Marketwired Blog

Tips from the trainer: Finding customers using Twitter and Facebook

I’m sure many of you participating in SM 10X30 – Marketwire’s Social Media Fitness Program — have had thoughts of using social media as a source of lead generation. Whether you are new to social media or a grizzly veteran, always be cautious of your mindset when using social media, especially if your main objective is generating leads. You can come off as spam and you will instantly lose credibility.  In this installment of my weekly Q&A for SM 10X30 participants, I answer questions about how to prospect for leads via social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook.

As a reminder, all questions are welcome, whether you are new to social media or already very familiar. I love to help and chat about social media. Check out our SlideShare presentations for exclusive tips.

Q. How do I create a list on Twitter and Facebook?

  • The purpose of creating lists is to group your followers. For example, you might want to create a list specifically for those in your industry. Creating a list is simple, but it can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of followers.
  • To create a Twitter list, log in to your account. On the right-side bar, scroll to where it says LISTS and click NEW LIST. You can then name your list and include a description. When naming your list, it can be annoying if you decide to change the name later. Twitter cannot recognize the name change so you’d have to manually re-add the followers to the renamed list. Once you create the list, you can add followers from your page of followers. From that point on, you manually add followers. You can also add users to your list even if you are not following them.
  • For Facebook lists, you can create lists for your personal profile, but you cannot create them for your Facebook fan page or for your Facebook group. Creating a list for personal profiles can be done under FRIENDS and then click CREATE A LIST.

Q. Prospecting via Twitter

I am looking for is a list of local florists in Chicago, IL. How do I go about creating such a list or group? Is there a way to group together using location as a starting point? Maybe using Foursquare?

  • Foursquare could be a place to look, but the only trouble with Foursquare is that it is not yet widely used. Although you may find a few clients this way, it’s probably not ideal. I would recommend using Twitter search or Twitter advanced search and typing in keywords.
  • The advanced search function allows you to search by location and to specifically scan tweets.  Another option is to use Twitter keyword search tools that scan Twitter profiles. Two that I use are TweepSearch and Twellow.
  • Another option is to download a Twitter application such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite and create keyword search terms. That way, whenever someone mentions “florists” in their tweet, you can determine if they are a prospect. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to compile a list.  It’s all about monitoring and keeping track of your keywords. There isn’t a simple solution of typing in a keyword and – voila! – an entire list of individuals come up. Personally, I track several keywords and ones I continually monitor. The majority of tweets will be about interesting articles or comments, but once in awhile, I come across a legitimate prospect.

Q. Prospecting via Facebook

Is Facebook set-up the same way as Twitter? I want to find the same types of groups on Facebook, too.

  • Unfortunately, Facebook’s search function isn’t as robust as Twitter’s. You can do a search for a keyword such as “florists,” but if that keyword is not part of the business name, then that business will not show up in the search results. Just remember to look on the left sidebar to look at the search results for “pages” and “groups.”

Thanks to all the SM10X30 participants who submitted their questions. Your dedication and willingness to learn are much appreciated!  Keep your questions and feedback coming!  Send me an email at nshin [at] marketwire [dot] com.

If you are part of the SM10X30 program, comment or @ me on Twitter to be included in the #sm10x30 Twitter list. Here is a link to follow those who are as dedicated to social media as you are.  Also, be sure to join the Facebook group dedicated to SM10x30 participants.

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