Being able nurture prospects via social media is becoming more of a skill and more important. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) have released research (October 2012) revealing that 55% of UK organisations have now adapted their business strategies to become more social.
The same research also showed that 45% of marketing and sales departments are using the medium to raise awareness of their brand but only 28% are using it to actually interact with their audience.
Although many marketers now look towards social networks to initiate (and maintain) relationships with customers, the essence of two-way communication is frequently overlooked.
Prospects are not always ready to buy upon initial contact – they need to be nurtured throughout the five key stages of the decision making process.
It is also important to remember that social media not only requires a good content strategy, but also involves active listening.
Here’s just a few ways you can use social media to nurture your prospect:
- Ensure you add all of your contacts to your LinkedIn network (with a personalised request). Update your status frequently (2-3 times per week) so that you always appear within a newsfeed.
- Like / comment on the updates posted by people within your networks.
- On Twitter – be polite. Thank people for following, for mentions, for re-tweets (but don’t over do it!).
- Share and reply publicly to from those you follow / are connected to.
- Use searches on key terms that you’re expert in. Share your knowledge with those individuals and then begin to develop those relationships.
Delving deeper and finding out about the individual
It’s not always about broadcasting or interacting with social media. You can also use the content of prospects’ social media streams to really get to know a person before you meet them.
By reviewing what they’re talking about and the personal information they reveal on their profiles, you can gain valuable insight about them to embark on a meaningful conversation when you meet them.
You can determine the extent of their need or get a picture of their likes, dislikes, family life or favourite football team. Find that connection is one of the keys to developing real relationships – the rest is down to you.