Aside from distributing your content on the web and helping you create customer relationships, social media has gradually become known as a lead generation tool. Not only can it help you instantly find people interested in your product, but it also lowers the barrier to the sale by creating a more personal approach.
1. Monitoring helps you keep an eye out for sales opportunities
You already have a head start in lead generation by monitoring all the buzz around your business name, products, competitors, industry). You can use Google Alerts for web mentions, Google Blog Search or Twitter and Facebook search. Or use a qualified platform to help you capture relevant mentions and even give you some insightful information on who’s talking about you, so you’ll know how to approach them. It’s the first step in finding business opportunities, even if we’re talking about people who are complaining.
2. Build a bridge between different departments in your company
Just how important is social media monitoring to sales? It’s easy to see how the marketing and PR departments can do better if they get a hang on social media (since they’re already focused on communicating with consumers), but educating the sales team in this field can be the start of a more engaging & less invasive way of getting leads.
Your whole company can work together when it comes to acquiring new leads. Plus, it all happens in real-time. ”Identify and convert sales leads by engaging in communities, receive immediate feedback and follow-up, and also learn how to respond to customer conversations by understanding clients’ needs. Sales don’t have to be intrusive, but rather a way of improving people’s experience. Social networks can attract sales, generate leads and improve your overall experience with online communities.” (from here)
3. You get to be relevant by targeting the right people
Forget about cold calling, social media a great way of putting out the information in a dynamic environment where people’s attention is already focused (it’s like talking about gadgets in a room full of tech bloggers), making it a lot easier to get responses and reactions.
Social media helps you build on an already existing interest a person has in a service or product, which makes it easier to identify opportunities for interaction, define their experience with your brand and modify perceptions. Not only can you learn how people are using your product, but you can use crowd sourcing to improve upon your strategy and make it more relevant for them.
What’s also important in lead generation is not simply acquiring as many prospective clients as you can, but also getting away from unqualified leads: people who are not only uninterested in your offer, but who might also become annoyed and consider your actions spammy.
4. What they see is what they get
The secret to building trust and establishing yourself as an expert is always give something in exchange, be it pure information (by answering questions on Quora or LinkedIn, or providing ebooks and infographics to help people get familiarized with your field). People can voluntarily become fans or buyers, you just need to show them where the value is. Clearly, “pulling” instead of “pushing” can bring you better results.
- 7 Missed Social Media Lead Generation Opportunities (hubspot.com)
- Evolution of Social Media for B2B Lead Generation (customerthink.com)