We have discussed amply on various lead generation strategies and campaigns, and if we still approach this topic it is because this is the bloodline of any company in the current economic and socio-demographic environment. People use the social media for far more than just socialising with their friends – for finding information, asking recommendations for various products and services, and making purchase decisions.
It goes without saying that you need to do everything you can to keep a constant lead generation funnel active between your social media accounts and your website. From clever content mixes to share on your accounts to well targeted ad campaigns, you are probably doing everything you can to find prospects and nurture leads.
Today we will discuss one of the most cost effective ways of acquiring leads – through social monitoring or social listening. Practically, it is a monetary-free method; but it does cost you time and willingness to be an active participant in various social media conversations and channel the discussion towards your business.
What Is Social Listening?
Social listening happens through a dedicated platform such as Hootsuite or Social Mention. Social monitoring tools allow you to get notifications every time your brand or company name is used in a conversation on various social media platforms. It also allows you to monitor hot trends and topics in your niche, identify influencers and even determine the tone of voice used in relation to certain topics and company names (positive or negative).
Social monitoring is primarily used by companies to be able to respond quickly to negative comments on the social media about their brand or products, but it also offers great opportunities to find new qualified leads. Here are a few effective ways in which you can do this:
1. Respond to Mentions and Create Goodwill
On various occasions, people will share their positive and negative opinions related to a company. In each case, you should respond. A simple “Thank you” for a positive review shared on the social media goes a long way. Other people who see the discussion on the public feed will appreciate the fact that your business takes time to acknowledge praise. They will appreciate even more when you address an issue – such as poor shopping experience, difficulties in placing order or defective products.
Honesty and a helpful attitude will win you more than a customer ready to abandon your business, but also new leads.
2. Join Conversations and Answer Questions
Potential leads can be found by monitoring a certain keyword or hashtag related to your business. When people ask questions, they usually add a few hashtags, hoping to get as many informed answers as possible. Be one of those who answer the question and point the original poster in the right direction, even if it is a resource outside your website. Be helpful without being promotional and you will win a follower who will, in time, turn into a qualified lead.
Always follow up on your answers to make sure that the person has really solved their problem using the resources you indicated to them,
3. Find and Befriend Influencers
Influencers are not easy to approach for two reasons: they are very busy and they are very careful about their reputation, so they will think more than twice before endorsing a brand or product. You should only approach influencers when you have grown a consistent brand image and have an easily recognisable voice of your own on the social media.
Why would you go to that effort and then contact influencers? Simply because a single mention of your business or products by an influencer is worth more than 100 paid social media campaigns. People trust influencers implicitly as reputable experts in that niche. An endorsement by one of them is the strongest word of mouth you could ever get.
4. Monitor Your Competitors as Well
Listening to the conversations carried on your competitors’ social media pages gives you lots of insights on what they are doing better or worse than you. It is also a great opportunity to prove your strength by answering a question; solving a problem which the competitor cannot or will not solve for a particular person.
As you can see, none of the tips we shared here involved spending money, but time and willingness to be helpful. This is actually the core of lead generation: showing people that you are available to answer their questions and provide helpful solutions for their problems.