Sunday, July 19, 2009

Capturing Leads and Tracking Conversations on Twitter

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

Getting Started

Before you start, you’ll need to do a search on your brand to see what kind of mentions it is getting. 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. can be used for shortening any URLs. You can even create custom Urls, but keep track of what you create because won’t track those for you. And beware the inflated 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 so if we append an “SL code” to a URL that we send out, and someone visits the site, we know where they came from. So, the URL we send looks like this: 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.


Brian Hamlett said...

Very nice Karen. I love hearing an insider's view to using social media in larger corporate organizations. Keep it up! You obviously understand social media, now it just takes those C-level individuals to see the benefits.

(Best Show)Watch said...


Two things

1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on Frontline for our website

2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

The Best Shows Youre Not Watching (dot) com [all one word]

Frontline is one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

What’s in it for you?
Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think.