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5 Things Brands Wish They Knew Before Selling on Social Media

For brands, selling on social media is still a scary endeavour. We’ve decided that being active on social media is important for brands. The vast majority have jumped on board. Many are there but just don’t see the value. Justifying its presence is difficult in the age of shrinking budgets especially with no direct contribution to the company’s bottom line. Selling on social media and interacting with people who need your product is the next evolution and it’s already here.

If you’re interested in social media as a selling tool you’re already ahead of the curve. Big questions on your mind should be:

How do I do it right?

How do I make 1 to 1 engagement worth my time?

We’ll give you the rundown.

1. Get out there and find your customers.

Wait to be found and they will find someone else.

Just like traditional selling you need to pound the pavement make connections and meet new people.

New customers within your current followers on twitter are a small fraction of those that are out there asking for your product. Going out and interacting with users that have questions or are shopping for what you offer is key to increasing sales.

I’m sure you’ve heard about carving out a niche on Twitter but for social selling when you engage with users, potential customers see your brand as approachable and informative. This promotes a level of credibility and trust. Trust is at the heart social selling.

2.The Hard Sell is Challenging

The reason brands are scared of social media is lack of control. Direct pressure or a hard sell can backfire on social media. We’ve all seen it happen. A brand getting heavy handed or rude is more exposed on social. With the added potential of going viral they can get in over their heads simply from a series of tweets. Pressure sales don’t work when the playing field is leveled. Being delicate and courteous throughout your engagement is paramount.

3. When selling on twitter becomes a helpful resource first, sales come later.

The intention of selling out of the gates stops customers from warming to the idea and are more likely to shut down than being drawn in. After a number of these conversations users will see you as approachable with a wealth of knowledge.

4. Don’t automate your responses.

Put people on the other end and there will be a noticeable difference.

Automated messages are easy to spot. Even if it’s on social it’s still spam and will get ignored. Putting a person on the other end reinforces a personal connection.

It also helps build trust in your brand. A person behind the post personalizes the brand. Don’t worry, each response need not be completely organic. The important part is tailoring your message to be specific to the tweet the response is directed at.

5. Target Your Audience Correctly

Targeting the right people at the right time in the right state of mind

This is the biggest piece. Proper targeting and reaching out to the right people at the right time is a huge part of the battle.

To save time make sure you are looking specifically for people who need what you are selling. With other types of marketing you can target based on demographic info such as Male 18-24. Leadsift allows you to drill down to a customer’s current need. If they are asking for it on social media already, it’s becomes multiple times easier to swoop in and save the day.

Marketing has tailored itself to be one message fits all for the better part of a century. This is where that changes. It’s time to step back from untraceable TV spots or banner ads. The era of engagement has arrived, have you?

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Cossette East Announces Partnership with LeadSift

Cossette East announced today that is has partnered with LeadSift to help its clients cut through the noise of social media. The international agency’s Atlantic Canadian office is among the first to capitalize on LeadSift’s capabilities.

LeadSift cuts through the noise of social media to find relevant, timely and actionable opportunities for targeted engagement with customers and prospects. LeadSift strives to go beyond the standard keyword search found on Twitter to truly understand who’s looking for the products or services that you offer. The delivery of timely and relevant business opportunities can drive meaningful results ranging from brand advocacy, stronger customer engagement and an increase in sales.

“Our platform sifts through conversations happening online 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We analyze organic conversations with our LeadScore and filter out the noise to deliver only the best,” explains Tukan Das, CEO of LeadSift. “The number of opportunities that exist on social media is extensive; agencies and brands alike need to be efficient in cutting through the noise and finding true value. The LeadSift platform helps them do just that.”

“It’s always been a priority for us to drive real results for our clients using new media channels” said Bill Murphy (President of Cossette East). “Whether it’s through brand campaigns or platforms like LeadSift, we’re focused on providing our clients with solutions that will help them achieve success. LeadSift provides us with a portal that gives us a closer look at what consumers are saying and an opportunity to drive real results for our clients”

About LeadSift. LeadSift strives to bring brands closer to their customers. Our technology sifts though massive amounts of social data so brands can easily identify customers and engage with them within context. We’ve scanned and analyzed millions of conversations online to develop an algorithm that indicates relevance and purchase intent within social posts. Social media shouldn’t be overwhelming, instead, it should connect brands with customers to drive trust and value, and we’re here to make sure of it.

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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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Introducing The Bieber Rank: Cutting Through the Social Noise

Justin Bieber. Biebez. The Biebernator. Bieberlicious.

Whatever you want to call him, you sure can surely leave it to Bieber to send millions of teenage tweeters into a frenzy about any brand or product in front of them. He’s one of the most influential artists on Twitter and has a following of millions and millions of Beliebers all over the world.

Over the last few years, more and more teens and pre-teens are heading to twitter to share their thoughts and trending topics. In fact, recent studies show a potential trend growing within teens, in which they are leaving Facebook for Twitter for their conversations. These teens go here to talk about one another, talk about the products they love and show the world how awesome their life is by sharing pictures from parties and school dances. And maybe, if they create a big enough following and can capitalize on a few trending topics, they’ll get a follow from Justin Bieber.

Recognizing the handful of tweets being sent by these young Beleibers; we’ve crafted what we call….

“The Bieber Rank”

The Bieber Rank is our way of ensuring that when we’re sifting through conversations, we’re not sending you the young Beliebers wishing their parents would buy them a new Audi TT or Macbook Pro. Using Machine Learning techniques we have devised a process: given a twitter bio that we can predict if what was once considered a lead is actually just a wishful teenager.

While we recognize that some industries are relevant to this audience, some industries are not. The reason behind developing this algorithm is to ensure that we can offer businesses optimized lead qualification. For example, the tweet “I Need a car” is a string of content that demonstrate strong purchase intent, UNLESS it comes from a 14 year old kid who is simply wishing they could runaway from home because Bieber has a new girlfriend. To avoid this issue, we designed what we call an age identification process. Here’s the process:

LeadSift-Belieber-Algorithm-Web

The age identification process is our way of ensuring that the leads businesses receive through our platform are optimized for potential success. To ensure this, we look at over 15 different signals in a users twitter bio, their previous and posts and friend networks to assign a probability score to see if they are likely a teenager or an adult.

Now ladies, don’t stress. We still don’t know your exact age. We only look at leads to see if they are a teenager or not and use that score to weigh their value to potential businesses. Belieb it or not.

(Pun overload?)

 

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LeadSift Launch – Welcome to Social Selling!

We’re proud to announce the LeadSift launch as we open up the platform to serve relevant social leads to all businesses looking to drive sales and grow their businesses via social media.

After months of beta testing and gathering feedback, we collected data that’s so compelling that we’re extremely excited to bring the power of social selling to the rest of the world. During our tests, we’ve observed increases of site traffic up to 100%, increase in follower counts from 0 to 102 within 2 weeks (no spam-bots) and unheard of click through rates of 16%-25%. Simply put, customers engage with you more when you actually talk to them one-on-one instead of shoving unwanted generic advertisement in their face. Who knew!?

Using our web-app, clients are able to find, engage with and track targeted social conversations and fill their sales funnel while nurturing a healthy social community. In the easy to use cloud platform, they can set up geo-targeted projects and start receiving leads that’s relevant to them within minutes of getting started. LeadSift provides further qualifying demographic and psychographic insights for these leads to make it easy to engage with their customers in a personal level. For example, if a customer posts that they’re looking to buy a car, LeadSift provides insights such as they have a family and a pet so the social sales agent can suggest a larger car to accommodate their needs and thus, instantly bringing them closer to their customers.

If you’re already using a social media monitoring platform but need help cutting through the noise and finding engage-able leads without sifting through the massive amounts of data – NO problem. LeadSift is integrated to SalesForce Marketing Cloud (Insights partner) and HootSuite (App Exchange) to help you find relevant leads right within your workflow so you can stop digging for valuable conversations and start investing the time in actually building meaningful relationships with  your customers.

So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level in the evolution of social media, we’d love to hear from you and show you a demo for how you can cut out the noise and engage with your customers with targeted conversations!