The Most Underrated Lead Generation Tool for Service Businesses (Hint: It Involves Cute Babies)
What’s the most underrated tool on social media? I’m sure you’re expecting it to be some kind of software, plugin or a secret technique. It’s actually something that costs no money, is easy to implement, and most social media marketers underutilize it all the time: It’s listening.
No, by "listening", I don’t mean some complicated psychological technique or hacking into your competitor’s office. It’s simply engaging with other people’s content rather than producing more of your own content.
On Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram, it means reading what your friends/connections are posting and responding with appropriate comments.
If you’re in a service business (Realtor, dentist, roofing contractor, insurance agent, lawyer...) it also means engaging with your personal profile (especially Facebook) as opposed to a business page.
Don’t wait for someone to post about a big life event, like a birth of a child or a wedding. Yes, you should absolutely congratulate your friends on the big occasions, but don’t expect your comments to be very effective as far as marketing goes. Your comments will be drowned out by tens or hundreds of others.
Look for more mundane posts that attract less attention. Oftentimes, a brief "you’re awesome", "nice to see you enjoying life" or "one day I want to be like you" will do the trick. Commenting on posts that explicitly ask a question or ask for recommendations is also a good idea, as long as you’re giving a genuine advice and not just promoting your business.
Seek out posts rather than wait for them to appear in your timeline. On Facebook, there’s no guarantee you will see anyone’s posts unless you’ve marked their profile as "See first." Type names of several of your Facebook friend’s in the Facebook graph search, visit their profiles and you’ll notice that there are a ton of posts that you’ve missed.
So, what’s the point of this, you may ask, if you’re not promoting your business? How can telling someone their baby is cute can generate leads for my business?
I’m sure you know the saying "out of sight, out of mind’. If you’re in a service business, like real estate, insurance, law, medical, roofing, people don’t need you 24/7. Your service is not an impulse buy. The best way to utilize your social media is to engage with your online community and pretty much broadcast your existence. Also, it’s worth mentioning that boosting other people’s ego or simply being polite and positive goes a long way.
When a person does need to buy a home, see a doctor, replace a roof, insure a vehicle, they will contact you because they’ll feel that they know you. All because of your online engagement. All because you did say nice things about their baby (pet, spouse, car...).