For some time now, marketing and communications professionals (including myself) have been absorbed by the idea of social networks and how important they are to brand strategy. There are billions of active users on Facebook, millions on Twitter and so forth on various social networks. This offers a huge opportunity to take advantage of these active social networks in order to successfully present a brand,product or service, distribute its content and bring traffic to its website or store.
Not only should we create a community on social networks with current clients and followers, but one that also attracts and captures potential clients, a task that we can achieve through Social Prospecting.
But what is Social Prospecting? It is the art of listening to users on social networks, the ability to know how to identify potential clients, participate and interact with them through content that shall attract them to our website or our store. Moreover, each social network has its tools, which can help us with out Social Prospecting.
Currently two types of people exist: on the one side, our followers or fans and on the other, everyone else. For this reason, part of our work ought to include the task of informing people what the brand has to offer. And so, here is where Social Prospecting comes into play and therefore, is an important part of our social network marketing strategy.
In order to achieve this, we should first start with a good level of monitoring. It is fundamental to identify key words or phrases through which people find us online. We also ought to include key words about our products or services through which we would like our users to find us, in order to see if people are using them and talking about them on social networks. And of course, it is fundamental to do tests to detect what key words or phrases are most interesting for our purposes. Specific experiments can be carried out in order to select and rule out words until we find the ones that best fit our needs and objectives. If we are not achieving engagement through these chosen key words, we ought to think about changing the strategy. It can also happen that we successfully capture the attention of users through these key words but we may see that this participation does not translate to brand customers, at which point we will have to consider adjusting the strategy. But we are only talking about content here….
To devise our social media strategy, we ought to establish the objectives, the target audience and the content proposals. After that, it will be the time to put this plan into action in order to achieve the business objectives.
If our objective is to bring traffic to the store´s online website or webpage, we should create, for example, a practical post or an offer which mentions our business. Or if we detect a user searching for a product or service and is not specifically mentioning our store in particular, hook that user in by providing information on how our business is able to help him or her or launch an offer to use our company for the first time.
How we measure the success of Social Prospecting. What we measure is used to give value to achieving objectives of our strategy and, as a result, we should identify the indicators which will reveal the success of our actions. In each case, these metrics can be different, from the number of visitors to a certain section of our webpage to the coupons redeemed or the number of downloads. It is also important to keep track of how the public grows on our social networks. We ought to analyze the demographic characteristics to see if they fit in our objective for the public, like how their behavior and engagement can help us measure the success of our strategy. We ought to measure which key words are driving behavior or desired action. Social Prospecting provides us with a perfect opportunity to connect with new customers and make them talk about us, but our strategy on social networks and the content will be crucial to determine its success. The creation of content of value is a very important part of our strategy. If the content does not stand out among all the noise that is generated every day or is not perceived as useful, it could affect how we get new potential clients and if we can ultimately achieve their conversion.