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How to lure prospects at the beginning of the sales cycle: Hook ‘em with social media.

How to lure prospects at the beginning of the sales cycle: Hook ‘em with social media.

18 May 2016

Reaching customers at the outset of the sales cycle is all about talking to folks who will be making a purchase decision at some point in the future. It's no doubt a challenging task--as often, only a small percentage of the audience you reach through a traditional awareness campaign is “purchase-ready,” especially for larger purchases that customers take months to research and evaluate before pulling the trigger. So, the best way to engage with them is to avoid a high-hurdle call-to-action. Instead, drive people within your target gender, age and geography to engage with you on social media, where you can start a conversation now with prospects who may buy from you later. 

 
Social media–it’s where everyone hangs out.

Overall, social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest all see both men and women users in all age ranges with varying degrees of education and across the income spectrum. So whoever you’re targeting, you’ll likely be able to reach them via social media marketing.

Percent of internet users in each category who are social media users U.S.

 
Facebook is universally liked.

If you are faced with a lack of resources, in terms of manpower or budget, you’ll want to be smart about where you focus your efforts. Facebook dominates in all age groups, so that’s a smart place to begin. And when you are able to do more, add on the social networks that best fit your target audience.

Percent of US internet users in different age brackets on each social network

 

Create a strategic content calendar.

The best way to speak to topics that will interest your audience is to wrap your content around the most frequent search topics. For a health care provider, that would include:

  • Specific disease or medical problem
  • Medical treatments or procedures
  • Diet, nutrition and/or vitamins
  • Exercise or fitness

 

Link out to a blog.

Facebook posts and Twitter feeds only go so deep. The newsfeeds essentially act as a way for users to scan headlines, then click through to read more in-depth information on the topics that interest them. A blog is the easiest way to post new content frequently that you can promote on social channels.

 

Structure content to attract and nurture customer relationships.

To attract new customers, engage with fun posts, such as sharables, quizzes and contests, and position your team as the experts using chats, the About tab, blog content and tips. To maintain relationships with existing customers, make it a two-way conversation with frequent posts and commenting. Use a blog series to give customers content worth coming back for. And ask for opinions, stories and feedback using polls and invitations, so customers can share their experience and thoughts.

 

Connect your offline efforts with the social sphere.

Look for ways to connect your advertising to your social presence. You can use “Connect with us” as a call to action in TV, radio, print, online, direct mail and email. And you can extend your presence at events by using a photo booth that allows participants to share their pictures on your feed. And vice versa, you can pull images from social photo contests to use as slideshows in your physical spaces. 

 

At the end of the day, you’ve got those prospects hook, line and sinker.

 

Ready to launch your organization’s social media or give it an upgrade? Download our free eGuide, Get Schooled on Social Media here.

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Tags: social media