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How to Find and Attract the Right Leads With Social Listening

How to Find and Attract the Right Leads With Social Listening


The adoption of social media by businesses, executives, and employees has created an unprecedented opportunity for sales-driven companies to find qualified prospects at scale.

By utilizing simple but powerful social listening techniques, any company can identify, engage, and build relationships with prospects, customers, and strategic partners.

But first, let’s define social listening in the context of lead generation and your business. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll focus on Twitter as our social-prospecting platform of choice.

Social listening is the process of collecting, processing, and analyzing Twitter data based on hashtags, keywords, or content sources.

How to Succeed at Social Listening

Successful social listening depends on five essential actions:

Define Your Prospect

Outlining a clear picture of your ideal prospect establishes the baseline for your social listening strategy. What are the main attributes of your prospect? Use demographics such as geography, age, gender, company size, and industry vertical to piece together these personas.

Bake in psychographic data such as interests, activities, and opinions, and you’ll have a crystallized view of who you want to reach.

Map Out Your Plan

Once you’ve established your personas, it’s time to find them. A social listening matrix provides the medium to help locate your prospects in an efficient way. Embed these three Twitter-listening search queries into your matrix:

  • Content sources: What content sources are your prospects sharing?
  • Hashtags: What hashtags are most common in their industries?
  • Keywords and phrases: What keywords and phrases are most common in their industries?

Collect and Refine Your Data

Initially, cast a wide net with your Twitter search queries to collect data about your prospects. Refine your data with targeted search queries to filter out unqualified prospects from qualified ones. Use the same demographics and psychographics to further refine your data.

Outline Your Goals

A clear picture of your prospect and an inventory of refined data set the stage for establishing your lead generation goals. Qualify your goals with specific metrics, and set KPIs to measure your progress and gauge success.

Measure the Results

The right combination of social listening technology and methodology is critical to accurately and consistently measuring your results. Analyze, assess, and adjust your personas, plan, and data refinement search based on your results.

How to Boost Lead Generation

Now that you’re set up for social listening success, let’s dive into five targeted ways you can boost lead generation with specific social listening examples:

  • Listen to the General Marketspace

Paying attention to your ideal prospect’s general marketspace will help create a strong core for your lead generation strategy. Tune into the hashtags, keywords, and key phrases generally associated with your prospect’s business vertical. Hashtagify is a great resource for finding related hashtags and top influencers in any industry.

  • Monitor the Competition 

There’s no better place than Twitter to “spy on” the conversations your prospects are having about your competitors. You can gain lucrative intelligence on your prospects by knowing what competitor brands they engage with and tracking the content they share.

  • Apply Link Listening to Content Sources 

Certain sources of content will attract certain types of prospects. Link Listening uses a Twitter search query for all the tweets from a particular content source or individual post. Use this powerful technique to help create content that connects with your prospects.

For example, if you’re looking for CMOs, listen to Adweek. Looking for PR professionals? Follow the leading industry blog Spin Sucks

  • Check Out Conference Hashtags 

Connecting with potential prospects at conferences is always a winning strategy to boost lead generation. But consistent conference attendance isn’t sustainable for many organizations. Save time and money by listening to conference hashtags.

Most conferences attach a hashtag to the event tweets. Follow the hashtag, and collect data on people tweeting about the conference. For example, listen to #Inbound15 and #Dreamforce for social selling tweets. For content marketing events, listen to #CMWorld.  

  • Listen to Thought Leaders and Influencers 

People who tag industry thought leaders and influencers in their tweets have the potential to be qualified prospects. Listen to the handles of the thought leaders and influencers for each of your prospect personas.

6 Tips for Maximizing Your Social Listening Efforts

Once you’ve located the right prospects and influencers, take your social listening strategy one step further with these six tips:

  1. Connect with people who have robust Twitter bios. A well-crafted Twitter bio indicates strong “social citizenship.”
  1. Check out the links in their Twitter bios. Prospects must be discoverable beyond their Twitter handle. Links provide additional information about your prospect such as social presence, phone number, and address.
  1. Don’t get hung up on follower count. Many important business decision makers have low “influencer” scores and a negligible follower count.
  1. Cultivate other entry points into the business. Create relationships with internal brand champions.
  1. Be friendly and social. Work on building rapport and trust before going for the sale.
  2. Create Twitter lists of key prospects. Stay on top of their social conversations to identify opportunities for engagement.

Real-time engagement, powerful scale, and unlimited opportunities to build a robust prospect funnel make Twitter the best social-prospecting platform for any marketer. Use these steps and social listening tips to boost your lead generation today! 

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About Robert Moore

Robert Moore is co-founder of oneQube Inc., home of Spider, a powerful social listening and engagement platform. In addition to being a “link listener,” Robert is an expert in qualified lead generation and direct response methodologies. When not spending time with his family and singing karaoke, Robert studies Twitter data for the secrets of the universe.


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