Targeted tweets to people outside your followers

Curious, what do people think about tweeting to people purely based on searching twitter for terms. Spammy, slimey? I’m thinking it’s no worse than targeted ads. Possibly a useful way to get conversations going with prospects.

I think it depends on the search terms you’re using, and your criteria for replying to the tweets.

On several occasions I’ve mentioned a topic in passing and had a sales tweet (or a sales follow), and I find it spammy and a bit creepy; it’s a negative experience, so I don’t think it’s a good way to introduce a company or product to a potential customer. Targetted ads are bad enough, but at least there the stalking and invasion of personal space is clearly done by a machine - it’s impersonal, the message doesn’t start with your name, and you accept that’s just part of the faustian deal you made when you signed up.

Of course, I think it’s a very different thing to watch for your company or product name, and answer questions or try to resolve complaints - but I think that’s because it comes under support rather than sales.

There is a grey area in between the two; for example, if you can directly answer a question and provide some sort of value to the potential customer (ie if your tweet is more than just “Buy this to solve that”), then you’re helping more than selling - I’ve seen some people do this without even mentioning their product. I have no idea how it would perform compared to more aggressive methods, but at least their first interaction with your company would be positive.

I think a middle ground would involve first searching for terms, and then culling the results for tweets from users who directly ask for assistance, or at least seem receptive to feedback.

Agreed a generic or auto response would be spammy. I’m thinking more of finding those tweets where people are looking for help or a recommendation on a keyword that lines up with keywords I have identified. Once I have a some possible matches then replying individually. It’s sort of like people looking for answers on stackoberflow but not for technical things. It seems like Twitter is a place people can reach out for advice from the ‘public’