Nurturing

Lead Nurturing Through Social Media: Just Do It (Right)

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What do you do when you don’t have the names or e-mails of qualified prospects?  While lead nurturing generally takes place after you have gathered this information, there are times when qualified prospects are coming to you before you know who they are or know how to reach them.

Do you hinder relationship building due to these circumstances?

Not if you’re seed nurturing.

Seed nurturing, or the process of building relationships with qualified prospects before you have their contact information, will allow you to connect with unidentifiable prospects during the early stages of the buying process.  During this time, qualified prospects are still gathering information, educating themselves and researching products and services.  This is what makes social media marketing specifically so important.

Simply saying lead nurturing through social media may not mean much, because it’s not applying all the same principles as you would through other media.  It’s about nurturing them the right way in real-time to stay top of mind with qualified prospects. Eventually when they are ready to engage with a sales rep, they will come to you, not your competitor.  Since these prospects are in the early buying stages, hunting for good information and resources, seed nurturing is a great way to:

  • Provide Free Content to Build Trust– It’s great to gather information from prospects via sign-ups for whitepapers and eBooks, but social media networks provide a platform for distributing this valuable information for free, in turn building a relationship with new prospects.  When you couple this with thought leadership tactics, you’re able to build trust and credibility with prospects via social media.  This nurtures those initial answer-seeking prospects by providing them hassle-free information.  All the while, you become categorized in their mind as a trustworthy and credible source.

Lead nurturing through social media, or seed nurturing, also requires personalizing your messages.  You don’t know the prospect’s name, you don’t know his or her email address, and so what do you know?

Prospect interests.

This can be a bigger benefit then knowing a name or email address early on, because now you can reach the right audience with the right information.  And thanks to social media, you’re reaching those prospects in real-time.  Seed nurturing feeds prospect curiosity by providing the information they want without forcing them to hunt for it.  This happens best when you:

  • Segment Social Media Campaigns – Use social media to listen to your prospects and gauge the level of interest and buying intent. Track keywords, follow conversations, take these cues and engage prospects.  Now your lead nurturing is improving the relevancy of your marketing by segmenting your message to appropriate prospects.  Staying relevant and topical while giving them what they want.

Seed nurturing will:

  1. Give prospects valuable information about your products and services
  2. Establish your company as a thought leader reinforcing credibility and trust
  3. Break information barriers for prospects, positioning your company in a positive light

Start seed nurturing by:

  1. Listening to prospects via social media to learn interests and keywords
  2. Following conversations by tracking what you hear on social media networks
  3. Segmenting your social media campaigns so you’re reaching the right prospects

When seed nurturing is done successfully, your social media lead nurturing efforts will turn qualified prospects into qualified leads.  At the early stage seed nurturing takes place, you’re closing the gap between generating demand and scoring leads.

Learn more about lead nurturing and seed nurturing on the Marketo B2B Marketing Blog and follow our social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.