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social media how toDo you use Twitter to find prospects?

Looking for a better way to organize relevant conversations?

You can use your favorite RSS reader to monitor customized Twitter searches, Twitter lists, and hashtags that relate to your business.

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up RSS feeds to easily monitor and manage a steady flow of Twitter leads.

twitter rss feeds for leads

Discover how to to set up RSS feeds to easily manage Twitter leads.

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Why Create RSS Feeds From Twitter

Among social networks, Twitter has some major advantages to the social seller. It’s generally acceptable for anyone to chime in on any conversation at any time. There’s a mind-boggling volume of activity, and a great deal of it is relevant to prospecting.

Many marketers find Twitter’s web interface and mobile app to be less useful for mining opportunities, however. A better option to consider is to use an RSS reader app like Feedly, which makes it easy to organize feeds by theme, priority, stages in the buyer’s journey, and any number of other useful parameters. Reader apps can be used as “asynchronous” queues, whereby aggregated content stays put until you view it.

Here are step-by-step instructions for setting up Twitter timelines and organizing them into RSS feeds for maximum lead generation efficiency.

#1: Create Targeted Twitter Timelines

Create and Save Twitter Advanced Searches

Twitter advanced searches can be goldmines to social sellers. You can set up queries that involve parameters like language, geographic location, sentiment, and the appearance of question marks. This helps you keep your finger on the pulse of what relevant people think of various brands and products, what they want to learn more about, and what their pain points are.

For example, say you notice people asking about the best solution to pain points that your product is perfect for. If you’re quick on the draw, you can jump in with content that answers users’ questions and reach out to provide more advice if they’re interested.

twitter search

The Twitter search box is ground zero for building your feeds.

To see who’s talking about your company, type your company name in the Twitter search box, located at the top-right corner of the screen. On the results page, you’ll see a list of tabs: Top, Live, Accounts, Photos, Videos, and More Options.

Click on More Options, and from the drop-down menu, select Advanced Search.

twitter advanced search option

Select Advanced Search from the drop-down menu.

From here, you have virtually endless Twitter search refinement options. You can zero in on tweets with certain words, phrases, and hashtags, as well as the language they’re written in.

twitter advanced search fields

Refine your searches with Twitter’s advanced search parameters.

If you want to target when people are replying to your tweets (or anyone else’s), add the relevant username in the To These Accounts box. Also choose whether you want to include positive, negative, questions, and/or retweets.

twitter advanced search other

You have the option to include positive and negative tweets, questions, and retweets.

When you’re finished, click Search and then check out the results. If you need to refine your search, just click the Back button. Once you’re satisfied with the search parameters you’ve set up, save the search by clicking More Options and selecting Save This Search.

Repeat this process to set up advanced searches for the queries you want to track in your RSS-powered dashboard.

Tip: Trying to set up a search that’s returning results you aren’t sure about? You can use the free tool from Warble to test-drive your advanced searches as daily email alerts. See what your queries return for a few days before you go through the RSS-creation process. It’s also a good long-term option if you’d rather see tweets as emails than use an RSS reader.

Subscribe to Relevant Twitter Lists Curated by Others

Twitter lists can help you segment the Twitter accounts you monitor, making it easy to keep abreast of what’s happening among specific groups of people and companies. You can use lists to monitor accounts without following them, so it’s a great way to keep an eye on the competition, too.

There are thousands of existing public lists that others have spent years curating and maintaining. Finding and subscribing to these can be useful when setting up your social selling dashboard.

subscribe to twitter list

Subscribe to relevant public Twitter lists.

Twitter has disabled the ability to search for lists with its native search tools, but you can find Twitter lists with this Google search:

site:twitter.com inurl:lists <keyword>

Simply replace <keyword> with your keyword of choice, and Google will reveal all of the Twitter lists that match your query. Click through to as many as you like and subscribe to the lists with accounts and tweets that are most useful to your social selling efforts.

google search results

Google search results for Twitter lists containing “app design” in their titles.

Create Your Own Twitter Lists

In addition to subscribing to curated Twitter lists, you can create your own.

To set up a list, click on your profile pic in the top-right corner and select Lists from the drop-down menu. Scroll down the page and click on the Create New List button.

create twitter list

Create your own Twitter list.

Type in a name for your list and provide a short description. You also have the option to make the list Public or Private. In this case, choose Public, which will allow you to create a Twitter widget and RSS feed for the list (as described in Step 2).

create twitter list

Enter details for your new list.

Next, add people to your lists. Search for their names or handles. When you find someone you want to add, click the gear icon next to their information and select Add or Remove From Lists.

add user to twitter list

Add users to your list.

In the pop-up box that appears, select the lists you want to add users to. If they’re already in one of your lists, you can uncheck that box to remove them.

#2: Create Twitter Widgets

Now that you’ve saved relevant searches and created or subscribed to Twitter lists, it’s time to publish them as Twitter widgets. You can then create RSS feeds for each widget and organize the feeds in your favorite RSS reader.

To get started, click on your profile pic in the top-right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu. On the Settings screen, click on Widgets in the left sidebar and then click on the Create New button.

create twitter widget

Create a Twitter widget.

Next, choose from the various source options. This can include tweets by specific user handles, likes by specific user handles, lists, or search results. (There’s also a Collections option, but that isn’t relevant for prospecting.)

For example, to set up a timeline widget powered by a hashtag search, open the Search tab. Click in the Search Query box and enter your search query or hashtag. You can also select a saved search from the drop-down list.

create twitter search widget

Set up a timeline widget powered by a hashtag search.

You can also set up a timeline widget powered by a public Twitter list.

create twitter list widget

Set up a timeline widget powered by a public Twitter list.

After you publish your timeline widget, make a note of the widget ID, which you can find in the widget’s URL.

twitter widget url

Find the widget’s URL in the address bar.

#3: Create an RSS Feed From Your Twitter Widget

Now you’re ready to create an RSS feed for your widget. You’ll use this Google script, authored by Amit Agarwal. First, give the script permission to run.

google script permission

Authorize the script to run.

Then authorize the script to view and manage files in your Google Drive.

google drive permissions

Give the script permission to view and manage files in Google Drive.

On the next page, click on the Twitter RSS Script link to open the script in Google Script Editor.

twitter rss generator script

Click the script link to open it.

Choose Run > Twitter_RSS to authorize the script to run. This is a one-time step; you don’t need to repeat it for each timeline.

run google script

Run the script.

Next, choose Publish > Deploy as Web App. Set the permissions to Anyone, Even Anonymous to ensure that your RSS reader will be able to access the data. Then click Deploy.

deploy google script

Choose the Anyone, Even Anonymous option.

Google Script will then create a URL for your RSS web app that looks something like this:

https://script.google.com/macros/s/ABCD/exec

Copy the URL and append it with “?[yourTwitterWidgetID].” For example, if your Twitter widget ID is 98l5687, your RSS feed URL would be:

https://script.google.com/macros/s/ABCD/exec?98l5687

Your RSS feed is now ready to go. You can preview your RSS feed by pasting it in your browser’s address bar.

view twitter widget rss feed

Preview your widget’s RSS feed.

Create additional timeline widgets and you’ll have a series of RSS feed URLs that you can use for importing and categorizing in your news reader.

Add the Feed to Your RSS Reader

If Feedly is your reader of choice, simply paste a feed URL in the search box at the top-right corner, press Enter, and you’ll have the option to add the feed to whatever category you like. Repeat as necessary.

Different social sellers handle monitoring differently, and each feed you set up will have its own uses. Feedly’s Shared Collections feature is great for sales teams that can benefit from sharing groups of feeds.

add twitter widget rss feed to feedly

Add the widget’s RSS feed to Feedly.

If you want to keep up with every post on a given timeline, Feedly’s Must Read feature can be extremely helpful. If you feel like it’s all right to miss whatever’s tweeted when you’re away from your computer, you can create a similar dashboard using TweetDeck. Create columns for any timeline you want.

#4: Tools to Use With Your RSS Feeds Dashboard

Once you’ve set up an RSS-powered dashboard for Twitter monitoring, you can take your social selling efforts to the next level by trying these additional tools.

Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder works on top of your Google Analytics account to track when someone who works for a company you engage with comes to your website. Using the anonymous visitor’s IP address, Leadfeeder searches for the company it’s associated with, and then displays relevant social profiles to show you who might have visited. You can also use it to track which content pages site visitors load when, and it can even push this data to your CRM.

Commun.it

Commun.it will keep track of all of the interactions you have on Twitter. See your most active followers, who is and isn’t following you back, and Twitter engagement histories for each prospect. You can also use it to set up automatic engagement features, like thanking your new followers and recognizing your most engaged community members.

Cyfe

Your social sales monitoring dashboard is just the beginning. You can set up the highly customizable platform Cyfe to create an all-in-one analytics dashboard to track all of your social activity, website activity, and more from a single location. No more wasting time logging into and out of multiple platforms to gather data for reports. And yes, you can also display your RSS feeds here.

Conclusion

Taking the time to cut through the noise on Twitter and creating a system that allows you to listen to what’s most relevant can quickly pay for itself tenfold.

You don’t have to do it all in one day. Approach your dashboard as a work in progress, and the investment necessary for its maintenance will be minimal. This way, keeping tabs on the social activity that matters most to you will be as simple as daily check-ins with your reader app.

What do you think? Will you consider setting up RSS feeds of Twitter leads? How do you cut through the noise on Twitter? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tips about how to create Twitter RSS feeds for better lead prospecting.

Tips about how to create Twitter RSS feeds for better lead prospecting.

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