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. Its more about creating remarkable content that your prospects are searching for so they find you. Its more like being a magnet that attracts prospects.
According to HubSpot report of the State of Inbound, the average cost per lead is 61% lower via inbound marketing as compared to outbound marketing, and 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. 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 shows that there is 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. This can be done by Social Prospecting.
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, and 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. Today’s buyers are now Web and social savvy, and they’re much more willing to communicate and engage with vendors on social networks.
- 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.
- 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 websites visits by 50% (1,000 per month to 1,500 per month) for our new product launch by March 30th, 2015.
Your goals for sure will be different, and they depend on your business objective. 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 standout from other content on the Internet and will attracts your target audience to read and share. For more details on social prospecting please download The Entrepreneur's Guide To Social Media Prospecting via the link below. I hope you find it useful.