If you have a social media account, you have a gateway to an influx of high-quality, opt-in leads. The key is knowing how to find and obtain them without precious wasting time. Social media can, unfortunately, take a lot of time and effort, so it’s important, especially as a salesperson, to start your campaign with a mission and not stray from it.
So, you are a salesperson looking to generate leads via social media. Where do you start?
1. Use your social media accounts to build relationships with your target customers.
This is the most straight-forward approach to generating leads. Add people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ who fit in your target demographic. Use social tools like SocialBro to connect with only those individuals that match your target customer. Filter by location, job title, specific companies you are targeting, etc. Avoid following or friending anyone and everyone; you are better served by having a narrow focus than blasting your entire network with information that does not help them.
Connect with the power-players or target customers on LinkedIn. Follow potential customers on Twitter. When you have spare time, reach out to these people to start a conversation. Seek to provide them with new information as opposed to pitching your product/service right away. These connections can grow into working relationships, as long as you remain humble and helpful.
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Time Saving Tip: Building relationships on social media doesn’t have to take a long time. You probably already spend time on your personal social media. While you’re talking to your aunt on Facebook, posting pictures of your food on Instagram, tweeting about the football game, or sprucing up your LinkedIn profile, you could take some time to expand your business relationships.
If you don’t already spend time on your social pages, devote one hour a week to social media relationship building. (Establish a consistent hour every week, put it on your calendar, and don’t stray from it.) Also, talking on a social platform isn’t all encompassing. You can follow people on Twitter while you’re making a sales call. You can connect with people on LinkedIn on your smartphone during a lunch break. Make the time in your day when it makes sense for you.
2. Join Groups, Communities, and Chats.
On Facebook and LinkedIn, join groups that are related to your industry, because they will be full of people within or interested in your industry. You could also join groups that are centered around your city or within the vicinity of the services you offer. Join communities on Google+ and relevant chats on Twitter. Use these forums to grow brand awareness and expand your reach.
HINT: You should not use these platforms to promote your business right away; instead, use them to connect with potential customers. Become a top contributor, answer questions, and promote if it’s called for, because this will make you an authority in your field, and potential customers wouldn’t think twice about working with you. Once you interact with someone, collect necessary information for those individuals that are interested in learning more about what you are selling. If you take these interactions away from social media and into your inbox, be sure to write emails that actually capture your prosepcts’ attention. Groups, communities, and chats are a great way to generate leads.
Time Saving Tip: You don’t have to be super involved in groups to have an effect. Visit your groups and communities once a week, see what’s happening, and post advice or join conversations. Oftentimes, simply answering a question can lead to an interesting conversation or meeting in the future. (Quora is also a great way to connect and be helpful. Just be sure you’re answering questions that relate to your company.)
3. Use Social Networks That Make Sense for YOU
There are literally thousands of social media networks in every corner of the internet. The massive players right now are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+. However, there are other networks that you can use to enhance your lead generation efforts. Play around with these different social medias and only spend your time on ones that benefit you. For instance, Pinterest isn’t a practical way to spend your time if you are a B2B salesman, but B2C salespeople can connect with influencers & potential customers this way. Instagram is a phenomenal resource if your target demographic is younger; however, Instagram has yet to really grow significantly into the 30+ demographic. Utilize social medias that cater to your target consumer base.
- YouTube – Create videos that highlight your products and put your phone number or email at the end.
- Pinterest – Create a board that links to your company’s website or products. Then, when your followers want to know more information, you are there to inform and sell them on it!
- Instagram – Post photos of your products, or pictures of you with happy customers. It opens the doorway for your followers to ask questions.
DON’T FORGET! Use these important tips when using social media to generate leads:
- Images are powerful. They entice people to take action. When you post information about your company, remember to use images when you can!
- Social media is a long game. You aren’t going to see results overnight, so persevere. (A seemingly small touch to a potential customer can grow into a larger relationship as long as you remain consistent.)
- Don’t be too aggressive. You don’t want to annoy your friends and family, and you also don’t want to be too pushy on potential customers. If you’re uncomfortable with using your personal social media accounts for business, create separate profiles. Inject some personality into your posts when it’s appropriate. We all want to connect with a human, afterall.
Social media is powerful lead generating tool. More leads means more potential sales. You don’t have to spend hours a day to have an effective social media. You just have to strategically plan in order to spend time on building your network.
Leave a comment below if one of these questions makes you think!
- Have you successfully used social media to grow your network and generate leads? Do you have a direct return on your time investment?
- What struggles do you have with social selling?
- Do you think social selling is an effective method for your company?
- What social networking tools do you use most often? Which one(s) would you recommend to others?
Rachel Africh is the CMO at The Leads Warehouse. She’s focused on highly-targeted marketing, generating high-quality leads, and converting leads to sales. She’s currently working on developing new data products and providing high quality mortgage leads for the mortgage industry.