Prior to the use of the Internet for EVERYTHING, sales people generated leads by pounding the pavement and meeting people face-to-face. They were out of the office networking with people or they were cold calling monstrous lists of names.
Now we’re spoiled! We’ve got Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to use as connection tools to find our qualified leads. Although nothing will take the place of a good ol’ face-to-face conversation, we can use technology to our advantage to build our prospect lists more quickly.
Use the Search Tools
Each social media platform has a ‘search’ function, which allows you to find people by name, location or specific keywords. If you’re just starting to set up your social media profiles, start by connecting with your current customers and start interacting with them.
Even if there’s been some time since you’ve reached out to them, it’s alright to connect on social media. They can then decide if they want to follow you but the key is to get them engaged. Don’t just follow people so you can see the names of THEIR followers. No one wants to be used like that.
If you’re looking for local connections, be sure to use your town, city or state name when you search. This helps to laser focus your search so only those relevant to those keywords appear in the results. If you’re looking to connect with chiropractors in Denver, for instance, it won’t help you to find chiropractors in Los Angeles.
Join a Group
LinkedIn is the perfect example of how you can use groups to find leads. Facebook also has groups but LinkedIn is considered the most professional of the social media platforms.
If you want to reach Human Resources professionals, LinkedIn has a group for that. No matter what target demographic you’re searching for, do a LinkedIn search and chances are good you’ll find a group there.
You have the option of joining the group yourself or connecting with the people in the group individually. Some groups may be private, in which case you’ll need to get approval before you can join and start posting.
Engage Your Audience
For social media to be a worthwhile part of your lead generation efforts, you need to actually interact with your audience. People will only follow you back if they see you having conversations with others on a regular basis or offering helpful tips.
Let’s turn the tables a bit. Would YOU want to follow someone who only spoke about himself and his products? That would get old pretty fast, kind of like the kid in college who was right about everything, knew the answer to every question and always had to throw in his opinion.
To make social media work for you, be helpful to your followers by offering tips or asking questions about what they need. If you start offering enough helpful advice, then your followers will start referring you to other people, who will in turn refer you to people in their circle, and who knows how many of those people will become leads for you.
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