How to get leads on Twitter: a complete guide

Anna Bredava
by Anna Bredava on March 17, 2021

What do you think of when you hear "lead generation"? Cold calling, emails, website forms? All these channels are used in lead generation, but there is one that we often forget about.

With the development of social media, it becomes more and more apparent that your social media profiles can also be a source of leads. Social selling is the process of finding customers on social media — and Awario makes this lead generation strategy available to everyone. In this article, we will cover Twitter lead generation. 

There are 187 million daily active Twitter users in the world. The platform gives you access to these people and allows you to engage with them, it's an excellent opportunity to turn them into leads. But surely not all 187 million.

To sell your product on Twitter, you need to answer the following questions:

  • How do you find the right target audience?
  • How do you evaluate your leads?
  • How do you convert Twitter leads?

Luckily, in this article, we cover both these questions and give you the workflow and tools to find Twitter leads. We will go through the specifics of the platform and how social listening can be applied for social selling on Twitter.

If you want to learn how to get hot leads from other online sources, check out our lead generation guide to Reddit

Why is Twitter a perfect platform for lead generation?

Social media gives you many channels to connect to your audience: Instagram is perfect for visual brands, Facebook is great for brands that foster a strong community, and LinkedIn suits B2B solutions best. 

Twitter is a great platform because it fits almost any brand out there. Its user base is diverse and its functionality allows brands to easily engage with their customers. In fact, 93% of Twitter users say they are open to interactions with brands if they are done the right way (more on the "right way" part later).

There are three qualities that make Twitter such a great platform for lead generation.

New content is easily discovered

Twitter makes it extremely easy to come across new accounts: they even appear on your timeline! While many people are annoyed at Twitter's algorithm, the fact that it shows tweets from accounts you don't follow allows you to establish new connections and find people to follow.

The logic behind this algorithm is simple: if the people you follow like a certain tweet or follow a certain account, you might be interested in them too. This algorithm enables easy discovery of new accounts and the creation of communities. 

In addition to that, there are tools such as hashtags and Topics that help you find new content you're interested in. This allows you to find new people with similar interests which leads me to my next point. 

Twitter is geared towards conversations with strangers

The fact that you can stumble upon an interesting topic at any time makes interactions with strangers not just acceptable, but extremely common. For example, on Facebook or Instagram, it's ok to comment on a post by an influencer or an authority figure — but if you're a brand replying to a personal post of a user with 300 followers, it looks invasive.

The opposite is true for Twitter. There you can easily interact with anyone with an open account. This means that people interact with strangers all the time — and it's not considered a faux-pas for a brand to do the same. 

Hilton is a great example of a brand employing this feature of Twitter. Hilton Suggests is a program that uses social listening to find people who are tweeting about traveling. Hilton's staff that works in their destination area reply with personal recommendations on what to see and which places to visit through the Hilton Suggests account. 

Note that people traveling DO NOT mention Hilton in their tweets. More often than not they aren't even Hilton's customers — but this tactic gives the brand exposure and boosts the brand's reputation. People are impressed by this level of attention and are more inclined to stay at Hilton's hotels in the future.

Twitter communities

Facilitated discovery also leads to the creation of communities. They may not be as obvious as Facebook or Reddit communities. There is no one group or subreddit to join to get involved in the conversations around marketing for example. However, these communities are tied by hashtags and mutual connections.

By finding the community that could be interested in your product you find your target audience. 

So now that we know why Twitter is perfect for lead generation, let's get down to the how-to of it.

How to generate leads on Twitter

Lead generation consists of two major stages: finding leads and then engaging with them. When it comes to social media lead generation, social listening tools like Awario are your best bet to find leads. They allow you to reach any potential customer on Twitter whether they follow you or not. 

However, even before we start the lead generation process, make sure your Twitter profile is optimized for conversion. Since you're going to interact with people who haven't heard about your brand, you need to make sure they understand what you do right away. You should also give them a clear path to learn more about your company — links to your website, other social media accounts, etc.

Here's a checklist to make sure your Twitter profile is optimized for lead generation and conversion:

  • Your Twitter bio communicates your value
  • You have a link to your landing page in your Twitter bio
  • You pinned a selling tweet (can be a part of a thread if you need to convey a lot of information)
  • Your recent tweets include calls to action

Once you've check all of the boxes, it's time to find leads!

The key to lead generation is discovering potential customers that might be interested in your brand and engaging with them. There are different types of leads out there.


Traditional sales define cold leads as people who are encountering your brand for the first time and hot leads as people who know your brand and are ready to make a purchase.

I want to argue that on social media more and more people are ready to make purchasing decisions even if they come across your brand for the first time, thus the traditional hot leads/cold leads distinction should be reinterpreted. We need to evaluate leads based on their willingness to make a purchasing decision, not on the amount of time we spend nurturing them.

Kevan Lee, VP of Marketing at Buffer, suggests the following classification for potential customers:

Four types of potential customers

High-Interest leads are interested in the solution you are trying to sell — but some factors such as price, shipping conditions, or specific features may prevent them from going with your brand. These people are already actively seeking the solution thus they are highly interested. 

High-Fit leads are the leads that fit your target audience perfectly but are not actively seeking the solution at the moment. They may not be aware that there is a product that solves their problem and because of that are not actively seeking it.

Obviously, Low-Interest Low-Fit people do not even count as leads — they are not your target audience. The people from the three other categories can become your customers.

In this article I'll focus on two groups of leads: Low-Interest High-Fit leads and High-Interest High-Fit leads.

You'll naturally encounter High-Interest Low-Fit leads during your lead generation process but you have low chances of converting them. These are people that are on the market for your type of product but are unlikely to go with yours. For example, they might be looking for a web-based photo-editing software while you're trying to sell a desktop-based software.

These leads are still useful for product development: you may see the market's demand and improve your product in the future. However, they are highly unlikely to convert for now.

So without further ado let's break down the ways to find and convert Twitter leads with Awario (or another social listening tool of your choice). 

Low-Interest High-Fit leads: your target audience

In other words, this is your target audience: people who potentially have an interest in your product but are not trying to buy it yet. To find them on Twitter, you need to find the community we mentioned above: people united by similar interests, mutual connections, hashtags they use, and so on. 

You can find this community with Awario by monitoring niche-related keywords, key phrases, and hashtags. 

For example, let's imagine you sell fishing equipment. You need to find people on Twitter who are interested in fishing.

Sign up for a free Awario account (if you haven't yet) and set up an alert that will include the words fishing, fishing rod, angling, and so on. Add as many words related to fishing as possible.

In the settings, you can specify the languages and locations of the tweets you want to find. You can also choose Twitter as the only source of mentions to eliminate posts from other platforms.

Example of the alert settings for finding your target audience

Once you click Save, Awario starts looking for the tweets mentioning your keywords. Group the found mentions by Authors and here's your target audience!

Check out this video to see a walk-through tutorial on how to set up an alert at Awario.

How to convert these leads

Awario allows you to interact with tweets right from the app. 

However, with Low-Interest High-Fit leads you to need to be careful in order not to seem annoying or invasive. Don't bombard them with sales pitches right away. There are several tactics you can use.

1. Become a part of the community to raise brand awareness. Do not try to sell anything, at least at the beginning. Just answer questions and express your opinion on different topics that are brought up by Twitter users. This way you'll build trust and nurture Low-Interest leads till they become High-Interest.

2. Be bold and transparent. Reply to people talking about your niche with an explanation of how you found them and your offer. The key to success here is to be sincere. 

For example,

"Hey Jack, I've found you through monitoring #fishing, and after checking your profile I can see that you're interested in fishing. Maybe you'd like to check out our new line of fishing rods: we are doing a sale for 50% off this model."

You can also add special value to your offer: explain what makes your product unique or offer a discount, coupon code, etc. This tactic is best used sparingly since you're reaching out to people out of nowhere and it may be seen as spam by someone.

In addition to that, you can check the Influencers report to see who are the most prominent voices in the community. This will help you find opportunities to reach your audience through influencers.

High-Interest High-Fit leads: your competitors' unhappy customers

What do you do when you're frustrated with a product? A lot of people go to Twitter to vent and complain! These people could become your customers if you quickly give them an easy way to solve their problems with your offer. 

To find people complaining about your customers you first need to set up a competitor monitoring alert. All the settings remain the same as with the previous one, the only difference will be the keywords you use: these will be your competitors' brand name and products. You can also add misspelled versions and abbreviations of their name.

An example of competitor monitoring alert for sales software

Note that if you're doing competitor monitoring specifically for lead generation, you don't have to create a separate alert for each competitor — you can add several competitors' names as keywords to one alert.

Once again, Awario will immediately find tweets mentioning your competitors. Now what you need to do is filter your Mention Feed to only see negative mentions: you can do that by clicking Filter mentions on top of your feed.

Filter settings to only see negative mentions

This way you'll get access to all the negative tweets mentioning one of your competitors and logically the majority of them will be from the customers dissatisfied with their services.

Make sure you turn on push or email notifications for this alert since people who complain about products need a solution as soon as possible. Awario will notify you every time there's a new negative tweet about your competitor so you can respond right away.

How to convert these leads

One thing to remember is that you're trying to convert people who feel really frustrated.

That's why your sales pitch needs to be clear, precise, and make it obvious how your offer solves your problem. When you're working with this type of leads, your perfect tweet should:

  • Be compassionate: express your support or validate their emotions to establish a connection with your lead. 
  • Give an example of how your product solves the problem which the customer has with your competitor. For example, if they are complaining about a slow Internet connection you can add a screenshot with your Internet speed measure or a review that praises your Internet provider for the speed.
  • Explain how to purchase your product. You can offer them to move to direct messages for their contact information or give a link to your product — just don't leave them hanging and confused without a clear way to try your product.

So all in all, your perfect reply should look like this:

You can respond from your brand's account or from a personal account as someone who works at the company. Most of the time people tend to trust people more than companies. You can even use a separate Twitter account to pose as a customer of your brand, although that will be a bit deceiving.

High-Interest High-Fit: people asking for recommendations

This is actually the category of leads that we at Awario know very well because we actively try to convert them! We search for people asking for recommendations for social listening and analytics tools on social media (including Twitter) and offer them to try Awario. 

That's why this part of the article will have some tangible proof of the power of social selling. To give you some numbers, out of 100 people asking for recommendations about

  • 50 people respond with some additional questions or positive feedback and

  • 20 people sign up for Awario's free trial. 

Admittedly, such requests for recommendations are rarer than other types of leads and depending on your industry they might be hard to find. For example, you might come across them if you are actively involved in a Twitter community as we discussed above. However, Awario gives you an error-proof way to find these leads. 

Awario Leads is a special social selling module inside Awario that uses social listening to find High-Interest High-Fit leads based on your product's description. It also finds complaints about your customers that we discussed above and puts them all together in one feed so you get access to all your High-Interest High-Fit leads in one place. 

All you need to set up Awario Leads is to fill out product descriptions and competitors. To do this, think of the phrases your competitors would use to describe your product or service.

An example of Awario leads settings

In Awario Leads settings you can also choose languages, countries, and sources of mentions. Check out this video to see the setup of Awario Leads in action.

How to convert these leads

These are the easiest leads to convert: they are already asking for recommendations so they are willing to try your offer. 

The rule of thumb is to pay attention to the request for recommendation: if they are asking for specific features or conditions (for example, free shipping), don't forget to mention them in your reply. Once again, give them an easy way to purchase or try your product: a link to your landing page or a form to fill out. 

If your product doesn't exactly fit their description, it's still a good idea to reply — you never know who might be reading this thread, and it gives your brand additional exposure raising your brand awareness. However, be transparent that you're not sure if your product is the best fit for them. Invite them to ask more questions or check out your landing page.

Awario Tip

To evaluate how effective your social selling efforts are, add a trackable UTM link to your replies. This way you'll be able to count every lead that goes to your landing page.

From our experience, if their description is quite vague i.e. "looking for a pan" you can ask additional questions, for example, what do you want to cook with it. This will make your recommendation more personal and the customer will be more inclined to try your product.

In conclusion, for many brands, Twitter remains an untapped source of leads. Sign up for Awario's free trial and find your next customer on Twitter — using our tips!

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