Social prospecting is pretty straightforward. It’s all about finding potential clients by listening to what people are saying on social media and engaging them with valuable content.
Don’t gloss over the “valuable content” part, because that is key. Instead of just hitting like on Facebook or favoriting or retweeting something on Twitter, it means you share something of value. That something could be as simple as a tip, trick, idea, or solution, or a little more involved, like a blog post, article, or ebook you’ve written.
So, how do you do social prospecting?
Well, that depends on the social media channel you’re using. I know that’s a bit of a cop-out answer, so here’s what I do, broken down into listening and engaging.
Listen: Graph Search will be your new best friend when it comes to listening on Facebook, as you can search using a long phrase (“people looking for corporate holiday gifts in DC”). Results could include pages, people, events, apps, places, and groups.
Engage: Depending on your results, you could like a page to keep up with the company’s posts, message a person, make a note to attend an event, etc.
Listen: Conversations on LinkedIn tend to happen via groups, so go to “Groups” and plug in your keywords to find groups that are interested in and talk about your products, services, and industry.
Engage: Join those groups most relevant to you; then join the conversations. Answer questions and share blog posts, articles, statistics, ebooks, or other pieces of content that may be helpful.
Listen: Choose a few hashtags, words, or phrases – basically, keywords – your audience tends to use and plug them into Twitter’s search. Scroll through the feed to see what people are saying about those topics.
Engage: If someone looks like a good prospect, check out their profile first and then respond with a suggestion, tip, answer, or link to a blog post that might help.
Instagram and Pinterest
Listen: Because Instagram and Pinterest work similarly to Twitter with topics organized around hashtags, conduct social prospecting like you would on Twitter. Plug in your keywords and see what pops up.
Engage: Start following people and companies and commenting on their photos and pins to build a relationship and share your knowledge.
Have you found clients on social media? What tips can you add?
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