Most salespeople know that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
Marketing and sales teams that take this idea to heart have great processes for getting MQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead) to the sales rep as fast as possible so they can start smiling and dialing. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to convert this important lesson over to the nurturing stage of the sales cycle, particularly on social media, where potential leads often go hours or days without a response.
While immediacy is a central aspect of every channel you use for lead nurturing, social media may be the most important. Not only are your customers used to instant communication over these networks, they are also increasingly wary of any messages that don’t fit into the conversations they’re having and the immediate need they’re feeling.
Improving social media monitoring and automating lead nurturing will help your organization improve the immediacy of your social media messages and ultimately increase responses and sales.
What is Immediacy?
First, what is immediacy? While it does involve an immediate response time, speed is not the only factor. The term originated with non-verbal communication before social media or marketing automation were ever invented.
In the 1960s, Professor of Psychology Albert Mehrabian defined immediacy as the “degree of directness and intensity of interaction between communicator and referent in a communicator’s linguistic message.”
Probably a little too dense for our needs. From a sales and marketing perspective, immediacy involves a few different factors:
- Personal Connection
In his recent talk at INBOUND 2016, Gustavo Reis discussed how he uses the idea of immediacy to grow the social engagement with his online math course. Using these principles, he created a following of 60K+ on Facebook in less than a year and 5K+ on Instagram in less than 2 months.
Incorporating Immediacy into Your Social Lead Nurturing
So why is immediacy so important and well suited for social lead nurturing?
According to Marketing Donut, 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months, and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. Engaging and nurturing these leads for up to a year is impossible without deep insights into their needs and a scalable way to reach out consistently.
Here are a few steps for incorporating immediacy into your social lead nurturing, to improve the directness and level of engagement you receive from your audience.
If you’re only using website data such as website visits and form submissions for your lead scoring and segmentation, you’re missing out on a large part of the picture. Not to mention, most prospects won't engage directly with your business enough to keep a meaningful conversation going.
Monitoring social media provides you with even more data:
- What leads are interested in
- Influencers they follow
- Events they’re attending
- Who they’re engaging with
- Content they like
This allows you to identify a much larger set of touchpoints. The more information behind your lead nurturing, the timelier your messages can be and the more you can tailor them to the context of your lead’s conversation.
Segmenting by Context and Relationships
As your business scales, you can’t expect to send each of your leads a personalized tweet, DM or email based on their unique actions. You can use marketing automation and personalization to send them one of a hundred or more carefully tailored messages.
In a recent webinar, we discussed how Socedo saw unsubscribes decrease by 50% when we included context in our emails. The more segmented you can make your leads, the more context and personalization you can add to each message you send them.
Context and personalization don’t just involve the content of your social messages and emails. Segmenting your leads by the person they had initial contact with – and then ensuring all future communications come from that same person – can greatly increase the immediacy of your messages. When we started sending emails from employees leads had already engaged with, we saw 76% higher open rates. When we sent from a different person, our open rates decreased by 24%.
Once you have set up social media monitoring to identify touchpoints and segmented your audience based on those insights, you can send them relevant content in real-time. Here are some examples of real-time nurturing that focus on immediacy:
- “I saw you just tweeted about this event, did you know we’ll be there? Here’s a webinar about it.”
- “You just shared an article on conversion rate optimization. Check out this whitepaper that dives deeper into the subject.”
- Like a tweet 24 hours after following someone on Twitter.
Socedo uses these examples in our own social lead nurturing. Through the last example, we’ve gained 30% higher follow-back rates (you can learn more about this tactic and others in our webinar, “10 Lead Nurturing Hacks for Faster Conversions”).
Thanks to the increased opportunities for context, timeliness and personalization, socially engaged leads move 25% faster through the lead pipeline and convert at a 22% higher selling price. Using the principles of immediacy, combined with social media and marketing automation tools, you can create a lead nurturing system that is much more engaging while still remaining scalable for your business.
How does your company nurture leads through social media? Do you use any of the concepts of immediacy? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Teena Thach is Socedo’s social media and marketing specialist. Socedo is a demand generation system that empowers marketers to discover, engage with and qualify prospects through social media to generate revenue at scale.