How to find your prospects using social media

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Social media is a great conversion tool. It can pull prospects to your website and help to move them from prospect to customer. While you can learn about the best practices of various social media platforms all day and educate yourself on what to put out there, if your prospects aren’t using social media, the question begs: how do you reach them?

Do your homework

Are you sure your prospects aren’t really using social media? Before making any assumptions, take some time to look at the data. According to Pew Center Research 65 percent of adults now use social networking sites. This is a nearly tenfold jump in the past decade. Chances are relatively high that your prospects are actually using social media.

However, if you’re not sure whether specific audience members are in the mix or not, there are ways to go about verifying usage. Email marketing is a good way to make that connection. If you have a list of prospects, the direct approach is often most helpful. Consider sending out a survey and asking about social media usage. The results will give you verification one way or another.

If you fear you’re not getting the traffic you desire on your current social media, take to the various platforms you use and inquire with people there. Many platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have polls you can create and embed with your posts. Be sure you ask your question in a way that the returned data is helpful to you. For example, don’t be broad with your question such as “Do you often use Twitter? Yes or no.” If you Tweet such a poll, you know they are on Twitter and will likely click “yes.” Instead, try, “How often do you check Twitter? Weekly, daily, many times a day.”

Use the Internet to your benefit as well. For example, if you are curious about specific buyers, you might do a Google search to see what you can find. Discovering a LinkedIn profile, Facebook account or Twitter handle provides insight on how much those particular people engage with social media.

Another good resource is SocialMention.com. This search engine is unique because it will yield information such as blog posts and YouTube videos.

Remember, you are searching to find out not only that the prospect is out there on social media, but whether they use it and how often. See how often they Tweet. Look at the number of connections they have on LinkedIn. See how they engage with others (Likes, Retweets, responses to blog comments, etc.) This information can reveal a lot about your prospects if you take the time to look at everything before you.

 Provide an invitation

One way to find out if people will engage with you on social media is to invite them to do so. Again, if you have a database full of prospective email addresses, use email marketing to your advantage. Instead of sending a blanket invitation, create targeted personalized emails that point out reasons why they may want to consider joining you on your social media. Be sure to provide links so it is easy to click and connect.

 Give them what they’re looking for

In order to make sure your prospects engage with you on social media, you need to be relevant to them. Thus, as you do your research to see if your target audience is on social media, also check to see what you are providing on social media. Make sure it is engaging enough to pull your audience in.

Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, suggests creating a “buyer persona,” a fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customers. Then, deliver quality content on a consistent basis. Daily posts keep an audience’s attention.

Always monitor your metrics to discover what posts do well and when. Work to create content that engages prospects so you can see that they are there. When they “Like,” share or Retweet, you know they are out there. You might also consider providing incentives that reward those who do engage with you. This can be anything from a discount or coupon to an ebook or exclusive content.

The bottom line is that not every social media platform will be right for every prospect. Don’t immediately assume they aren’t out there. They may be, but just not on the platform you are using. Take some time, do some research and you will see who is out there.

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