As we are conducting Social Media Analysis for franchise brands, we regularly get asked about using social media to find potential buyers. It seems that the industry as a whole is getting tired of buying leads from lead aggregators that can be expensive and are looking for new ways to generate qualified leads.
Franchise Development teams should consider these 5 steps for finding and connecting with this type of buyer:
- Nurturing relationships over time by connecting with future buyers. Statistically, buyers are 57% through the buying process by the time they reach out to a sales person. By then they have done most of their due diligence without you. If you wait for the phone to ring, it’s too late. It’s better to connect with someone very early cycle and help them through the process.
- Influencers are connectors. Who does your target buyer already do business with (bankers, accountants, lawyers, financial planners, luxury car dealers, etc.)? You need to nurture these relationships too because they can connect you with potential buyers.
- Pick the right pond. Facebook is NOT social media and Facebook is probably not the right pond to fish in. You are looking for people that have a decent net worth and want to be approached in a more business-like setting. LinkedIn is a much better choice for getting started with a social media strategy. Join LinkedIn groups that your potential customers are already members of. Here’s a tip-stay out of franchise business groups. Join groups that align with their interests.
- Use remarkable content as your bait. Once you identify your target audience, you need to consider what they look like 6 months to 1 year or more before they begin the research process of finding a new business opportunity. Ask yourself; What keeps them awake at night?” “What kind of lifestyle do they enjoy?” “What are their motives for even thinking about owning their own business?” Start building blog posts and videos that speak to these needs. Promote this content in the LinkedIn groups you’ve joined by starting discussions that link back to your blog.
- Remember the ABC’s – Always Be Closing. Make sure as these prospects are enjoying your content you have made it easy and enticing for them to engage at a deeper level. Offer up an eBook or a Business Assessment Consultation that would help them consider what type of business might fit their skillset the best or have them opt-in for some other social media currency.
Follow these 5 steps to get prospects to opt in. As they opt-in for these “freemiums” you have established a lead for your company but better than that, you have made a connection with a future buyer. You are now in a perfect position to nurture this relationship and help them consider whether or not your brand is the right fit for them.