this is the way to discover and surface them. We even tell you (in the sidebar) why we recommended them, so you can do further exploration.
Mark interesting contacts as Important: Use the gold star to identify people who are most relevant to your business life near term. We’ll surface their communications first so you don’t miss timely opportunities.
Twitter has established its role as an important business tool — one that small businesses can truly put to effective use. Time will tell whether it is of lasting value to practitioners of social business, but with new uses popping up every day, it seems likely that Twitter will stand the test of time.
Remember, in business as in life, success goes to the socially savvy.