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#SocialSelling: Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Social Lead

When I joined the team at LeadSift in November 2012 I was excited for the new challenge. The opportunity to work with such an early stage startup was exhilarating. LeadSift was going to take the idea of social lead generation suggested by social media monitoring platforms and make it a reality.  Over the last five years social media monitoring platforms were built around playing defence for your brand,  LeadSift was ready to help implement some offence into the hands of community teams.

Reflecting back to 2011 when I was selling a full suite monitoring platform, our pitch actually referred to “social ROI” as the “Return on Ignoring”. Companies were quick to purchase a monitoring platform after positioning a need to manage their reputation across social media; whether it was being first to know about a PR crisis erupting, ensuring no customer service issues were going viral, or managing product recalls, social media monitoring was adopted by many organizations overnight.

However, three years later organizations continue to struggle with their social media monitoring strategies. As a result, many niche organizations are evolving to a space where they make it easier for brands to do more than protect or share content, they are allowing  them to better participate in the relevant conversations. 2013 was coined to be the year that 1-1 engagement would happen – thankfully there are 4 months left to do so.

The plan at LeadSift is simple –  using our robust algorithm we find relevant sales leads based on geography; whether it be globally, nationally, or locally.  We then allow you to instantly engage from your social presence to begin the conversation and initiate the sales cycle.  Once you respond through LeadSift’s platform you are able to manage the conversations, track response rate, CTR, and provide additional analytics.  Our team has continued to build the platform to include additional analytics, a LeadScore, and advanced demographics to better understand the person you are engaging with.  This added information allows more insight to your audience and the opportunity to add a bit of personality as you engage.  LeadSift continues to evolve it’s platform in real- time as we incorporate the voice of our clients into our new features and adjust as we go.

Here is the textbook definition of a lead:

“ A lead, in a marketing context, is a potential sales contact: an individual or organization that expresses an interest in your goods or services. Leads are typically obtained through the referral of an existing customer, or through a direct response to advertising/publicity. A company’s marketing department is typically responsible for lead generation.”

In the past several months I have had the opportunity to discuss social leads with hundreds of business and organizations from a wide range of  industries and the general consensus is that social leads are no different than any other leads. They are “a potential sales contract”, or they “ express an interest in your goods/services”, or they are a “direct response to your advertising/marketing”

There are instances where businesses are set on only looking for “transactional leads” but then I always ask, “How do you start the transaction?”  To begin any true transaction discussion, you need to uncover their actual needs, and the only way to do so is through engagement. Whether one chooses to engage with a tweet back, reply with a question, or suggest a link to a website or other related content, social leads need to be nurtured along the path to a sale.  LeadSift has expanded the concept of a social lead to target any engagement activity that supports the brand’s presence socially.  After all, the reason we all create content and a presence in social media is to ultimately sell the products and services we offer.   We are always selling.

We can generally group the social engagement lead into 5 types:

  • Direct sales lead: The post directly states intent to purchase a product or service
  • Indirect sales lead (Also known as the Competitive lead/ Customer service lead) : The post mentions dissatisfaction with a competitive product or service. This allows you to engage, grab their attention, and ultimately position yourself as a better option.
  • Targeted social engagement: Finding relevant conversations in a targeted geography allowing you to engage and build your community presence.
  • Nice guy lead: Finding relevant conversations within a given geography and engage as a trusted community member.
  • Fan Identification lead: Finding a relevant influencer of your brand or product and working with them as an influencer.

Call them what you will, the one thing that is still missing from the “social lead “ is #hustle. Thanks to LeadSift,  beginning social selling has never been easier. If all you are interested in is collecting followers and trying to understand how a bunch of graphs and widgets will help your business socially – good luck! If you are ready to take the next step and begin engaging with the active community that is currently discussing your products or services we should chat. At LeadSift we believe organizations don’t “do” social, they “are” social.

Do you know a brand that is doing a great job with their social engagement strategy?

We would love to highlight them as the rest of the market catches up.

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27 Easy Ways to Generate Social Media Leads

Last year, 82% of social media driven leads came from Twitter. An additional 9% came from Linkedin & 9% came from Facebook. There is no question that social media is presenting businesses around the world with new opportunities to connect with customers and make additional sales. Social media is presenting businesses with an opportunity to not only turn prospects into customers but customers into raving brand advocates.

When developing your marketing plan and strategy for the upcoming year, it’s important to think about the role social media leads will play in the mix. Social media can not only drive relevant web traffic to your site but also present an opportunity to convert those in the midst of a purchasing decision. Using social media monitoring, content marketing, influencer outreach, and ongoing networking, you will have the ability to generate leads like never before.

Social Media Leads - Optify

Managing multiple social media channels and looking out for leads can be like riding on a roller coaster. While the experience can often be filled with the excitement of closing ten deals in a row, there will be moments when you look around and can’t help but be nervous about what’s coming up next. Whether it’s a customer looking to switch service providers or someone talking negative about your brand; it’s important to keep your head on straight and always look for ways to improve your ability to close and generate leads through social media.

To help you with the ongoing roller coaster, here are 27 easy ways to generate social media leads:

– Create a Twitter account and follow people talking about your brand
– Create Content that is worth talking about & sharing
– Develop a brand presence that people recognize
– Use relevant hashtags on Twitter when sharing blog posts
– Offer products & service for free in exchange for contact info
– Focus on retaining existing customers through superior service
– Engage in relevant & organic conversation with people on Twitter
– Use Facebook as a channel to spread your message more effectively
– Share updates on discounts, offers, deals and specials
– Join conversations happening within Linkedin Groups
– Optimize your website for mobile & tablet visitors
– Blog about items that your audience will find interesting & important
– Recognize and embrace soft leads just as well as hard leads
– When sharing content on Facebook ensure that your brand is present
– Optimize your sales purchasing funnel for effectiveness
– Use Quora to answer questions about your industry, business & interests
– Measure and optimize results from various channels
– Do not limit yourself to a channel because it’s popular
– Understand & utilize Linkedin & Rapporative if you’re in B2B
– Develop a CRM process that is scalable and optimized for ROI
– Look for conversations that are tied to customer churn
– Build relationships with editors at the media channels your audience reads
– Embrace two way conversation between you and your customers
– Demonstrate the personality behind the brand through Twitter
– Answer and respond to high-risk inquiries and comments
– Use social advertising when necessary to increase brand awareness
– And lastly, use a Social Lead Generation application to make it simpler!

What are some of your secrets to generating quality social media leads?

5 Steps for Generating Leads on Social Media

We have been talking about it for a while, almost under the assumption that the knowledge of how to create leads on Social Networks is engrained in every new-age, or old-school yet adaptive, businesses professional. Perhaps that was a bit hasty… and after taking a step back and looking at the big picture, we figured that it wouldn’t hurt to share our take on the almighty Social Media Lead Generation techniques everyone is seeking to master. So, without further delay, this is how we at LeadSift like generate Leads and create connections in the space, that frankly, is our Bread n’ butter. It’s as delicious as it sounds.

It’s time to be an SME
The first and important thing your social media marketing has to do is establish you or your business as an Subject Matter Expert. So, if you are the foremost authority on say, chickens, well your social media marketing better Cluck. Likewise, if you consider yourself an authority in say, Lead Generation, then you should have at least one blog post on that subject (see what we did there?)

Commit to Social
When it comes to Social Media, and most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. So, if you want your Social Media presence to grow and the leads to continue pouring in from that avenue then you have to commit to your social media presence even when you are offline. You can do this by:

  • Going to Events organised by active Twitter followers
  • Promote your social media presence in your other forms of marketing (ie. A radio ad that mentions to like your business on Facebook)
  • Incorporate social media into your networking, like by handing out Social Media Business Cards

Be a Generous Promoter
Remember it’s not all about you! Make sure your social media marketing is a dialogue and doesn’t become a monologue. Promoting others can be just as important as promoting yourself, so pay it forward by sharing the content of others. Not only will this help to further establish your community but it will also give you the opportunity to connect with a whole new community of people.

Stay Community Oriented
So you have a blog, and a twitter account, and a Facebook fan page etc etc. But do your Twitter followers know about your latest blog post? Do your Facebook fans know you are on Twitter? Cross promotion is a great way to generate leads. So do it. We like to view all of our social accounts as pieces of a bigger community, as opposed to separate entities. Treat your accounts as such and you will maximize your lead generation potential.

Experiment
There are endless approaches your business can take to developing your own social strategy, especially considering all of the content options you have, the places you can market and deliver content, and inorganic/organic marketing options. With the knowledge that no two businesses are the same, it should come as no surprise that experimenting with your marketing mix is the only way to ensure your strategy is maximizing your Social Lead generation.

So that’s how we recommend you doing it, but how about you? Have any tips that you would like to share that have allowed you to generate some solid leads? We would love to hear them, so comment below!