According to its owner, Jeff Kear, Planning Pod has very deliberately employed an organic approach to marketing on Twitter. “Our software is simple and easy to use and our approach to finding and building a market for our platform reflects that,” says Kear. “Our clients are small businesses, and complexity is the opposite of what they need,” he adds.
So, for Kear and his team, finding what his target audience was talking about on Twitter was as simple as starting with some good old-fashioned keyword research using Google’s keyword search tool. “We researched popular keyword usage, identified the four most popular keyword phrases for our product among our target audiences, and then conducted general Twitter searches for those phrases,” Kear says. “Next, we’d follow those people on Twitter, visit their web sites, and send them personal email messages.”
Kear is quick to point out that at this stage, the email messages and tweets they sent to new prospects were not solicitations to try Planning Pod. “We took a low-key approach,” he says, “and introduced ourselves as an informational resource first and foremost.” Planning Pod has a wealth of free, unbiased, useful information for small businesses on its blog. Many of the individuals and businesses Planning Pod reached out to “followed us, became curious about who we were, and then visited our site,” says Kear. From the website, prospects were then encouraged to take a tour of the application and sign up for a free trial of the software.
Mr. Kear says that “over 2,100 customers have signed up for our online software services over the last year, and 644 of them we can directly link to our Tweeting efforts.” Kear and his team were able to confirm the number of Twitter referrals based on a self-reporting drop-down menu that asks new customers where they heard about Planning Pod. For anyone doing the math, that’s a 30 percent conversion rate, based on Twitter alone! Kear adds that “Twitter is a better source of customers for us than any pay-per-click advertising service we use.”
Kear says Planning Pod’s success with Twitter is based on building customers one-at-a-time, using Twitter in tandem with other tools like a blog, Google Search, and a robust email marketing platform. Says Kear, “with Twitter, as with everything else, you get out of it what you put into it.”
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[Image credits: Planning Pod]