So often, we think of social media only as a way to broadcast our messages, and that is one typical error marketers make as they use social media:
They use it as a one-way channel.
But the real opportunity is when you set social media to listen to the conversations that are going on among your customers.
One very important rule of thumb in business is that you need to listen to the conversations that are happening in your market if you must get leads.
And generating new leads is a must.
In fact, lack of how to grow enough leads is the reason many business owners and marketers fail, according to Neil Patel.
In social media, it’s really simple.
If you spend a lot of time on social media, you will discover that not only are a lot of people asking tons of questions about several topics, these questions are not being answered.
What happens when no one answers?
Well, your guess is as good as mine.
Let’s use real estate as an example. People are often asking questions about finding homes, and for the most part, real estate agents aren’t answering these questions.
Gary Vaynerchuck figured this out and quickly wrote a post on LinkedIn titled “13 Tweets a Real Estate Agent Should Have Answered, Not Me”
In this article, he highlighted 13 different examples of the type of messages on social media channels that real estate companies and agents should be listening on to get leads, but aren’t.
At the end of the day, he succeeded in proving one thing:
You can quickly generate qualified leads when you listen to your social media audience.
And in this article, I will show you how to, but first, let’s establish the difference between social listening and monitoring.
Granted, social monitoring is very important, but it is not nearly the same as listening.
While monitoring involves being on the lookout for brand mentions and all that, social listening is the real deal.
It involves getting a hold of useful insights on your target audience, and engaging and interacting with these people in an authentic way.
Basically, monitoring tells us what, and listening tells us why.
Now let’s dive in.
1. Identify with your model customer
It’s the smart thing to do.
If you want to reach the right customers, you need to put yourself in their shoes and think about how they will communicate their needs to sellers.
It’s called ‘building a persona’.
To successfully do this, you must first gather data on them.
But we are talking about thousands, maybe even millions of people here, so how do you track their social profiles to determine their characteristics and habits?
Facebook Audience Insights is one of the tools you can use to gather detailed information about your target audience.
To access Facebook Audience Insights, go to your Ads Manager attached to your Facebook page.
It lets you in on new information about what your audience like, which of your competitor’s page tickle their fancy, the contents that they are already engaged in, and so on.
Once you are inside the tool, you can choose to create a custom audience based on the email list you already have or target users that connect to your Facebook page.
And the good thing is that you can narrow down your search using several aspects such as location, age, gender, education level, relationships, etc.
How much information you get about your target audience would depend on how much research you do.
2. Begin your social listening campaign
Once you are satisfied with the amount of information you have on your customers, it’s time to put it to work.
To do this, you will need a social listening tool.
Trust me, if you have a good business up and running, people are probably already talking about you, but you don’t know because they do not mention you directly.
According to statistics, about 30% of tweets that mention a brand don’t include the brand’s handle, which is where listening tools help.
There are a number of good social listening tools out there, but for the purpose of this article, we will only talk about my all-time favorite – Unbox Social
Once you have signed up for Unbox Social, you will be prompted to create your first alert.
Here you will be able to set the sources and brands you want to monitor.
Once you’ve done this, you will be notified in real time whenever someone mentions you or your business.
Now, this is where the real work starts.
Your job now is to reach out to those that mention your brand and engage with them.
And be critical about your response too. Fluffy responses like “good one “or “thumbs up” won’t cut it.
You will find out that when you engage in such conversions, your brand trust will gradually grow, and you will begin to get more leads.
3. Perfect your customer service experience
Information is power, but only if you use it right.
Think about it, if you visit a restaurant for the first time, there are certain factors that will make you consider ever coming back to the place, factors like customer service, response time, and so on.
It’s the same thing online.
Thankfully, you can use socially listening to improve your customer service experience, thereby increasing the time they stick with you.
For one, you can quickly respond to their questions or complaints when Mention or any other listening tool you use alerts you.
Mind you, it is important that you don’t give them the robot-like, standard reply. Users appreciate it better when they get customized responses.
It is also helpful when you respond to customers even when they don’t mention to you directly.
A perfect example is a post made by a mother who got her 4-year old boy a birthday cake in the shape of a Zelmer vacuum cleaner since apparently, the boy was a fan.
She made a post about it on Instagram without directly mentioning Zelmer, but since they were listening, they picked up on it and responded, inviting both mother and child on a tour of their factory.
If this isn’t great PR, then nothing else is.
I have myself noticed brands paying for it in the past. They had to completely shut down. This is as important as your other marketing initiatives.
Not thinking of customer or his experience post sales is like you are not interested in getting more out of him.
Remember, your new customers are means to expansion only when you retain them. A customer spending $1000 can spend that amount again if you serve him well. Same goes with the one who spends $100.
4. Leverage social listening for influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is digital marketing on steroids.
Influencer marketing will give your business 10x the result of digital marketing. You can take advantage of this to drive leads to your business
Contrary to what you may think, these influencers are not totally unreachable. You see them on social media every day, all that is left is to get them to notice your brand, and you’re set.
Find an influencer in your niche that you want to collaborate with, note down the hashtags and keywords that they use, and add them to your listening tool.
Now create a new social listening campaign as you did for your target audience, engage them in meaningful conversations, send emails as the relationship grow stronger, and wait for an opportunity.
In this article, we’ve explored the steps you can take to generate more leads for your business using social listening insights.
Be among the small group of businesses that listen to their audience, offer an emphatic ear, and provide useful solutions.
Test the steps we’ve covered in this post and see the new leads pour in.