Can social media still offer prospecting success for tech firms?

Posted by Matt Hodkinson
29-Jun-2016 09:30:00

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A recent report by the Software and Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) suggested that while tech companies were very much on board when it came to using social media for marketing, the jury was somewhat out on its overall effectiveness.

In the survey of tech companies from North America, only 46% said that social media was proven to be effective for prospecting and generating leads.

Obviously, in an age seemingly dominated by social media and having a ‘presence’ on the social outlets, this offers up some questions. Namely, is this evidence that social media is not offering an effective resource for prospecting? Or is it more the case that social media is neither being used in an effective way, nor appropriately measured?

Your clients are on social media

It might well be the case that tech firms are not getting optimum effectiveness out of social media when it comes to lead generation. However, that doesn’t mean the networks themselves are ineffective.

Businesses and individuals continue to use social media in ever increasing numbers – in particular upon the established big networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

One need only look at LinkedIn as an example of the hefty numbers we’re speaking of.

More than 400 million active users. A figure that increases by 2 new members every second – and 45 billion page views in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

Indeed, while the SIIA report showed only 46% were satisfied with their prospecting returns from social media, it also highlights the fact the 79% found LinkedIn to be an effective social media platform (with 65% also endorsing the effectiveness of Twitter).

It suggests that, in many instances, poor lead generation may derive from weak strategies rather than an ineffective platform.

Knowing your prospects

An overlooked aspect of social media usage when it comes to prospecting is the amount of information you can find about prospective clients.

It’s one of the key reasons why a giant such as Microsoft would make such a huge acquisition for LinkedIn is the amount of data that exists within the platform.

For in the era of big data, social media offers you access to enormous levels of information.

And when it comes to targeting new prospects, information is king.

From personal profiles to status updates and business pages, through careful study of the different social media platforms you can build a hefty case study on prospects before you’ve made any kind of connection at all.

Social Media is for being social

Remember however, that most people are using their statuses and profile updates for their own reasons. Not necessarily yours.

In our drive to market ourselves and to let the world know how awesome our products are, it can be easy to overlook the very thing that these networks were founded on.

The idea of being social.

While you may have done your research and got to know a little bit about your prospect, and the potential areas in which you might be able to do business, hitting them directly with a post or message about how you can help might be akin to the old-fashioned timeshare salesman collaring you on your holiday.

And we all know how welcome that can be.

Social media is still about building relationships and striking a rapport with your connections. So that you are there, in place, when they need the kind of service you provide.

Social prospecting workbook for IT firms: How to use social media to find new leads