I look at Social Media leads two ways.
The first is the traditional-looking lead but with a twist. The twist is that the lead comes in the form of a comment on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. You’ve earned your lead through superior content strategy and your buyer engages with you on a Social network.
The second is something more closely related to customer service. Your current customer takes the time to give you feedback about their experience with your business. Some might argue that this is not a lead but a complaint. I see it as an opportunity to save a long-term business relationship, which of course means future sales.
The example of the first type of lead looks something like this:
At first glance, this doesn’t look like a customary lead but it’s the equivalent of someone walking on the lot and asking, “How much?” Would you ignore that lead? I see many dealers who do. Fortunately in this case, they replied quickly. This will be the third car this dealer has sold directly from Facebook.
The second type of lead is one from a returning customer. Over the weekend I went to Whole Foods. When I went to pick up my favorite salmon sashimi, I noticed the price had gone even higher than ever: $14.99. I tweeted about it and got no response. So I messaged them on Facebook. Here’s the result:
Now, as a long-time customer, I’m not too impressed with their response (which came from the actual store). However, they did respond quickly and almost immediately after this message I got an email from the Director of North US Operations through my website contact page. He took the time to find out about me and write a lengthy heart-felt note saying, “Kathi, please accept my apology for your experience. I would like to ask if you would give us another opportunity to serve you and would love to meet with you personally when I am in the area and have you taste test some of our existing and new, upcoming and specialty rolls.” Now that’s what I call customer service!
Treat both these types of leads as potential money-makers. The second one could be potentially more valuable. Why?
- They’ve bought from you before and are likely to do it again (if you handle it correctly). Everyone knows it costs much less, and takes way less time and effort, to sell to a repeat customer than it does to a brand new one.
- With this level of communication, there’s a really good chance your customer is going to share it to their network.
Both of these scenarios have something in common: Listening.
Listening for and converting Social Media leads is an art form. There’s a simple tactic I like to use. We all know that if we can engage our lead in further conversation, we get to learn more about what they’re interested in. Asking questions along the path to the sale increases your chances of getting it.
In the above Facebook example, it would be easy to jump right out and answer their question. That’s perfectly fine but don’t leave it closed-ended. Ask another question like, “Were you looking for this particular type of car?” or “What price range were you thinking of?” There are many other questions you could ask and the point is keep them engaged.
The Whole Foods Director is keeping me engaged by offering me a discount coupon and further interaction with him and their food at a later date. His email was thoughtful and because he cares, I feel more inclined to go back. I’m also telling you about it in this post.
Yes, managing Social Media leads is an art form. If you don’t have an artist on staff, find one now. Hire a mentor/coach to teach them how to “paint” you a beautiful picture of converting leads to sales using Social Media.