What Is Social Prospecting?

02 February, 2015

Today we are witnessing a major shift in marketing strategy. Outbound marketing tactics like TV and radio advertising, cold calling, direct mailing, etc. are not as effective as they used to be, and in this digital world we are living in, they are being replaced by Inbound Marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO.
Marketing is no longer about broadcasting your messages to as many people as you can, hoping that someone will listen. It's more about creating remarkable content that your prospects are searching for so they find you. It's more like being a magnet that attracts prospects.

According to the HubSpot report of the State of Inbound, the average cost per lead is 61% lower via inbound marketing than outbound marketing. In addition, the average website conversion rates more than double with inbound marketing.

With over 1.39 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2014, on Facebook and over 284 million monthly active users on Twitter. So it’s no surprise that 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites (Source: HubSpot), and 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media (Source: Social Media Examiner).

These stats show a huge opportunity that by utilizing social media networks, you can identify, attract and engage with prospects to show them how your product or service offering can help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges. Social Prospecting can do this.

What is social prospecting? 

Social prospecting is the art of listening to people’s conversations on Social Media networks, not mentions or keywords. It's about scouring social networks, identifying potential prospects, and engaging them through remarkable, relevant, and personalized content to get them to your site and move them through your funnel.

Why is social prospecting important? 

According to CEB, 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier. In addition, today’s buyers are now Web and social savvy, and they’re much more willing to communicate and engage with vendors on social networks.

LinkedIn released an excellent study; here’s the infographic; They found that:

  • 84% of social buyers make purchases for their entire company, business unit
  • Only 56% of buyers who don’t use social have that level of purchasing influence.
  • Social buyers spend $356K per purchase on average, 84% more than other B2B buyers.
    Frequent purchases
  • Social buyers make 19.8 purchasing decisions each year, 61% more than other B2B buyers.

What keywords or phrases should you listen to? 

Identify the keywords or phrases that are of interest to your brand or industry, keywords that people use to find your business, product, or service through search. Also include keywords about your products or services that you want people to search for to see if people are discussing that via social media.

One thing to keep in mind - experiment, test, analyze, and repeat test! Don’t be afraid to try looking at different keywords or phrases.

What content should be shared when social prospecting? 

When creating content, you should create it so others will resonate with your prospects, which means they will be compelled to share it. Spend enough time on it that it will be relevant for more than a day or a tweet.

People come in different shapes, sizes, and personalities, and their preference of the way they consume content varies based on their demographics and your industry type. Content comes in many different types and forms, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, memes, eBooks, etc. Based on your target audience, you will need to experiment with different types of content, and based on the results, you will figure out which types are best suited for them.

How to measure your social prospecting efforts success? 

To be able to measure the effectiveness or the success of your social prospecting efforts, first, you need to set the goals of your social prospecting.

That goal should be a SMART goal, which means specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. For example, a smart goal for your social prospecting plan can be to increase website visits by 50% (1,000 per month to 1,500 per month) for our new product launch by March next year.

Your goals for sure will be different,  and they depend on your business objective. For example, it could be the number of downloads, leads generated, etc...

Social prospecting provides you with a huge opportunity to identify and engage with new prospects and get your brand, product, or service out there. However, your content offering will be the determining factor of your success.

Creating remarkable, relevant, and personalized content will stand out from other content on the Internet and will attract your target audience to read and share. 



My name is Izzy and I am a co-founder of IDS, an award-winning HubSpot Solutions Partner. I lead our team of consultants who provide professional guidance to help businesses implement the HubSpot CRM platform migrate, integrate their tech stack to HubSpot to create a seamless environment for sales reps to use. There is nothing I love more than solving the challenges that come up when someone wants to migrate an old system or integrate their tech stack with HubSpot - it's like a puzzle!

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