Social Media for Sales Leads in 4 Steps

By: Lien Brusselmans

September 5, 2012

social media analytics
social media for sales
social media monitoring

Social Media is the ideal place to pick up new sales leads. People who are searching for a certain product or service, will often ask their friends for advice. In real life, for sure, but definitely also online. Who hasn’t seen tweets in their timeline by people asking for tips when buying a new laptop, smartphone or car? Here’s some guidelines on how you can use Social Media for sales leads, summed up in 4 steps.

Step 1: Pick up online sales leads

Ideally you use an online monitoring tool to pick up new sales leads online. You can, of course, always use a combination of Google, Twitter search, Facebook search and maybe some other tools. However, doing it all with one tool, is just a lot simpler.

With a smart keyword search it’s quite easy to pick up sales leads about the product or service you sell. All you have to do is put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If someone is in doubt about which product to buy (a Dell, Apple or Acer laptop), what will this person say? Probably something like “I’m thinking about buying/I’m going to buy/I need a new laptop. Any tips what brand I should buy?”. As a keyword search I would then go for: (“thinking about” OR “going to” OR need) AND (“new laptop”). In normal language, this means one of the first word groups has to appear in the same message as “new laptop”. You insert this keyword search in the tool, and it picks up all the messages that contain those specific keywords.

Step 2: Discern the relevant messages

Of course, not all mentions your tool picks up will be relevant. As time goes by, you’ll get a better idea of what people say when thinking about buying your product or service. This means that through trial and error you will be able to optimize your query, so that after a while you only pick up relevant messages.

Another way of detecting these sales leads, is by monitoring your entire industry. Say you work for a company that sells motorbikes and you start monitoring your entire industry, just to be in the know of everything that’s being said about it online. How can you do this? Again by using a monitoring tool and setting up a keyword search. This means you will be able to keep track of everything that’s being said about the motorbike industry. To detect sales leads, this overflow of information isn’t ideal. Using a tool in which you can easily discern the sales leads, saves you a lot of time and effort. Even better is when these sales leads are immediately emailed or assigned to the right people in your team. These are things you should pay attention to when deciding on the tool you’re going to use.

Step 3: Act on the sales leads

Okay, once you’ve detected these sales leads, it’s time to do something with them. Tweeting or commenting on the message with a “Buy our product/service, it’s the best!” (doesn’t matter in which wordings you wrap it up) is not enough. People are looking for advice, other people’s experiences, in short: information. They want to make the right decision, they want to know what they’re buying. That’s why you should approach these people giving them information on you product or service. In the second case, you can offer them a free trial or a demo, so that they can try it out for themselves. In case you’re selling a product, you can guide the customer towards your website where they can find elaborate information on that product. You can also share a link to positive reviews or user experiences.

Step 4: Follow-up on the lead

At that moment it’s up to the client. Some of them will appreciate the information and will probably respond to you. Others might appreciate the information, check it out, but won’t let you know. In my opinion, it’s best to give them some time and after a few days, get back to them to see whether you can help them with anything else. If not, so be it. If so, good luck convincing them of your product or service’s quality!

Summing up

The sales process can often take several days, more often several weeks, depending on what you’re selling. It’s very important to keep a good overview of the steps you’ve already taken with a certain lead. Have you already shared information? Did he/she respond? Have you already followed up on the lead? Again, an all-in-one tool is your friend!