There are several ways to attract visitors to your website or social media channels and turn them into your customers. You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising, yet your cost of customer acquisition (CAC) might still be higher than you wish it to be.

But have you ever thought about actively going to your potential customers instead of waiting for them to come to you?

Did you know that according to Hootsuite almost half of the entire world’s population (3.03 billion people) has at least one social media account? That’s a lot of potential customers!

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Despite its disadvantages, social media are great tools to connect with people you love, to share and follow life updates or see what’s new with your favorite brands.

Moreover, you can use social media to get more customers. It is called social media prospecting or social prospecting if you prefer.

This article will explain what social media prospecting is, how does it work and why you should care about it as a potential way for your business.

What Is Social Media Prospecting

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What exactly is social media prospecting, you wonder?

As already mentioned above, social media prospecting is the practice of using social networking platforms to find, research and engage with prospective new customers.

You can also take Hubspot’s approach and look at social media prospecting as the art of listening to people — your clients, partners or even competitors.

And at the end of the day, it is so true. Being genuinely kind and empathetic is the best marketing strategy. It is about people, not mentions and keywords. Great marketing makes you forget it is marketing.

Why You Should Care About Social Media Prospecting

The truth is social media has been around for many years now but there’s still a lot of people who are not sure how exactly to use it for business and generating leads.

Yet, social media can be very productive when you’re searching for a potential client, a strategic partner, or a new hire.

Do you think calling is better? Think twice! 90% of decision-makers never answer a cold call, but 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions according to LinkedIn.

So you want to be trigger-ready where prospects are. And that’s social media.

You can find prospects literally on every social platform from LinkedIn via Instagram to Quora and Reddit. Odds are that the prospective clients or partners you are looking for will be there.

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Social Media Prospecting Tips

Last but not least, here are some tips on how to get started with social media prospecting:

  1. Research and identify your prospect, including the social platforms. Who are they? What are their needs and where they look for answers?
  2. Listen and observe more than you share, especially in the beginning. When you identify the bigger social sites for your audience, listen and use what you hear — recurring concerns, needs, and questions — as leverage for real conversations.
  3. Build your personalized pitch and engage. Overall, focusing on being helpful is the best way to engage your prospect. Helping to meet a need will cause you to stand out amongst the crowd.
  4. Be authentic and approachable. Make sure that whichever social media platforms you work to optimize are grounded on a foundation of sincerity and honesty, as the alternative approach will ultimately turn off your target audience.
  5. Always test. Even if you have a template that works, it’s best practice to tweak your approach and test different approaches. It is great to be proactive!

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Final Thoughts

So this is social media prospecting in a nutshell.

If you’re already using social media to promote your business, why not take it to the next step and start using it to also generate more sales prospects?

Too many business people rely on their gut feeling when it comes to their selling strategies without considering the data that should drive their decisions.

Ultimately, leveraging your social networks when selling is critical to your success and better relationships with your prospects.