Social media is now an essential part of every marketer’s tool set. However, many organizations are missing opportunities to delve into the direct path to driving sales with social data. Understanding that social data is a wealth of information on customer wants and needs, as well as customer buying signs, it goes without saying that surfacing the right Social Insights is invaluable to optimizing targeting and messaging for sales and lead generation.
In other words, Social Intelligence can help your sales organization and turn online mentions into real qualified leads, and it’s not a very high-effort or time-consuming activity for an organization that already has an active Social Listening program. For example, if I post on Twitter about not being happy with my current cable provider and that I am looking for other options, there should be sales representatives from those other options reaching out to me on Twitter and responding to my tweet, almost immediately. This is also not something that is only for business-to-consumer brands, but also for business-to-business organizations, as you can still monitor what is being posted about your competitors and your industry for these sales opportunities.
While there are a number of ways that Social Listening can help improve sales and increase your lead pipeline, below are two tactics that I think are particularly strong.
Discover Who Is Looking For Information
At Synthesio, we love to say that Social Media is the best focus group in the world, and while that is true for businesses , it is also true for consumers. Individuals and groups often look to social media to crowd-source information and advice on which products or services to purchase and use. This is where valuable Social Insights can help you get involved in these conversations.
For example, if I am interested in using a new web-server for my SaaS platform, I want to hear from the people who are in my position and discover what servers they are using and why. I will ask people in groups, forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to give me their feedback on the servers that they use. If a web-server provider has a proper Social Listening platform in place and is monitoring these conversations to pull these Social Insights, they can find my question and provide me with product documentation and even offer to put me in touch with references.
I should caution that this falls into a new generation of “cold-calling,” so you must carefully and politely insert yourself into the conversation, but the difference between this and a classic cold-call from a sales representative is that the salesperson that is responding to me already knows what my use-case is and can provide me with a level of personalized options from the beginning of our conversation. This not only can be something that is helpful, but it also can speed up the sales cycle.
Learn About Your Potential Prospects
In ways that sales folks have never been able to before, when used correctly, Social Media can provide enough Social Insights to teach you a lot about your audience and your potential prospects. Social Listening, for example, can allow you to determine what conference and trade shows that potential leads are attending, allowing you to be able to know where you should be and who you should be setting up meetings with. Monitoring the proper keywords, customers, competitors, trade shows and more, you can see whether or not there are conversations surrounding certain upcoming shows so you can easily find a way to meet someone in-person when they are in a mode where they want to be sold something.
In the enterprise space, a decision-maker is always getting hit up by different competitors, and by looking at the things they say, you can gather valuable intelligence about what they’re doing. Will decision-makers be at a trade show? Will consumers be at a show you’re sponsoring? The beauty of utilizing Social Insights is that the information is publicly available, so you can gather information on prospects and customers for new or upsell opportunities.
As I mentioned before, there are many ways to use Social Insights to boost your sales and lead-generation efforts, but this is a great start here. Let me know in the comments section how you use Social Insights to improve your sales pipeline.
To learn more about how to use Social Intelligence to drive sales – check out our ebook, “Social Listening, Social Intelligence…So What?”