How to Use Social Listening to Find Qualified Sales Leads

How to Use Social Listening to Find Qualified Sales Leads

Social media is great for branding and customer service, but don’t overlook its value for lead generation as well. One of the best ways to find and generate leads is through social listening.

The great thing about using social media is it gives you the ability to find qualified sales leads, not just random people who might be interested in what you’re offering. Since people openly share information on social media, you’ll get a deeper understanding of what makes them tick.

It starts by using social media to identify what your target customer wants and needs. Then use that information to appeal to them and turn them into leads. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the entire process and show you how to launch a successful social listening campaign.

Many marketers use the phrases social listening and social media monitoring interchangeably. Don’t be fooled –  they’re not the same.

Social media monitoring is looking at individual conversations going on about your brand or target keywords, usually in real time. For example, you might monitor mentions of your brand name so you can quickly reply to customer service issues.

On the other hand, social listening gives you the ability to be more proactive in seeking and making connections. Instead of being on the lookout solely for keywords or brand mentions, you’re gathering information based on the overall sentiment and tone of conversations going on about your brand or industry on social.

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Through social listening, you can better understand:

Social listening allows you to find the exact problems and challenges your target audience has, and then create solutions to offer them that are based in the value proposition of your brand.

We’re going to walk you through how to use social listening to find qualified sales leads. Plus, you’ll see how to do it without being annoying, pushy or spammy.

First and foremost, you need a social media listening tool. Since the bulk of social listening is based on analyzing information, you need a tool that can gather all the data and present it in a way that’s a lot easier on the eyes than spreadsheets.

Sprout allows you to save specific search terms and hashtags, and track them over time. Another handy feature is the ability to tag messages. A little later on, we’ll go into more detail on why this is a game changer for using social listening.

Lastly, you have the option to create reports to see trends in the topics and hashtags you’re tracking.

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Now that you’ve chosen your tool, the next step is to put systems in place to streamline the process.

Since this process will likely involve at least two different teams – sales and social – creating systems is going to make everyone’s life easier. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to systematizing, since every company has different needs and ways of working.

So instead of laying out a specific plan, here are some suggestions on ways to streamline social listening:

We mentioned that message tagging is unbelievably valuable, and here’s why. In any given day, brands receive dozens, hundreds or even thousands of incoming messages on social. Managing all of this can get messy very quickly. Tagging gives you the ability to group similar messages together. That way you can either route certain messages to the right teams or analyze groups of messages.

Our social team at Sprout used message tagging and social listening to help identify a need for our LinkedIn analytics feature. They were able to see a trend in the volume of messages coming in requesting LinkedIn analytics, which showed our customers really wanted the feature.

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Social listening is not a replacement for social media monitoring. You still need to look at individual messages and respond to them when necessary. If someone Tweets your company asking about a service or is directly looking for products you offer, it’s an easy win.

Your process should include steps to take when a hot lead comes through social media.

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