At Socedo, we’re passionate about finding your ideal customers on Twitter, qualifying them through automated engagement, and sending an initial direct message to start the conversion process. But we also know that your first message is only as good as your follow-up. Using social media for lead generation is all about the conversation, and we’ve found a few best practices along the way:

  • Respond within 24 hours (longer on the weekend is acceptable).
  • Don’t let the conversation drag on. We recommend no more than 3 DMs before moving the conversation off social media. Take them to your landing page, give them your offer, or switch to phone or email.
  • Keep each message concise and actionable. Every step in the conversation should qualify your lead as a prospective customer, and move them further along the buying cycle.

Fortunately, you don’t have to manage these conversations alone. There’s been a lot of buzz lately around Socedo as a must-have marketing tool for 2015 and a best-in-class sales software. We won’t argue with that. But having other tools to help continue the engagement Socedo starts can make a huge difference. Here are a few of our favorite tools for managing DM conversations on Twitter.

Sprout Social

At Socedo, we use Sprout Social on a daily basis. The Smart Inbox pulls the messages from all of our accounts in one place. We can respond directly, and also see the other DMs and mentions from the contact in a single pane. Sprout Social makes it easy to clean up our messages without becoming overwhelmed, and we can also view one account at a time, if we want to focus our attention on a specific user group. Sprout Social’s analytics help us track the volume of messages received and their trends.

HootSuite

Beyond easily scheduling posts across multiple platforms and accounts,HootSuite allows users to track conversations and respond to DMs in   one place. For multiple users, HootSuite manages tasks, permissions, and notifications, to make collaboration easier across an organization. HootSuite’s analytics identify audience demographics, key influencers, and click-through rates, so you can continue to improve your social conversation experience.

TweetDeck

Manage multiple accounts with TweetDeck and organize timelines of content to best fit your needs. Easily view and manage direct message conversations from every account, or one at a time. TweetDeck’s keyword alerts also keep you in-the-know, so you can respond quickly to mentions and engage with leads who are ready to talk. TweetDeck also works beautifully on smartphones.

This is only a scratch on the surface of the resources available for social media marketing and sales. There are also tools like Oktopost for scheduling social campaigns on multiple platforms, Tropical for generating customer profiles, andOpenr for integrated CTA buttons. Which tools do you use?