Too often, businesses get caught up in the marketing game that they forget what it’s like to be on the other side as a consumer. And while it may be tempting to think in terms of sales revenue, having a consumer frame of mind will allow your brand to anticipate their needs and desires before competitors reach them.
Social Prospecting is the action of searching for potential prospects, engaging them and attracting them into your site so when they view your content and landing pages, they are converted into leads.
To illustrate this point, consider a recent college graduate who tweeted about landing a job in Los Angeles, and evaluate your marketing strategies from her perspective.
- Be Proactive.
Ask yourself what questions she may be having and provide solutions. While she may have not directly announced that she is apartment hunting, it can be inferred as the traditional first step someone takes when moving to a new city. Certainly respond with helpful information and contribute to conversation when appropriate, but waiting for someone to explicitly mention a key phrase or hashtag is reactive.
- Send information in a genuine fashion to build relationships.
As an affordable, yet luxurious apartment complex located in the city of L.A., you can provide a long-term home for this prospect. However, she likely won’t be ready to sign a lease after one interaction and can quickly see through insincerity. Instead, provide her with relevant and useful information such as a website listing of fun things to do in L.A. for young people or a blog post about ways to meet people in a new city, topics which are indirectly related to your business. While sending helpful content to prospects, you are simultaneously maintaining awareness in their minds, and when it comes time to make a purchase, your brand will be at forefront of that decision.
- Convey the intersection of where your business meets their needs.
A response is not an invitation to initiate a hard sell, but rather an opportunity to continue the conversation by sharing supportive and applicable content. Once someone is determined sales-ready, though, show how the services your business provides align with their individualized needs. Keep the consumer’s best interests in mind when pitching products. How will living in your apartment complex benefit her, the recent college grad?
- Be Patient.
If she sees something she likes, she’ll let you know. If not, you still haven’t lost. This strategy has allowed you to create brand awareness and appear genuine, instead of revenue-hungry. In the future, with you at the top of mind, you may have a sale!
When given the task of social prospecting, remember the golden rule. If you are out there, consistently and genuinely providing helpful resources to prospects, you will soon find a pool of people interested in your business. Once the foundation is laid and a trustworthy relationship is established, you can invite prospects to your website to attain the solutions they are looking for and you provide.