Twitter is an amazing social media marketing tool, but how do you write a Twitter sales pitch in 140 characters (or less) that actually works? The answer is easier than you might think. It’s all about writing intriguing and relevant content.

Don’t think of Twitter as a place to pitch your business, products, or services. Instead, think of Twitter as a platform to reward your followers with useful information, in return for their attention.

There are two fundamental ways to write a Twitter sales pitch, and successful Twitter marketers use both. You can either write a direct sales message, or an indirect sales message.

The Direct Twitter Sales Pitch

Traditional direct-marketing sales pitches are heavy on the sales language and are hard to miss. For example, a toothpaste brand could publish a tweet that says, “Buy Sparkle toothpaste for twice as white teeth in 2 days,” with a link to make a purchase.

These types of sales pitches can work on Twitter, but there are a few basics you need to follow to intrigue your followers rather than annoy them.

  • Don’t overdo it: Follow the “80-20 rule”, where 80 percent or more of your tweets are not self-promotional, and the remaining 20 percent are used for legitimate self-promotion. No one wants to follow or interact with a Twitter stream filled with promotional messages and little else.
  • Be relevant: Publish sales messages that your Twitter followers are interested in — or they’ll ignore you. That means you need to listen to your audience, and understand what kind of content is expected from you.
  • Be believable: Pie-in-the-sky claims don’t work in Twitter sales pitches. Get-rich-quick schemes and other implausible claims lead to distrust, which is only a good thing if you want your brand to fail.
  • Real-time works: Create a sense of urgency with real-time promotions. For example, “50% off all orders placed by 5:00 Eastern Time,” is a great Twitter sales pitch.
  • Offer something meaningful: If your offer is weak, no one is going to click on your tweet to complete the action you need. For example, a 50 percent discount is sure to attract a lot more attention than a 10 percent discount. For maximum effect, go big, or go home.

The Indirect Twitter Sales Pitch

Social media marketing pitches are most effective when they enhance existing conversations, interactions, and experiences. Therefore, a toothpaste brand could publish a tweet that says, “5 reasons your toothpaste isn’t working,” with a link to a blog post or video explaining what other brands are missing.

This type of indirect sales pitch intrigues your Twitter followers, and promises a reward for clicking on a link. In the case above, the reward is useful information.

The blog post that complements the Twitter sales pitch could offer dental hygiene tips to avoid the dreaded trip to the dentist’s office. That way, it also taps into an emotional trigger — fear of the dentist.

Indirect sales pitch messages are most effective on Twitter when you keep the following basics in mind:

  • Be useful: First, intrigue people with a promise to provide some information that they need. Then, be sure to deliver on that promise by rewarding tweeters with meaningful information they can actually use.
  • Get emotional: Appealing to consumer emotions (fear of the dentist) is an effective way to drive action — like clicking a link in your tweet.
  • Sell-through response: You can include an indirect sales pitch in your responses to other people’s tweets, too. For example, if someone publishes a post saying they love your toothpaste, don’t just respond with a “thank you.” Reply with a relevant hashtag to increase the chances of other people seeing that tweet, or include other tweeters in your response.
  • Share and be visible: Twitter timelines move quickly, and your best messages can get lost in the clutter. Be sure to be active on Twitter, and share other people’s content whenever the opportunity arises.
  • Don’t talk about your product, business, or brand: No one cares about you. They want to know “what’s in it for me” if they click on your link and read your content. Not to worry; indirect exposure is one of the best ways to build organic buzz around your brand.

Remember, successful Twitter sales pitches are just one component of your social media marketing strategy. With consistent communications, you’ll build significant word-of-mouth marketing, and brand loyalty, that will last a lot longer than a single sale.

[Image credits: jnatiuk, Psych-observer charliecurve]