It’s common wisdom in any line of business that retaining customers requires less effort and money than to sink in resources into lead generation. A good strategy to remain comfortable. Not enough to grow.
You also don’t need to sacrifice much to generate sales leads in the digital age. Not when social media listening identifies prospect customers through customizable analytical processes.
At the end of the day, everyone likes to talk. A lot.
Potentially about your brand. It pays off to know what’s happening online.
Set up your social media listening right
Before you get anywhere near a social media listening tool (and the market is saturated with tools for specific targeting), you need to know what you’re doing. It’s pointless to collect data on an audience you don’t understand. Social media listening doesn’t work unless you have a strong buyer persona attached to the process. You need to know every detail there is to know about the prospects you want to attract because their profile determines their online habits.
Find the networks your target audience uses
Conversations happen everywhere.
Yes, there are the obvious platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, but there’s so much to consider. Are you keeping your eyes on Reddit or Quora? Have you paid attention to YouTube videos and their comment sections? It’s time to break away from thinking people talk about your brand on the platforms you’re on. Follow your target audience. Always!
Identify your keywords, competitors, and pain points
Once you’ve pointed your ear in the right direction, it’s time to train it for the magical phrases and words that will unlock precious insights.
This should be familiar territory – the old-fashioned keyword research to feed the algorithms. And we recommend you do your due diligence and track your competitors as well (brand name, product names, and campaign hashtags). Comparison analysis is the barometer for your immediate success.
Through user-specific keywords, you hone in on customer pain points and discover qualified leads further down the conversion funnel.
Look at the bigger picture
Unlike a specific marketing campaign or a promotional appearance at a trade show, social media listening removes lead generation from the specific and upgrades it to a continuous internal process. You’re shifting your brand’s entire approach to customer care, retention, and conversion.
It’s through gaining deep knowledge on how your target audience communicates, what problems need solving, what they want, and what they complain about, you position your products in their path at the right moment.
Impressive conversion rates follow every time.
Find prospective customers through social media listening
Lead generation through classic marketing strategies is a little bit like shooting in the dark. You’re kind of sure you have the right target, but it’s more of a hit or miss.
Success relies on the sole strength of sales copy and ads. Social media listening broadens your arsenal significantly and presents a dynamic model for product positioning.
Discover issues for potential customers you can solve
A product solves a problem. Generating sales leads is as simple as finding the people who’ve asked the Internet for help.
‘How to do’ is among the most common phrases at the start of a query and through social listening, you’re able to pick up on these queries as they’re posted on forums, on a site’s comments section, or on Twitter. The moment a person actively searches for a solution (the one you can provide) is when they’re closest to making a purchase.
Engage with customers and influencers for better relationships
If there’s any lesson you should’ve learned by now as a business online, it’s this – never lose control of the narrative.
Companies often perform brand management through social media in the wake of a scandal, when the flames are high and the PR disaster is in full swing. Social media listening encourages brands to shape public opinion continuously. Partially through catching wind of rising customer dissatisfaction in its early stages, and partially through consistent community outreach to brand ambassadors, happy customers, and influencers.
Discover new market opportunities and pioneer trends and innovations
The way businesses traditionally compete is through outselling and establishing dominance via ad copy and promotional materials. Physical marketing has been out of vogue for a minute and Ad-blockers have reduced the efficacy of online advertisement. As a result, the competition has moved to a different playing field – adaptation to shifting markets and innovations.
Customers want the best, the newest, the fastest, and the coolest. It’s the companies who are able to respond early to signals of change in their industry that are the ones with the strongest case to win over-educated consumers.
Look at the customers of your competitors and boost your offering
Competition can be a source of lead generation in an unexpected way. Studying your competitors gives you the blueprint to succeed by either tailoring their successes to your business model or course correct through analyzing their failures.
We’re going to focus on the opening left by competitors who’re neglectful of customer complaints. It’s called ‘customer poaching’ – the artful practice of stepping in to assist a customer ignored by a competitor. You’re not doing anything unethical. In fact, poor customer service is the leading reason why customers abandon one company in favor of another.
This sentiment crosses generational lines with Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials all agreeing on the matter.
Improve your understanding of each and every level
The one thematic thread connecting all of the above-mentioned points is knowledge. You have to keep learning and growing if you’re to keep your competitive edge. Beyond seeking out industry-relevant news, you should learn what’s new in your specific area of expertise, your audience, and changing job specifications.
The information ecosystem is vast – podcasts, newsletters, news sites, YouTube shows, blogs, and social media channels. Armed with the right social media listening tools and a good RSS reader, you’ll stay in step with the times.
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