Here at VeriSign, we’ve proven that Twitter can be used to capture sales leads and make sales. But we are also seeing all kinds of other interactions that happen on Twitter. These include:
- Requests for information / help with products
- Suggestions for product features (e.g., “VIP iPhone app should work on iPod Touch!”)
- General industry questions
- Media inquiries and commentary
- Customers needing some TLC
- Interesting news articles or Tweets to share
Before you start, you’ll need to do a search on your brand to see what kind of mentions it is getting. http://search.twitter.com will find all mentions, which you may want to catalog in your own spreadsheet because it only seems to archive about a month’s worth of data. But you can still find a Tweet using more specific keywords on Google to find tweets, because, much like a diamond, a Tweet is forever! (even if you delete a Tweet from your Twitter stream, it’s going to show up on Google!)
Tools for Tracking Conversations
1. Bit.ly: Bit.ly can be used for shortening any URLs. You can even create custom Bit.ly Urls, but keep track of what you create because Bit.ly won’t track those for you. And beware the inflated Bit.ly stats which do not filter out hits from bots / spiders, etc. More on that here from Hutch Carpenter. And Tac Anderson is a great blogger to follow if you want to keep up on the latest cool tools – he is great filter for the (too much) information that’s out there.
2. Tracking Codes: We use Visual Sciences on our VeriSign.com so if we append an “SL code” to a URL that we send out, and someone visits the VeriSign.com site, we know where they came from. So, the URL we send looks like this: www.verisign.com/industrybriefs?sl=12345. Using these helps us keep track of traffic that we send over from Twitter.
Capturing Sales Leads
Our leads from Twitter were getting lost in the Siebel Sales database becuase we had no way of tracking. The “traditional” way of capturing leads is that a prospective customer fills ut a landing page. We persuaded the Direct Marketing team that people engaging with us on Twitter are in no mind set to fill out a form if they wanted more info, and they are allowing us to fill in the form ourselves, as long as the potential customer approves it. Now that’s progress! Now all we need is our own cool little “Twitter Leads” form. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.
Keeping track of Resources
Many of the interactions I mentioned above need to be shared internally with the right people, and then communicated back out. We’re talking a serious time commitment here. But how to show the “higher ups” what resources are necessary? I’ve worked with my colleague (@AllenKelly) to come up with a system that should help us with this. More on this after we try it out for a bit.