Let’s put it this way: if the online space, especially a company’s website, is such a huge marketing tool—the place where the majority of consumers (or other businesses) go to find out about your brand—then why wouldn’t social media/online interaction be a great place to find people seeking your product and/or service?
People are out there looking, and social media channels are the perfect way for them to ask questions about what they need to know. Usually a person’s social network consists of like-minded individuals (you choose who you follow/friend/engage with…right?), so needless to say if someone asks a question via social media it’s because they trust their peers to answer.
That being said, companies have an opportunity for lead gen if they only listen to what people are saying online. Are they asking about your industry? Are they seeking something you can offer? Find out. It’s as simple as setting up a search in your TweetDeck column for keywords that pertain to your industry.
There are other ways to monitor what’s being said about your brand online—ranging from free tools to very expensive ones—but if you’re still not sold on social media as a means for lead gen, then here are additional reasons that might convince you:
It’s more informed than cold calling
Assuming that you’re listening/monitoring social channels before reaching out to people, you’re already more informed than you would be by making a cold call. You at least know that the person(s) are a part of your industry/looking for something offered in your industry. You might have seen them specifically ask a question, or maybe they repeatedly talk about a subject. Either way, you can make informed interaction with them because you know they have an interest in what you have to offer (on some level) and can follow through accordingly.
You’re able to immediately engage with the person seeking something
As soon as you’re aware that someone might be a lead, you can immediately begin to communicate with them. What’s more: you can just as quickly direct them to any content on the web, whether it’s your website, other collateral, a blog, a YouTube channel for your brand, etc. The point is that you have an opportunity to immediately link to a plethora of rich media content within minutes of engaging with them. When, in the history of sales and marketing, has this been possible before?
It’s less invasive
Although social media provides an opportunity for real-time communication, it also can occur on both people’s schedules. Everyone gets swamped from time to time, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in what a company has to offer. With social channels, you’re able to operate at everyone’s convenience. The “lead” answers when they can instead of getting turned off by your incessant phone call follow ups. Don’t underestimate the less invasive, yet still engaging approach that social media offers.
Overall, this can be an argument for why social media should be embodied by companies. It shouldn’t only be a part of marketing and PR, but also sales (as well as HR, customer service, etc.). If the sales team becomes well-versed in social media, you’ve now opened up yet another (possibly more popular) method for lead gen.
Image Credit: Today In Art