Orig Post HuffingtonPost.com | Re-Post 7/25/15 So-Mark
Businesses of all sizes, across all industries, now use social media to reach out to customers. The flexibility and affordability of social media marketing makes it a natural choice, especially since customers are more likely to see a message on social media than on traditional advertising sources like newspapers and TV shows.
But it isn’t enough to merely post status updates to various social media sites. Businesses have to find a way to convert social media followers into paying customers in order to make the effort worth it. This means getting those followers over to a business’s sales team, where they can then be sold on making a purchase. Here are a few tools you can use to source sales leads from your social media accounts.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn is already one of the most popular networking apps for professionals. With Sales Navigator, LinkedIn addresses lead generation directly, using its own algorithms to make recommendations that are specifically tailored to each user. Sales prospects are delivered directly to your email inbox, allowing you to focus on other things.
To access Sales Navigator, a user will have to subscribe to either the Professional or Teams edition of LinkedIn. The app includes up to 25 monthly out-of-network profile unlocks and information on who has viewed your profile, making it a handy tool for sales team members.
Sales and marketing teams waste countless hours each week researching potential leads on social channels, sorting through bad customer records, and manually updating their database. LeadGenius shoulders this heavy lifting for you. It’s the opposite of DIY. LeadGenius finds your business new potential buyers and adds key data points to existing customer records so your team can spend more time on what matters: closing deals.
LeadGenius provides custom lead generation programs to everyone from scrappy startups to the Fortune 500. They locate the hard-to-find data points, including subjective buying signals from social media. LeadGenius works with any contact management or marketing automation solution on the market, so there is no additional software to learn — just more time to close.
This Google Chrome browser extension shows you social information about potential leads as you surf the Internet. With Discover.ly in place, you’ll see basic information on a user’s social media activities when you’re looking at a social media profile or reading an email from that person. On Facebook, for instance, LinkedIn connections will be shown to help you see connections you may share. Recent tweets will also be displayed to help you catch information that might be useful to you.
Discover.ly is a free add-on, so you have nothing to lose by adding it. It’s specifically designed for Google Chrome, though, so if that isn’t your preferred browser, it won’t be relevant to you unless you’re ready to switch.
Rapportive moves social media prospecting to your email inbox, giving you an overview of a person directly in Gmail. The information replaces Gmail’s ads, so instead of seeing irrelevant marketing data, you’ll be presented with information that is useful to you. The information includes a contact’s location, job information, social media links, and mutual connections to help you better place someone who is contacting you.
Once you have Rapportive in place, you can also connect with someone on LinkedIn without even leaving your Gmail inbox. Like Discover.ly, this tool is platform specific, limiting itself to Gmail users.
Social media is a valuable tool for sales teams, but extra work is needed to gather leads through these sites. With the right tools in place, sales professionals can get high-quality leads directly through social media, improving the number of deals they close and improving your own business’s bottom line.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”