Social networking has changed the way businesses communicate with their customers and prospects. Now, businesses can leverage platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to actually generate leads for them. That’s right! When used properly, social networking can actually get your business more customers.
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Social networking can help your business do many things:
Learn more about your target audience
Gain vital feedback about your products and services
Improve customer loyalty
Attract more prospects
Monitor your brand’s reputation
Reduce the cost of building leads
Of course, if you’re not tracking your leads through social networking, you’ll never know if you’re getting results or not. A lot of social media marketing detractors like to claim that there’s no way to effectively track the effectiveness of a social media campaign, but that’s simply not true.
The first step to getting a lead is to connect with potentials customers and capture their contact information. With Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even blogging, getting contact information from your prospects is easy. The key is to build relationships with your online connections, so you earn their trust and they open themselves up to your marketing message.
You also need to engage the prospects. This means starting a dialogue. Get them to respond to your Facebook wall posts, Tweets, blog posts, and other social media messages. Reply back to them any time you see them posting online. Most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Learn about their needs and expectations. You really can get some great insight into your target audience’s mindset if you pay attention. Then, you can adjust your approach and your sales message accordingly to better connect with them.
When engaging prospects through social media DO NOT try and force your sales message down their throats. This will only frustrate the prospects and turn them off of your brand. Also don’t be pushy or overly aggressive. Online communication is not the same as face to face communication, as your online prospects can quickly make an exit and avoid your messages. And most importantly don’t speak before you listen. You want to hear what your customers have to say and think of things in a problem-solution manner. In other words, what can you do for them?
Tracking your progress
Social networking success is all about being human. You have to create a relationship, and that can take a little bit of time.
As you start cultivating these relationships, it’s important to begin tracking your leads. The sales and marketing team should keep notes of all relevant contact information from hot prospects in order to formulate a strategy for moving the prospect forward in the sales process.
To simplify lead tracking through social media, you should integrate this into a cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) system. This is known as social CRM. This streamlines the lead tracking process and does away with paper tracking. Whatever information you enter will be updated across all channels, giving your sales team access to information on all of your leads from their computers or internet-equipped cell phones.
When you track your business’ social networking lead generation efforts using a cloud-based CRM system, you’ll ensure that no sales leads slip through the cracks. This helps you maximize the effectiveness of your social networking campaign.
You can also join our Digital Marketing course for more.