Nurture The Leads In Your Sales Funnel – On Social Media


Share on LinkedIn

Today, in most B2B companies, the marketing departments engage in Lead nurturing programs. Lead nurturing in fact becomes an integral part of the Lead Management process for those companies which use Marketing Automation solutions. In both these scenarios, emails emerge as the most popular lead nurturing channel.

According to the November 2008 Aberdeen Group research report, “Lead Nurturing: The Secret to Successful Lead Generation,” the top three channels used are email (65%), telephone calls (44%) and direct mail (26%).

But if you are a marketer who is looking at unconventional ways to nurture your Leads, you can explore a more informal channel like social media for Lead nurturing.

Social media adds a whole new dimension to your Lead nurturing process. It allows you to connect with your Lead on a more informal ground and reach him at multiple locations rather than just in his inbox.

Let me clarify here, I am not talking about your social media marketing activities, where you reach out to your wider prospective customer base, informing them about your offerings, but about Leads which have already expressed some level of interest in your product, by visiting your website or by responding to your email and are already in your sales funnel.

Let us find out how we can nurture the Leads in our sales funnel on social media. For now I will restrict myself to Twitter and Linkedin, as both are quite popular in the B2B space.

If your company uses a marketing automation 2.0 solution like LeadForce1, you will find it easier to adopt social media for Lead nurturing. LeadForce1 tracks reverse IP address of Enterprise visitors to provide you with the visiting Enterprise’s identity. It also, adds probable names of individuals from the Enterprise who could have visited your website, which it decides by analyzing the intent of the visitor while he browsed the website.

Now that you have the initial set of data on your Lead – the company name and the names of some of the company executives who researched your site – start by researching the presence of your Lead on social media – Company profiles and profiles of the suggested executives. Once you have this data in place – you can do the following:

On Twitter

  • Use your company’s corporate (Twitter) profile to follow the other company and the concerned executive’s Twitter profile. Just in case you are not able to find your Lead’s company on Twitter search, go to their company website and look for the ‘connect with us’ on Twitter tab.
  • If the company is looking for a solution similar to yours, there is a high chance of getting a follow back, if you do, don’t forget to thank them by sending a direct message. If you don’t get a follow-back, don’t be disheartened, at least you can keep an eye on your Lead’s tweets and look out for opportunities where you can reply with relevant information or customize your other Lead Nurturing programs further, based on any info you find in your Lead’s tweet stream.
  • If your marketing automation solution provider, provides data on the intent of the Enterprise visitor, then you can look within your lead nurturing resources (case studies, research paper, whitepaper etc.) and share the relevant link that matches the intent/interest expressed by the Lead on your site. For eg – ‘@Leadname – thought you might be interested in this information on ‘how to score your leads‘.’ You see a little bit of personalized messaging will get you noticed.
  • Be nice, be courteous, now that you are following your lead, take the time to read their posts and share (Re-tweet) if you find something interesting. You will slowly be able to build an online camaraderie with your Lead.

P.S. – While you might be tempted to convey to your Lead that – ” I know, what you did on my website”, I would seriously advice you to keep aside your marketing instincts and just try adhering to the laws of social media sharing – ‘Stop being overtly promotional.’

On Linkedin

  • Linkedin, now allows you to follow companies you want to, so go to the Corporate company profile of your Lead and start following them. Companies keep a tab on who is following them on this professional network.
  • Next look out for the profiles of people whose names have been suggested by the marketing automation solution you use. If your provider does not facilitate this information, check out the Lead’s Linkedin company profile and see which employees fit the target audience criteria for your offerings, visit their profiles.
  • Check if they are part of your extended network or if you both share any groups – If yes, you can either ask a common acquaintance to introduce you or if you share a group, you can send a direct request, asking them to join your network. If none of the above applies in your case, you might as well join a group which the Lead follows and then send a request.
  • If your request gets accepted and the Lead adds you to his network, send a simple thank you email, and invite the Lead to join your group (specific to your product/solution space). Just leave it at that. Please, I repeat please don’t send a long email explaining what your company does or a sales pitch unless asked for by the Lead himself. Trust me such emails are quite a put off.
  • Join a group or two which is common to your Lead and common to your space. Keep posting relevant. It is the easiest way to get noticed.
  • Also keep looking out for any questions asked by your Lead on the Linkedin forum, don’t forget to answer if the query is relevant to your space.

P.S. – It is good to keep your Linkedin profile up to date, complete with professional details and references. Usually people look up a person’s profile before adding them to their professional network. You don’t want to be perceived as shady or not good enough!

Conditions Apply

Social media Lead Nurturing works best for those companies, which are already doing social media marketing and have established their authority across these forums. For you to get noticed by your Lead there are some social media must haves

– Have a Corporate Twitter account, which is actively updated and has a decent number of followers

– Own and drive a Linkedin Group, which is on the industry space you function in or on the niche technology you offer. Ensure, that there is enough buzz happening in this group

– Have a genuine and detailed Linkedin profile in place. Remember on social media people usually connect with your virtual persona, it is important to create an honest one

– Be quick with your responses

Lead nurturing as we all know is the process of helping our Leads understand our offering better in the research and decision making stage, so that our company figures in their list of vendors when they finally get down to buying. While emails are a great tool for lead nurturing, considering the amount of junk we receive in our inbox, sometimes it is not as effective and goes unnoticed. Social Media fills that gap, giving us the opportunity to make the process of nurturing Leads informal, relevant and contextual.

Image Courtesy – Bestiario Gallery’s Flickr Photo stream

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here