As a professional services firm*, our product is a report, similar to CPA firms. We deliver our report electronic through a client portal. We developed this portal in house and spent big dollars for it a couple years ago. It was well worth it, but now I read about companies like LeapFILE.com that offer similar portals.
Although we are currently satisfied with our client portal, we may outgrow it or decide to go another direction. We may find that it is more cost-beneficial to outsource the client portal instead of paying a programmer everytime we want an update plus a monthly hosting fee. We are not ready to switch, but I wanted to keep LeapFILE on the back burner.
I noticed on LeapFILE home page that they are on Twitter. What a great way to keep them in my mind but on the back burner. So I followed@LeapFILE. Shortly thereafter, I received the following @reply:
@MikeCampbellCFO Thanks for the follow Mike. We work closely with CPAs & would love to know how we can help your firm if there're questions!
This tweet communicate several things: First, they used my name. Who doesn't like hearing their name? Names are very important. When someone takes the time to learn and use your name, they are communicating they care. Second, they must have read my Twitter profile because they acknowldged that I am a CPA. Third, they reminded me of their product without being pushy. Finally, they offered help and had a call to action. This was a great first tweet. It's amazing how much you can squeeze in 140 characters.
We then exchanged the next two tweets:
@LeapFILE Thanks. I learned about LeapFILE from an accounting periodical. JofA or Accountant's World (can't remember which one).
@MikeCampbellCFO Great! Feel free to sign up for a trial http://bit.ly/5ZL3UJ or let us know if you have any questions =) We're here to help.
I thought the next call to action was brilliant and effective. Sign up for our free trial. In fact, I took them up on the offer and started the free trial.
Here are the takeaways:
Send personalized @replies, not auto DMs. I hate auto DMs and it's a great way to get unfollowed. Personalized @replies, on the other hand, initiate engagement. @Replies are also put your name in the Twitter public timeline which is crawled by Bing and Google. It also appears in the Twitter stream of mutual followers.
Twitter is just one tool in your company's marketing plan. Notice in my little anecdote that I found LeapFILE through an email blast, a trade publication, and social media. Social Media fills in a missing gap and is NOT an end-all, be-all. Companies should use social media in concert with blogging, web sites, trade shows, target-industry conferences, sales professionals, and so on.
* The opinions expressed in this blog are my personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view. We offer forensic engineering and fire investigation services. If you have any questions regarding those services, please