With an estimated 2.3 billion active users, social media offers a unique opportunity to reach and engage with your prospects. With so many users, however, how can you make sure that you are reaching out to them in the most effective way? These six tips will help you focus your efforts so that you get the most out of social media.
Before you can start prospecting on social media you have to identify who your potential clients are and which platforms they are likely to be using. The most effective way to do this is to listen in on the conversations that are happening in your communities and networks.
Are your potential clients on Twitter, LinkedIn or another platform? Follow news updates and the public accounts for the companies or individuals you have identified and make sure that you continue to listen in. What subjects are they talking about or showing an interest in? What are they tweeting or sharing updates on?
For B2B you should keep a close eye on both company pages and the individual accounts of key personnel or potential influencers. If they are on Twitter use lists to monitor what your prospects are talking about – don’t advertise these to your competition so keep them private.
On LinkedIn start conversations, join relevant groups and monitor them regularly to see which conversations your prospects are getting involved in.
2. Tell Not Sell
Before you make contact with your prospects you need to make sure that your social media accounts are up to date and in order. Your social media presence should show potential customers who you are and, more importantly, what you can do for them. Look objectively and ask what your social media profiles and presence say about you and your company? Always remember that any social media presence should always be aligned to your company ethos and your other marketing campaigns to strengthen your brand.
Social media should be about engaging with your current clients and prospects. If you only use social media to sell you won’t build a relationship with your prospects but are more likely to turn them away from you. Think about the type of content that your prospects share and interact with and create similar. Of course you can talk about what you do and what you can offer but that should only be a minor part of what you share. The majority of what you share should add value to your customer’s interactions and contact with you.
The most effective way to connect with prospects via social is to show an interest in what they are doing by following their accounts (both company and individual if appropriate) and sharing and commenting on their content so that they start to notice you and know that you want to engage.
4. Be Specific
Look for opportunities in what your prospects are talking about to request a meeting and make sure that you follow up. So, for example, by following your prospects you could see that they are talking about attending a conference or event. Can you attend and visit them or make an appointment to see them during their visit?
If you are making contact via LinkedIn to say thank you for connecting or for a referral then ask a prospect for a brief meeting. Keep your message short and professional but ask for a meeting and let them know why you should meet by telling them what they could get out of it.
5. Ask for Referrals
Requesting and sharing referrals is a valuable part of prospecting. Tap into your existing database and actively request referrals. Share them regularly on your social media channels so that your prospects can see how good you are and what you can offer them.
6. Monitor and Follow Up
Make sure that you have the tools in place to monitor your accounts. If someone new follows you, look at who they are and ask why they might be following you. Are they a new prospect? Should you connect with them or follow them back?
Monitoring your account and analysing the responses you receive to the content you create will allow you to identify what works and highlight the type of content that you should continue to create so that it helps you connect with your prospects.