Generating and nurturing leads is a key part of campaigns and the sales cycle for a business looking to kick butt and make a good profit. But did you think social media would be a great way to nurture those leads? Social media is the key to inbound lead nurturing because it allows people to come to your brand on their own accord. I am not saying you shouldn’t utilize email marketing and other forms, but social media can be a great additional source, and also to use in conjunction with your other avenues for lead generation.
3 key methods to lead generation and nurturing
1. Participate in the Convo
More than likely there is already chatter about your brand on the Internet. The key is to find it, listen often, and participate in it.
Find and Listen: You can utilize a tool as simple as Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to hear what your consumers, competition, and others are saying regarding your brand, product, or service. For example you can take RSS feeds from Topsy, Twitter, Facebook and have them all set up in your Reader. Additionally you can set up keyword alerts for your industry. Way simpler than checking every day on what’s out there or getting a billion email alerts.
Listen more: The key is to find out what the key themes are that your consumers and competitors are talking about on these social platforms and across the web. What are the pain points? Then you have an avenue to talk to them about and engage on a level that they want to be engaged on.
Engage: Don’t talk to, but talk with your consumers. Are the majority wishing they had a service that helped them do X better? Or had tips on how to do Y in a shorter amount of time? Perhaps you already have content on how they can do just that. Provide a link to a source of content to help them, rather than just selling your service right away. In short, this will help build awareness, start a conversation, and lead them through the funnel.
2. Share some Content
From part one you have begun to listen to your consumers regarding what they have to say, what they want, what they don’t want, and what information they could use more of. Now what?
Create Valuable Content: Focus on their pain points and offer content on what will help relieve those pain points. For example, if your brand is a software service and your potential consumers are having a hard time with efficiency, perhaps write some whitepapers, blog posts, or record some webinars which give them tips and tricks to increase efficiency (and of course you can throw in a little plug about how your product is the key to that efficiency).
Provide Valuable Content: So now you have this content, now what?
- Join the groups where your target consumers are in Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Use the hashtags they are using on Twitter.
- Share your content in these groups, on your Facebook Page, through your Twitter stream, and on your LinkedIn group.
- Make sure there is a link that leads these consumers directly to this content on your website.
- If they keep clicking, and look for more info regarding XYZ, now you know what more to provide these specific consumers. You can nurture these leads further all because you listened first, and engaged second – and on the social media platforms where they like to speak and engage (not where you think they should).
3. Measure, Measure, and Measure some more
Did someone say the word “measure”? You may be tweeting, commenting, sharing, and chatting online with your consumers, but how much are they engaging with you? How often are they clicking on your links? Are they converting? Key areas to measure to see if you are utilizing social media to truly generate and nurture leads include:
Measure the visitors
- Analyze how they got to your website or blog. Was it through a bit.ly link used on Twitter? Was it through a Facebook group post? Track your links and see where the majority of your consumers came from.
When did you see the most / least traffic
- You can see which campaigns on social worked the best or least and repeat and further the better ones, and perhaps drop the lesser ones.
- How many just perused (and what did they look at)?
- How many clicked, and converted? What did they look at and view before they converted. Was it the awesome webinars you record each week? Now you know what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.
Although social media is not going to get your lead to convert by itself every time, it is a great bonus tool to use in your nurturing process. Combine it with your email efforts, and make sure your emails and newsletters all have your social buttons on them for potential and current customers to follow and fan when they wish.
And….don’t forget to also keep in touch after you have converted those leads into customers. There is the after sale process part that is very important. Customers want more information on training, tips and tricks, and more. And if they are avid social media geeks, they may be subscribing to your Facebook feed in order to keep up with the latest and greatest from your company.