Using Social Listening to Generate Leads
Last, but not least: number nine! Last time, we wrote about ways to use social listening to improve your brand’s reputation. We looked at how bad press can be good press, like in the case of Snowbird Ski resort. We also explained how social listening can be used for great customer service, like in the Beats example.
This week, we are going to discuss how social listening can generate leads to reach new customers.
What to Monitor
A key factor of social listening is narrowing your search to the most relevant terms. This follows the same idea as SEO: following curated terms to increase visibility. By searching key terms in a social listening monitor, you can better view mentions of your brand across multiple social platforms. Keywords about your brand aren’t the only terms to monitor, however. According to Lilach Bullock, a social media expert, these are five areas to monitor in order to generate leads:
- People searching for similar products or services.
- Inquiries for your business.
- Competitors and their customers.
- Locations for potential leads.
- Discover social influencers and brand ambassadors.
People searching for similar products or services
An important aspect of a successful social listening campaign is to cast your proverbial net far and pull in a variety of data. Certainly, you are monitoring conversations around your own brand and specific product names, but you should also create a monitor to curate less specific mentions. In other words, you not only want to identify people talking about your specific brand and products, but also those that use general terms to describe similar or related products. When you search for these more general terms you can quickly identify untapped audiences. This is an excellent tool for salespeople as well. With NUVI, they can create monitors that are geo-fenced to their specific territories and then pull in monitors related to the products and services they sell. From there, it is a simple matter to reach out and respond to the relevant tweets and blogs that come in.
Inquiries for your business
In many cases, people online will refer to your business name without adding an @ or #, making it extremely difficult to track those mentions without the use of a social listening tool. If you are not actively searching for those inquiries, you are missing out on conversations and potential leads. By monitoring brand-specific mentions, you catch those untagged mentions.
This practice also lends to improving customer service. Customers contacting your business via Twitter expect a response. Even though social media is still not the preferred customer service platform for most people, those that go to Twitter to voice a complaint or ask a question are potential leads. A public response, even a mere acknowledgment of the problem, can do wonders for your brand reputation.
Competitors and their customers
This may seem commonsensical and borderline redundant, but monitoring competition is a great way to identify new leads. Not only do you get a glimpse into their social activities, but you also get the opportunity to interact with their customers. When you create a monitor around key competitors, you will have access to each social reference of that brand, even if it wasn’t tagged with a @ or #. You will be able to see what people are saying about them online. If you are lucky, you will also find opportunities where existing customers are unhappy and express their discontent online. This gives you the ability to swoop in and save the day, much the protagonist in a cheesy rom-com movie. Fix that broken heart.
Locations for potential leads
Bullock made an excellent observation in monitoring locations. If you have a physical location and your product is limited to your location, social listening monitors can be narrowed to only pull in mentions from a specific region. By monitoring competitors and customers located in your area, you can more actively reach potential clients in your area, rather than individuals outside of your service range.
Furthermore, as I mentioned above, geo-fencing your monitor provides salespeople with an excellent opportunity to identify valuable leads in their specific territories. This can dramatically reduce time spent researching specific businesses.
Discover social influencers and brand ambassadors.
As we’ve mentioned previously, social influencers can be a great asset to your brand. By connecting with these influencers, you can spread your brand awareness. Another technique is to simply listen to influencers’ reviews. Since brand ambassadors are trusted resources to consumers, you can assume that their reviews are getting the most attention. By listening to these reviews, you can effectively respond to comments and concerns of the “loudest” reviews.
Above, the NUVI monitor shows an influencer who has reached multiple other consumers. While the influencer was a neutral sentiment, the resulting comments by followers were all negative. By following this data, you can respond to the criticism and the original message of the influencer.
By monitoring all these areas, you can collect important data about your company and your product. According to Sproutsocial, social listening allows you to understand:
- What your audience wants
- Whether or not specific campaigns are successful
- The overall sentiment about your brand on social
- Trends that affect your brand or industry
Using Data to Generate New Leads
Now you have all this information you’ve collected using social listening. What now? If you haven’t already, reach out to the consumers who have shown up on the monitor. If they compliment your product, thank them. Great customer service is a visible attribute of your business that can attract new clients. If someone has complained about your customer’s product, reach out and offer a solution. Social listening allows you to reach your competitors’ clients more easily than ever before. Overall, social listening allows you to find people looking for a service that you can provide. According to ClickZ:
A focus on keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand can reach to a new audience who may be eager to explore your products. This doesn’t mean that social listening will directly generate sales, but it can provide the right exposure for your brand to new prospects.
For example, if your company is offering SEO services and you come across a conversation among marketers asking for SEO advice, you can jump in to offer genuine help. This can be the first stage of a discussion that can become a sales qualified lead, or at the least, a lead that may be interested in hearing about your services.
Exposure is the key word here. Exposure is what leads to new customers and new leads. Social listening allows you to explore more areas for expansion to new customers.
To summarize, social listening is an effective tool to find new potential consumers. By responding to consumers outside of your customer base, you can gain exposure and find potential clients. The important thing is to remember to monitor for key phrases and terms that will apply to your research. By doing so, you can more effectively monitor for new leads.