Where do leads come from? Do they just appear? We wish.
Oh, the many days I spent standing, in heels (never again), on that hard, trade show floor, dressed up like a leprechaun to draw attention to my booth, a painful-my-feet-hurt smile on my face, waiting anxiously for those three or four solid leads I could take back to my sales team. Why am I here? Because this is where my customers are and we must go where the customers are!!
Well, my friends, guess where else your customers are? They are on social media. They are posting, reading content, liking, tweeting, asking questions, sharing and checking out the brands that they follow. I’m not joking. It’s happening. Right now.
Let me throw some numbers at you….
- A 2014 article by the National Institute of Health, states that social media use by U.S. adults increased from 8% to 72% in 2005. It can easily be assumed that this number has since increased.
- Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly users worldwide. Of 3,371 US known hospitals, 3,351 (99.41%) have a Facebook account.
- LinkedIn has 433 million users. In 2013, 4.4 million users were healthcare practitioners and executives. It is also the numero uno driver for B2B lead generation.
- Twitter had over 300 million monthly active users in 2016. 75,000 healthcare professionals are actively tweeting about healthcare policy, research, treatments etc. Thirty percent of those tweeters are found in the U.S.
- According to Hootsuite, 58% of marketers who have been using social media for three years or longer state that it has helped them boost sales.
- Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (WHAT?!?!?)
Are you catching what I am throwing?
I am assuming, now that you have read this, that you have stopped everything (taken off those heels) to set up your social media profiles so that you can start generating leads. And your next questions is, now what? How do I use social media to prospect for healthcare leads?
Introducing the 4 R’s of social media. Routine. Resource. Research. Reach-Out.
- Routine - Be sure to make time for social media and build it into your prospecting routine. You should spend 5 - 10% of your time participating in social. If you’re not doing it regularly, it is not going to work. Period. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts while you’re working on other projects. They are free and simple to use.
- (Be a) Resource - Use social media to share blogs, articles, upcoming events and anything else that would be relevant and helpful to your customers and prospects. Regular posting increases brand recognition, positions you as a resource and helps to establish trust with your prospects and customers. Then engage with your network, answer questions, post in LinkedIn groups, share customer or supplier content, and listen to what your Twitter followers are posting. Every post, tweet, comment, or share you participate in gives your network an opportunity to respond, which opens you up to more leads and opportunities.
- Research - Now you’re on a roll! You’re posting the right content, engaging with your network and doing it regularly. You have attracted additional followers and grown your network. A network of prospects and opportunities! It’s time to do some research to uncover some new revenue. Social sites host an encyclopedia of people and information. These sites are a one-stop shop to do your detective work on the new prospects and leads you obtain. Here are some tips on what to look for:
- What did they post?
- Do you share any connections?
- Are you in similar LinkedIn groups?
- What type of information do they like?
- What is their past experience on LinkedIn?
- Are they members of any trade organization?
- Do they volunteer anywhere, for a cause?
The key here is to find up to 3 relevant and relatable pieces of information to get the conversation going!
- Reach-out - Reaching out on social media is just like connecting in the real world. Use the network you have built to establish deeper connections with new prospects. Find like connections and ask for an introduction, better yet, ask a happy customer for a referral!
Social Media is like the trade show floor, it is busy with customers, prospects and other guests navigating the information and developing relationships. Your profile or company website is like your trade show booth, what can you share and how can you engage with your prospects to get their attention? (For the record, you can prospect online barefoot and in yoga pants, no heels.)
KBK Communications offers social selling webinars and onsite training to help your sales and marketing team effectively use social media to generate leads. Contact us on our website for more information. And of course, follow us on social.