As of 2020, research by statisca.com states that over 3.6 billion people in the world use social media. This is already 49% of the world’s population, and the numbers are projected to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025.
East Asia and North America have the highest percentage of social media users at 71% and 69% respectively. Northern Europe follows with 67%.
All these people online are not just looking at memes; conversations are happening every minute across all social media platforms. Social listening helps you not only know what is being said, but be a part of it.
Getting Started : Your Brand’s Online Presence
Pay Attention to You First.
Even as you’re studying your social media leads, they’ll be trying to learn more about you. Differentiate your brand by finding out what sets you apart and capitalizing on it.
Optimize your brand profile, clearly explaining your brand's benefits or special features.
Create a clear designer-friendly landing page. Any forms included should be simple.
Have click-worthy content. Creativity is a great way to show your originality and your brand’s persona.
Know What to Listen For
The next step is knowing your target audience and the channels they use. Find out how the channels are used and choose the ones that fit your brand or product.
Brand name, industry buzzwords, products, competitor names and products, hashtags,etc are some of the key things to monitor on social media.
Social listening tools such as SOCIALHOSE.IO help in filtering these conversations with relevance to your brand.
The Process: Getting Social Leads
According to a research by Social Media Today and Sharpspring, B2B marketers in the United States said the top social media platforms to generate leads are Facebook [82%], Linkedin [48%], Instagram [43%], Twitter [15%], Pinterest [9%], Snapchat [4%] and Others [5%].
Facebook and Instagram are better for B2C brands as customers not only ask for recommendations but talk about recent experiences or purchases.
Most B2B brands use Linkedin and 45% of marketers have gotten customers via the platform. 62% say it is effective in generating leads, as studied by Quicksprout.
Twitter, Quora and Reddit can be used for both B2B and B2C brands.
A quality lead includes useful information and clear intentions to engage with your brand. The journey to 1,000 customers begins with 1, and while you retain that one, others become interested and you can easily acquire them through interaction.
The three steps are :
- Lead Generation - the process of collecting leads on social media.
- Lead Nurturing - taking the lead through the customer journey.
- Conversion - from a lead to a sale, turning potential into pay.
Social Media Lead Generation
Social listening offers insight due to various demographic points, giving you a more complete picture of your audience. Targeting through social listening is more likely to convert a lead to a sale.
Know the Problem, Be the Solution
Knowing what people look for on social media is the key to identifying buyer intent.
Are there any common issues faced by consumers?Which of them can your brand solve?
Some of the phrases used by social media users are;
- Help - Words such as "ideas", "recommend", "help", "tips", etc are used when looking for specific answers that could result in a sale.
- Industry - These are specific to your products or industry. Common phrases include “Looking for [product] that does [task]”
- Location - While looking for products and services, most consumers opt to find the closest to them. “Looking for [service] in the South” This can help you tap into local markets.
- Transactional - Used by consumers who are ready to spend but stuck on making a decision.They look for sales, ask for prices or cheaper costs.
Each month, there are 14,000 online searches of “Can anyone recommend” and 30,000 for “Where can I buy” according to Brand24.
Keep an eye on relevant words being used, and then jump in and engage the audience. Offer advice, answer questions or give guidance emphasizing on how your brand can solve the problem.
Use Social Media Ads
With social media lead generation, you can choose organic or paid ads. The organic way works better on Twitter and Linkedin than it does on Facebook.
Paid ads help you target people with specific jobs on Linkedin, accounts with key words on Twitter, and chosen locations on Facebook.
Choose the language to use and you can also decide whether to use your own brand account or a salesperson’s.
Here is a look at some common platforms and how to navigate each.
Most brands rely solely on paid ads on Facebook as organic reach doesn’t bear much fruit.
The platform is geared more towards interaction and you’ll need to do the same to boost brand visibility. Start discussions, ask for input or anything to get people talking which they can share on their timelines.
Ensure your contact information is up to date and that your page be visually appealing.
Creating groups is a great way to generate social leads on Facebook as group posts are more likely to show up in the feed compared to brand posts.
With 675 million users, Linkedin is great for B2B social leads as most professionals are open to business talks.
The site offers post options which help target your posts even if it’s not paid. You can send the post to people based on their location or vocation.
Engage users by asking questions as Linkedin algorithms love conversation and will share your posts widely when lots of people are commenting.
Keep topics relevant to your brand and while fun pieces will do well, offering actionable insights will get you more engagement and a bigger following.
70 million dollars is spent on ads on Twitter in a year. It’s a top social media lead generation for B2B boasting 330 million active users.
Organic reach is possible with tweets and retweets and there is an audience for everyone on the platform.
You will need to build a following of people you can sell to and engage with other people in your industry to reach their networks.
Best suited for brands whose products translate to Instagram posts. For example, if you sell clothing, you’ll primarily need great quality photos of the clothes to post.
You won't be able to insert links in posts like on Facebook but you can add action buttons to your page such as ‘Book Now’ ‘Sign Up’. You can also use the ‘Swipe Up’ option on your Instagram stories.
Use hashtags to increase your reach. People actively search hashtags thus making them receptive to sales. However be careful not to overdo it, only use where applicable.
Too much content or overwhelming tweets will not endear customers to you - if anything, it looks a bit spammy. Don’t be in a rush to engage; always bear in mind that consumers post to their following not who is tracking keywords.
One thing you can always be sure of is that people want free stuff, so find out where your target audience hangs out and engage with them.
Give discount codes, invite-only content, or hold contests where you can ask participants the information you wish to learn.
As customers are letting you know their expectations or experiences with your brand, personalized offers are a huge boost towards customer loyalty.
Improved lead generation, longer times on your sites, and better sales conversion rates are some of the key benefits.
Use Social Media Influencers
Research shows influencers deliver up to ten times the ROI of digital marketing.
Choose among the influencers who have the most influence with your target audience. You can easily identify them by the number of shares or comments their posts generate.
Monitor them by the words used, analyze those and see how they actively influence their communities.
Reach out to them and collaborate. You can run Twitter chats and invite them to answer plus share with their following. This helps you increase brand awareness and you stand to gain a new market as well.
According to research by Twitter, 40% of users felt compelled to buy after seeing an influencer’s tweet.
Are you ready to start social listening for free?
Respond in Real Time
Ensure you have a system in place to support customer inquires. Tools like Call-To-Action buttons are great but once the customer has signed up or booked, what next?
54% of social media users have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service.
According to Social Habit, 32% of users expect a response in 30 minutes and 42% in 60 minutes.
Customers may reach out directly or by mentioning they use your products and with social listening tools. You can catch any mention and make the first move.
If you’re not responding in real time, you are losing leads to your competition. Late responses are hurtful to your brand and may cost you sales, therefore be sure to ensure proper customer service is in place.
Build relationships with consumers even if they are not buying right away. Ask for feedback, be accountable, and offer tips. Show them that your brand listens and cares.
In 2016 on Twitter, Elon Musk responded to a complaint about Tesla and within 6 days, Tesla Motors had a solution as a number of consumers had raised the same issue.
Engaging with your customers builds retention. For instance, Nike has a twitter account solely for support issues and other times, they spot a trend and address it.
Capitalize on Competition
Social listening is important not just to track your mentions but those of the competition as well.
Look for disgruntled clients of other brands and show ways that your brand can give a better solution.
Jump into conversations where necessary. Clients may not have heard of your brand and this may offer you sales opportunities.
The goal is to help your brand’s visibility not tarnish your competition.
Take Advantage of Your Location
You can set up relevant keywords in the area where your operations are based.
Twitter and Instagram are great for this. You can set up alerts for new mentions so you can engage potential social leads as soon as they pop up.
Social Media Monitoring and Social Listening
Imagine a relationship and your partner is upset. You know that they are but you won’t solve anything by simply being aware.
Social media monitoring only makes you aware of conversations happening while social listening helps you understand what is being said.
Here a few more notable differences;
- Reactive vs Proactive - Monitoring focuses more on responding to issues as they happen while listening prompts you to step back from responding and analyze broader patterns.
- Numbers vs Sentiments - Metrics like mentions, hashtags, industry trends are used in monitoring. While this is great for campaigns, what you do with the collected data is where you start the process of social listening, going beyond numbers to understand the sentiment.
Social media lead generation is more effective when incorporating these two. Monitor your brand mentions and those of your competitors then analyze that information in order to put what you found into action.
Effective Social Listening Tips
Social listening as mentioned, goes beyond data to understand the mood behind it.
This helps you analyze gathered information and then use it to inform your marketing strategies.
Here are a few useful tips;
- Listen everywhere - there is no shortage of social media conversations therefore choose keywords to enter into social media lead generation tools and monitor each.
- Learn from your competitors - find out what makes them great or not so great and incorporate in your strategies.
- Team effort - collaborate with relevant departments such as Marketing, Customer Service and Product Development.
- Adapt to the changes - new developments come up often in social media and it is important to ensure your brand remains relevant to continue driving social leads. Read industry related material or attend webinars where possible.
- Take action - customers will only feel heard when action is taken.
Social listening takes time and there are processes to be followed. Customizing your content helps improve the overall consumer experience thus maintaining steady growth for your brand. Listen closely but watch from far to see the big picture.
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