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First, the simple explanation:
Social prospecting is the process of using social networks to identify and research potential new customers. Once you’ve found your ideal customers, you engage this audience by emailing them, with the aim of building a relationship that leads to a sale.
So, should you be social prospecting?
Social prospecting offers businesses the ability to identify prospects based on a huge number of variables. SoPro has 41 different filters, at both the company and person level.
Prospecting companies build powerful tools to improve the process. These ensure that the technical aspects of a campaign are handled, messages can be personalised at scale, and every part of the campaign can be monitored and optimised.
While the cost is low, prospecting repeatedly sees great returns, offering high – and often rapid – returns on investment.
While it is a relative newcomer, prospecting is now increasingly considered as one of the core marketing channels.
So, if you’re not already, the answer is almost definitely.
Social prospecting emerged concurrently with the rise of social media but in recent years evolved into a more stable and effective channel. However, social prospecting is still in the early stages of reshaping direct outreach and targeted brand engagement.
One example of this is how it has taken a much firmer grip in the B2B world than for B2C marketing teams. In part, this is thanks to the legislative differences that govern marketing communications.
The more relaxed rules concerning unsolicited communications have enabled social prospecting to radically reshape B2B sales best practice. And of course, every SoPro campaign is 100% GDPR compliant.
In our opening definition of social prospecting, we identified that it can be used to identify, research and engage potential customers.
Different forms of social prospecting have emerged to target these three activities.
At SoPro we believe the ‘most likely to result in a new customer’ way is to use social prospecting to identify potential customers and then engage them on social networks, usually LinkedIn.
This occurs before we use personalised emails to elicit interest, with the aim of securing a phone call or meeting.
These warm leads are then handed over to each client to convert into customers.
Other firms tackle the identification, researching and engagement components differently – for example, some conduct all contact via social media channels.
Scale is important to success rates in two ways.
Firstly, the more prospects you identify and engage with the higher your number of warm leads and therefore new business.
Secondly, because SoPro provides the first stage of the sales process for hundreds of businesses in just about every industry sector across the globe, our data is extremely refined in terms of who to target, when and with what message. The timing and email content of your outreach significantly impacts the response rates you can expect.
This enables us to typically reduce the cost of acquiring a customer by 50% or more.
We now help over 500 business around the world grow with award winning social prospecting. Done right successful social prospecting needs to be methodical, semi-technical, scalable, cost effective and reliable.
Especially in times of COVID, when digital channels are more significant than ever before, we believe every B2B business should have a social prospecting plan in place.