Top Tips for Getting More Leads Through Social Media
Using the social media to supplement your efforts at live events can be a terrific way of maximizing your lead prospecting efforts. Anyone who has participated in such live events will understand how effective they can be at generating interest in specific products or services. The element of a live event which makes it so ideal for generating prospects is the fact that you can identify and connect with these individuals before the event ever happens, while it’s actually in progress, and even after the event has taken place. For that reason, you should definitely consider live events as part of your marketing strategy, when you’re trying to increase the number of leads you have.
Why social media is so effective for prospecting and live events
In the past, the absolute best way of generating prospects was by attending trade shows, expos, and other events which reached out to potential leads. Just setting up a booth at such an event could very possibly provide you with a whole year’s worth of prospects, making it the biggest single event of the year for your company. While such events are still very productive, there is no doubt that the marketing landscape has undergone a significant change, and that the competition for participant attention is much different, primarily because of the social media and of digital marketing.
The reason for this is that potential prospects are now engaged with marketers every day of the year, in most cases multiple times each day, so that one annual trade show is simply not enough to capture their attention. Industry events have become much more challenging to be successful at, simply because potential leads are online every day and are bombarded by digital marketing efforts all year round. Both marketing personnel and potential consumers are connecting daily through the social media, and that means your marketing efforts need to be focused on the social media in order to produce results.
Develop a prospect list before your live event
Any live event can come and go very quickly, even if it’s spread out over several days. That means you have to maximize the resources you’ve invested in attending or sponsoring such an event, so that it can be as productive as possible. Prior to the beginning of the event, you should connect with as many attendees as possible, so that before it even starts, you have several meetings set with potential prospects. In order to establish a list of potential prospects, you can contact the event organizers to obtain a list of attending sponsors, media personnel, and participants. While this won’t always get you what you need, there are ways you can make the organizer be little more cooperative, especially if you have a referral relationship with them.
You can scrub this list of prospects so as to remove any inactive email addresses by running your list through a service such as BriteVerify. Even if you don’t come up with hordes of prospects through this process, you may at least have a short list of people you can contact and set up meetings with at the event. It’s important when you’re setting up these contacts, that you reach out to all these individuals personally by email, rather than having them contacted through MailChimp or some other service. The personal email touch can mean everything in this situation.
Use email and social media for pre-event outreach
Keep in mind that when the actual live event comes around, you will be one of hundreds or perhaps thousands of vendors in attendance. That means you’ll need to try to establish some level of familiarity with contacts before the event, so that attendees may actually seek you out while the trade show is underway.
By far the most direct way of reaching reaching out to prospects is by personal email, so this is the method you should emphasize. If you can’t obtain an email address, a message that you send through LinkedIn is also fairly effective, with Twitter being another alternative. It’s probably best to avoid using Facebook in this context, because that has tended in the past to make prospects feel like they’re being stalked, rather than courted as a potential client.
Serve targeted ads to prospects during the event
There are three things you should do to serve targeted ads to your prospects while the event is actually underway. The first of these is to remind people whom you have already contacted beforehand, that you are indeed at the event and available for interaction. Secondly, you should attempt to engage prospects that you have not yet connected with, in some way that your competition has not yet thought of.
While the event is underway, do your best to establish a list of potential prospects whom you can market to after the conclusion of the event. In addition to running your normal live event posts from the floor, you should also be using targeted advertising to increase your reach. For instance, if you did obtain an attendee list from the organizers, this list can be imported into LinkedIn or Facebook, so that you can target those specific users.
Establish social media contact with prospects after the event
Your approach after the event should be very similar to your approach before the event, in that you should be engaging with leads via the social media and using the event hashtag. It’s true that many marketers fail to take advantage of pre-show marketing, and it’s also true that most marketers ignore post-show marketing as well. This should minimize your competition when you’re trying to contact individual leads to establish an ongoing conversation.
You should directly email any prospects that you encountered during the event, and you should also make use of the social media to send direct messages. You can supplement this kind of contact with some targeted ads that will increase your chances of establishing a relationship. Be sure to remind your prospects about any messages which were relevant to the live event you both attended, as well as to reinforce the value that you brought to the live event when you were both there.