If you're looking to generate new business, traditional marketing methods are the last place you should be focusing your time, energy, and resources.
I mean, can you honestly recall a time where you were delighted to receive a cold call?
While you've been busy getting hung up on, 57% of companies utilizing inbound efforts have an acquired a customer through LinkedIn, 48% have done the same using Facebook, and 42% through Twitter. (Source: HubSpot)
With social media ranking as one of the two highest lead sources for companies practicing inbound marketing, it would be foolish for your business not to embrace it.
If you're sick of falling behind the times, we've wrote up a little something to help you get started using social media for more effective customer acquisition.
Where are your potential customers hanging out?
Before you can start leveraging your social channels, it's important that you find out where your customers can be found online. This is a necessary step to ensure that when you start talking, someone will actually be there to listen. Here's some advice on how to locate potentially profitable opportunities:
One of the most effective ways to determine where your potential customers are hanging out is to simply ask. During the buyer persona interview process, it is important that you are not only uncovering information about their business, role, and goals, but also their watering holes.
By watering holes I am referring to the places where they go to consume information. What specific channels to they frequent?
If your ideal customers are spending their time on Twitter, it's likely that you'll find a lot more like them by directing your efforts towards building a stronger Twitter presence.
Analyze Social Share Activity
There's a lot to love about social share buttons.
I'm talking about these guys:
Not only do they serve as one of the best ways to spread your content and direct more traffic back to your website, but they can be also be used to gauge your audience's preferred social channels.
If you take a look at the screenshot above, you'll notice that the number of shares on Twitter and LinkedIn we're much greater than Facebook and Google+. This serves as an indicator that our audience is made up of heavy Twitter and LinkedIn users.
While the type of content you're sharing will certainly have an impact on the channel in which a viewer chooses to share it to, this approach serves as a generalized way to quantify where time is being spent.
How to use social to acquire customers:
1 - Utilize the publishing platform on LinkedIn
If you have a LinkedIn account and you're looking to gain more authority in your industry, LinkedIn is inviting you to publish your content to their platform.
On top of that, they're willing to promote the post for you but sending all of your followers a notifcation when your post goes live.
If you have 500 LinkedIn connections, that's 500 opportunities to get eyeballs on your content.
In terms of customer acquisition, this type of publishing allows you to position yourself as a thought leader, and a valuable resource for potential customers. With this being said, your content should be aimed toward conveying your unique professional expertise.
When you publish content to LinkedIn it becomes part of your profile, which contributes to your profile's credibility. Not only are you highlighting your skills and expertise, but you're actually bringing them into being.
2 - Create top of mind awareness on Twitter
Addressing your potential customer's needs via social media is a great way to get the conversation started or strengthen an existing relationship.
A brand that is doing a remarkable job identifying and resolving unmet needs is Hilton. Through the use of their Twitter concierge account, Hilton Suggests, they are reaching out to Twitter users who are looking for travel advice and providing their best recommendations.
Whether they are Hilton guest or not, Hilton Suggests does not discriminate. Check it out:
By striving to help people above all else, Hilton is generating the top of mind awareness that is going to set them apart from the competition the next time a recipient of the suggestion goes to book a hotel.
3 - Respond to people on Facebook
With the influx of social networking sites making their way onto the map, the standard for customer care has heightened accordingly.
Social Bakers reports that an incredible 70% of questions from Facebook fans are ignored.
With an understanding of the importance of customer service, Warby Parker happens to be part of the 30% that are willing to prioritize customer feedback. Check out how they saved this sale:
Without a presence on social media, it's likely that they would have lost this potential customer to a competitor.
Ready to get started?
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most valuable avenues when it comes to improving your customer acquisition strategy.
Before you venture off on your own, it's important that your recognize that our tips are designed to help you unlock the power of social media for customer acquisition without desperately pitching a sale.
After all, your potential customers aren't on social media platforms like Facebook looking to be bought and sold, so be mindful of your approach.
Ditch the pitch and keep your focus on approaches that aim to resolve pain points, provide insight, and convey your expertise.
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About Carly Stec
Carly Stec is a Senior Content Strategist and former Marketing Blog Editor at HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot, she got her start here, at IMPACT, as the Content Marketing Manager from September 2013 - March 2015. Carly has a strong affinity for New Haven pizza (#TeamModern) and anything Kate Spade. She currently lives in Boston with her fiddle-leaf fig, Boyd Tinsley.