If there’s one inalienable truth when it comes to generating online sales, it’s that LinkedIn is the social network of choice. Right? Wrong! Because a new study has found that micro-blogging supremo, Twitter, is the new pretender to the throne.
If, like us, and the vast majority of online marketers, you took it for granted that LinkedIn was the ultimate tool for making sales connection then we’ve got news for you. As the two social networks vie for what were always historically presumed to be subtly different market shares of audience, new research from Kitedesk cited in a recent Forbes article has not only revealed that they’re preaching to a similar corporate audience but that Twitter could actually be doing it better.
Twitter’s superior accessibility and usability credentials
When you delve a little bit deeper, it seems that with Twitter’s superior accessibility and usability credentials, perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised. “The significance of this is that Twitter is way easier to use and search for information than LinkedIn is right now,” John Barrows, Owner of Sales From The Streets, told Forbes.
“The hashtag is a powerful and easy way to find out what people are talking about. You can also follow people directly on Twitter without asking for permission. With LinkedIn, if I really want to hear what you are saying and keep up to date with you I have to be connected to you and that means I have to send you a request that you can deny if you want.
“Twitter doesn’t allow that option so I can follow whoever I want. Between the searchability and ease of connection I can easily see how Twitter has surpassed LinkedIn on this front,” he added.
Treat these findings with a pinch of salt
However, Rachel Wilson, Managing Director at KW Digital, recommended treating these findings with a liberal pinch of salt. “It makes perfect sense that Twitter’s open access forum makes it very competitive with LinkedIn in terms of reaching out to potential new customers,” said Rachel.
“We certainly won’t be abandoning LinkedIn anytime soon though. Twitter is a great outreach tool that is perfect for capturing and keeping customer engagement. But the real business of converting sales is very much driven by trust and relationships, which are fostered through effort and patience.
“Ultimately, LinkedIn will always be superior in that respect, because going to the effort of researching a contact, and asking permission to make their acquaintance, is actually a powerful statement of intent. That instantly builds a rapport, whereas Twitter is more of an arm’s length dialogue.
“We therefore advocate using both platforms. Twitter is great for approaching new sales targets and keeping those leads warmed up with a steady supply of messaging. Then, LinkedIn is perfect for follow up engagement and – hopefully – sealing the deals,” she added.