The Mention Blog

4 Ways & 14 Tactics to Generate Leads By Listening to your Customers

Shannon is Mention’s Content & PR Manager, where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal advocates. She’s based in New York. Get in touch with her at @ShannnonB.

Knowing what your customers think about you and your brand is clearly invaluable information to generate leads, but you’d be surprised by how many companies build for themselves rather than for their customers’ needs. Yes, we all like to work on projects we’re passionate about, but a business needs to be profitable (eventually), or at least break even for now.

Here’s how listening to what current and potential customers are saying will help you build and grow revenue for your business.

Want more help generating leads through listening? Download our free ebook too!

1. Lead generation

Pay attention to conversations around keywords related to your brand to generate leads and identify potential customers’ problems and needs they’re trying to solve for. Use this as an opportunity to join in the conversation and build a valuable relationship.

Front, a tool for sharing company email accounts, was able to recruit 15 high quality beta users every week with this approach.

We take this approach at Mention by monitoring the keywords “social media strategy” and “social media tools,” among others and join these conversations in a helpful manner, making ourselves available for any questions. As a result, approximately 20% of our leads have been generated via social media and blog comments.

How to generate leads with media monitoring:

2. Competitive monitoring

Much like keyword monitoring, you can monitor what people are saying about your competitors. It’s possible that your potential customers:

Use a media monitoring tool to track these conversations, then reach out when you’re able to solve a problem.

Workable has seen great success generating leads by monitoring competitors’ names. They recently won over a new brand advocate by starting a casual conversation with someone who was unhappy with a competitor’s interface, which led to a demo and a favorable tweet — all by being friendly and transparent.

How to win over the competition’s business without being a jerk:

3. Retention

It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to grow quickly. We all want to find the hacks that will generate leads to 100,000 users in one month, etc. However, you shouldn’t lose sight of the customers you’ve already won over. It’s actually very important to keep these customers happy. Consider these stats:

Retention is crucial for sustainable growth, and a lack of focus on retention results in a large spike in growth, followed by a spike in attrition. Customers want to be heard. By listening to what your customers are saying, you can take the necessary measures to make them happy, and keep them around.

How to retain customers by listening:

Front did this when selecting which keyboard shortcuts they should offer:

Equally important is to work on bugs and glitches. If you say you’ll look into something, make sure to do it, and get back to them!


Tighter feedback loops (getting closer to the customer and reducing reaction time) make the customer happier and benefit the company in the long run by creating an opportunity to develop a product with a pre-established customer base.

4. Virality via loyalty programs

By analyzing data from 100 clients over 30 days, Portent found that social is the third most influential factor when you define conversions broadly. If your customers aren’t happy, they won’t stick around. If they don’t stick around, they are not able to invite others to try your product over an extended period of time. And virality — the likelihood of your brand or product going viral — is crucial to large spikes in growth.

In the below example of FitBit, Portent explains that by listening to customers (via support) and potential customers (via listening), you can collect important data at the beginning of your relationship to create customer personas. These can then be used to develop custom loyalty programs that will lead to increased shares to relevant audience.

How to maintain consistent virality:

Wrapping it up

When deciding on what marketing and community activities to invest time and resources in, it’s only fair to want to know what the return will be. As outlined above, the financial return of listening to current and potential customers is evident, but its value goes beyond just revenue. Joining the right conversations at the right time also contributes to brand awareness, credibility, and long term relationships, all of which are invaluable.