How Social Media Monitoring Can Generate Leads

By Markerle Davis

A good business listens to its customers and, thanks to social media, it’s easier to do that now than ever before – not just with existing clients, but potential customers and those of your rivals. Follow these simple tips and you’ll have a great chance of using social media monitoring to improve your business and generate new leads.

What is social media monitoring?

First, though, what exactly do we mean by social media monitoring? Many businesses adopt social media as a promotion tool – they use it to publicize new products or services or to announce special promotions. Social monitoring – or listening – is different. It monitors what people say about a product or a service to identify ways in which a business can improve. You could be listening for any one of a number of things – whether it’s how customers view your own products, how they interact with your competitors, what they’re looking for and what new products you could offer. That last point is possibly the most important because, if there is one thing many businesses get wrong, it’s what their customers truly want. The reason for that is simple – they ask them.

What customers want

Henry Ford once said that if he’d asked customers what they were looking for they would have said a faster horse – the idea of a car hadn’t even crossed their minds. Equally, nobody was clamoring for the iPad before it existed, but that didn’t stop it selling like hot cakes. People wanted it – even if they didn’t know it yet.

Asking customers, or potential customers, what they want is flawed because their answers will be limited by their own experiences. They can only picture things that they already know instead of imagining something which does not exist yet. Instead, businesses can listen to what they are saying as a way identifying the products which will sell.

Find out where your competitors are weak

As a business, you might spend time looking at where your competitors are strong. Using social media, you can find out where they are falling down on the job and letting their own customers down. It’s easy to do.

Simply type a competitor’s name into a search engine to see where they are being mentioned. Take note of any negative comments and what the problem is. You can also try adding words such as ‘can’t or ‘won’t’ into the search to see what they are failing to deliver. If you spot a common failing, make sure you can address that problem and ensure people know about it.

I’ve had direct experience of this. I was having a problem with a major payment platform which appeared to have lost a transaction. I wasn’t happy and expressed my discontent on Twitter. Pretty soon I was approached both by the platform itself who wanted to be seen to address the problem and also a competitor. They wanted to make it clear that their processes were much more reliable and I wouldn’t experience this same issue with them.

Locate your potential customers

Think about the kind of people you’re selling to and the kind of people you’d like to sell to. Try to find out where they spend their time online. Are they big users of Twitter or are there any discussion forums they like to hang out on? For example, if you sell to a specific business sector, it might have its own discussion forum. Sign up, listen to what’s being said and, at the appropriate time, join in. Be genuine. If you wade in with an overt plug for your product, it will stand out like a sore thumb and instead of attracting potential customers you’ll put them off for good. Be helpful, be useful and engage with them in a natural way. If you’re useful, they are more likely to become loyal and long term clients.

Get them early

Once you’ve located them, it’s time to get them early in the purchasing process. We are all becoming much smarter as consumers in the way we approach the business. According to data from MineWhat, 81% of consumers conduct research How to Manage Your Online Reputation with Social Media

  • One Easy (and Easy-to-Overlook) Way for Marketers to Adopt the Customer Mindset
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