In today’s digital world, it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t engage on social media no matter what demographic they are in. Gone are the days of being nervous of our parents having a Facebook account when in these times family events and social gatherings are easier to plan online.

Key Stat: According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of adults in the US are on at least one social media site.

social media lead generation

If you’re in the business of gaining prospects, your role will be a lot more challenging if you don’t take advantage of the information your potential clients already provide online. Investing in social media lead generation (using social for prospecting new leads) is extremely effective when done right.

Interested in learning how to get started?

The following steps will take you through what to look for when it comes to navigating social media platforms for prospecting success.

Research and Identify Your Prospects

social media lead generation 

Before you even begin to engage with your prospects, do a bit of research online to develop a list of the type of clients you are looking for. Social media lead generation doesn’t mean you randomly select and message any account with your pitch. Once you fall into the area of spam, you have already failed.

Find prospects who are both similar to the clients you already have, as well as ones who you would like to have, but may be a bit more challenging or seem out of reach. You never know what can happen when prospecting through social media, and since this method develops a tailored pitch for your prospect, every attempt is great practice or future business.

Take your list of prospects and find out their social media profiles on the different platforms that exist. You’ll definitely want to look at the big three of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can simply type in their name into the search fields on those sites, or go directly to the prospect’s website where it’s likely they will already be linked.

Find prospects who are both similar to the clients you already have, as well as ones who you would like to have, but may be a bit more challenging or seem out of reach. Click To Tweet

To take this a step further, find out who the exact people are that you want to be talking to.

Check out the “Our Team” or “About Me” sections of a prospect’s website to find biographies and information of key players within the company. You should see if they have their own individual social media profiles to follow and be sure to include LinkedIn in this type of search.

Do Not Introduce and Pitch Yourself Right Away

social media lead generation

Editor’s Note

Just a reminder that social media is fantastic for lead generation and initial contact. That said, it should (almost) always be used in conjunction with other methods. 

Often times, decision makers only take one method seriously. Meaning, they may not respond to messages on LinkedIn, but reply to emails. (And vice versa.)

Using 3-4 different outreach methods ensures that you saturate your lead pool just enough to maximize response. Using social media lead generation is a great start, but we recommend plugging that data into a tool and filling in the holes (i.e. physical address, email, etc.). 

For instance, 

You can definitely do some great preliminary research on potential leads via social, send them a cold email and then request an add on LinkedIn. (All of which you can do using LeadFuze.)

Just because you’ve now identified and followed your prospect on social media, doesn’t mean you’re ready to engage with them or have a well-developed pitch to send their way. Remember that social media lead generation is not the digital world equivalent of cold-calling on the telephone. This strategy means more work for a customized pitch to increase your chances of gaining business.

At this stage you want to get a feel for your prospect’s social media behaviors. Observe how and when they choose to engage online through their profiles. Are they more active first thing in the morning or do they tend to post more actively after the work day is over?

Other behaviors to look at are the type of posts and information they are putting online. Are the majority of their posts recycled from other social media accounts or do they take a more active personal approach and share their opinions and ideas to their followers?

Important Point

Remember that, on personal accounts, some people will have a disclaimer that “retweets are not endorsements.” When it comes to a business’s social media profile, it’s more than likely that any shared posts are in line with their own values or something that they relate to or support as a company.

Businesses use social media to not only showcase their brand and values, but to also engage with their own customers. If your prospect regularly interacts with customers on their own social media profiles, then it’s easy to assume that their level of social media savvy will lend itself well to your prospecting strategy.

Knowing when your prospect engages on social media will also give you guidance on when you should interact with them for your pitch. It’s difficult to know how many messages a person or business gets on a daily basis or how often they check their inbox, but they are more likely to see your message if they are already actively interacting online at the time you send it.

Build Your Personalized Pitch

social media lead generation

You are now ready to introduce yourself to your prospect. It’s important to think about every line in the initial message that you send them and to plan to tailor your pitch to be in line with how your prospect uses social media.

And perhaps they followed you back after you followed them. Good. It means they’re already receptive to listening.

Or maybe they recently put out a blog about the types of tools and services they use to keep their business running, and you happen to know of a way that they can do it better.

Notes such as these that you would have made during your research steps are the key to building your pitch. Consider how you yourself might personally use social media or online business listings and review sites to find a company that can fulfill a service you need. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect.

What needs do you think your prospect has and what services can you provide to help them be better at what they do? Even though this is the basis of your pitch strategy, don’t forget to make it personal. In the world of social media, people appreciate the human factor behind the digital profiles and no one wants to feel like they are being pitched to by a robot.

Conversions Come from Conversations that Count

social media lead generation

More on the robot thing. Seriously, just don’t do it. When the point of social media is to in fact, be social, you can’t approach a prospect with a general scripted sales pitch that you could use on just anyone.

This is another point where posted content comes into play. Are your prospects already social media influencers? Do they write blogs on their company website or participate in common hashtag themes like #MotivationMonday? These are great opportunities to get in there and get a conversation going.

It’s very likely that your prospect would love feedback on their blog, or discuss the issues that it covers even further. What you have to make sure is that you are genuine about it. These days most people can see right through a sales pitch, and they’re less likely to be responsive if they feel that’s the only reason you contacted them.

Remember that you have to present something of value to your prospect, and a great way to do that is through conversations that help you understand them more. If you have genuine interest in the content or posts they create, then re-share them if they’re in line with your company values and interests.

The authenticity of your voice and the value that you represent to your prospect as a contact is what will drive the conversation, and hopefully the conversion, further.

Use Social Media to Highlight Your Own Values

Let’s flip roles for a second. Don’t forget that prospects can also come to you organically. Even based on your own social media posts. Do you openly and regularly interact with your clients through social media? Do you write your own blog posts that are relevant to your industry?

When there is potential for conversion, don’t doubt that a prospect will research you while they are making their decision. The more activity that you present on social media, the more authentic you become when reaching out to prospects through the same platforms you use daily.

Part of showing the value of your services is showcasing the relationships you already have with your current clients. If one of your clients announces some great news or an amazing achievement, you should boost that announcement in a post on social media. This shows that you truly care about the relationships you have within your network and about the success of those you work with.

The more activity that you present on social media, the more authentic you become when reaching out to prospects through the same platforms you use daily. Click To Tweet

To be successful in connecting and engaging with prospects through social media, you have to show that you can present the services and value you provide on the different social media networks you’re using.

If you want to go even further, consider endorsing your prospect through your own social media channels, because they’ve done something that you feel is valuable to your network. What better way to introduce yourself to a company than to compliment what they do?

Things to Remember

The rules of traditional methods of prospecting still apply. The ways in which we can reach new clients has simply evolved. But don’t be too long winded in your pitch, and remember to create a mutually beneficial conversation that doesn’t waste anyone’s time.

Even though the above process may seem quite lengthy, it can actually decrease the time spent on your sales process because your initial research and early conversations help build up to securing your first official sales meeting.

Social media is a great tool in the sales process to build your reputation and easily and quickly display the services that you provide. Your own social media profiles may provide the validation a prospect needs to move forward.

Most importantly, remember that you are prospecting actual people. So make sure you’re being social, genuine, and conversational. You won’t get conversions by being an unidentifiable obscure business. But you can do by personifying your values and services in transparent and authentic ways.

Brought to you by the experts at RepCheckup.

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Garrett Smith
About Author: Garrett Smith
Garrett is the President & CEO of RepCheckup, an online review management software used by small to medium businesses. He has been helping businesses thrive through sales and marketing since 1999.